The Labour government began the bidding for Murdoch's favour by proposing – for the first time – to break the link between the licence fee and the BBC. From now on, a chunk of it will be given to other broadcasters like Channel 4 and regional news providers. At first it sounds like a small and reasonable step – it will go to support valuable programming – but it begins a process that will bleed the BBC. You won't be able to see so clearly where your money is going. Gradually, more and more money will be dispersed from the BBC by a Tory government eager to keep Murdoch's favour, and the corporation will shrink back. As it provides less easily traceable value, it will be harder to defend the license fee itself – and Murdoch will win.
The Tories then upped the bidding. This summer Ofcom – Britain's broadcasting regulators – found Murdoch's BSkyB guilty of effectively pricing other companies out of the pay-TV market. David Cameron responded by saying he will quietly put Ofcom to sleep, scrapping most of its regulations. Then he gave Murdoch another bauble he has craved for decades: he is going to scrap all the political impartiality rules covering British television (except on the BBC). If Cameron succeeds, Sky News will mutate into Fox News, pumping its poison 24/7. Murdoch duly endorsed the Tories.
Johann Hari: If we care about the BBC, we must fight to defend it - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent