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Unfortunately, it appears that all the casualties are on the other side:

The British business secretary, Vince Cable, was stripped of authority for media and telecommunications policy and barred from a role in the News Corporation’s proposed takeover of the British Sky Broadcasting Group after he was quoted on Tuesday as saying he had "declared war" on Rupert Murdoch, the company’s chief executive.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said in a statement that the comments were "totally unacceptable and inappropriate."

As business secretary, Mr. Cable had the power to decide whether the acquisition of BSkyB would give News Corporation too much power.

Meanwhile, Murdoch's News Manufacturing Entity:

News Corporation said it was "shocked and dismayed" by the comments.

Murdoch's spokespeople further iterated:

Cable’s remarks "raise serious questions about fairness and due process," News Corp. spokeswoman Miranda Higham said in a telephone interview.

Oh my goodness! That wouldn't be at all "fair and balanced," would it?

Conservatives, of course, went instantly on the attack:

By keeping Cable, Cameron resisted calls by both Conservative lawmakers and the opposition Labour Party that he quit.

"His increasingly erratic behavior is not conducive to being in the Cabinet," Conservative lawmaker Philip Davies said on BSkyB’s Sky News. "You can either shoot from the hip and be on the back benches or you can be in the government. Mr. Cable seems to want to have the best of both worlds."

Shades of the attack on Howard Dean in 2004 engineered by, my goodness, Robert Gibbs, wasn't it, then in the employ of John Kerry?

After all, Cable can't possibly be allowed to interfere with the big plans afoot for British media:

Tories plan Big Bang revolution in media
Strict regulations on local media ownership will be swept away by a Tory government to create a Big Bang revolution in newspapers and television.
By Andrew Pierce 11:47PM GMT 15 Nov 2009
Cross-media ownership rules, which prevent local groups owning more than one newspaper or radio station, will be abolished. The changes are also designed to create more competition for the BBC nationally and in the regions, where newspapers and television companies are battling for survival.

Ofcom, the media regulator, will be stripped of policy-making functions and limited to making judgments in areas such as "decency, impartiality and taste". The Tories say the changes will be on the same scale as the Big Bang deregulation of the City in 1986 that helped expand financial services and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said "heavy-handed regulation" was behind a "massive crisis" in the media industry.

Interestingly, it appears that Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been placed into position where he will rule on the Murdoch acquisition of BSkyB:

Shares in BSkyB today jumped to their highest level since Rupert Murdoch launched his £8 billion bid for the pay-TV broadcaster in June, as analysts said that the Vince Cable debacle made it far more likely the offer will be cleared.

.... Final decisions on the bid, which is being investigated by communications regulator Ofcom, will now be taken by the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who has previously praised BSkyB and Murdoch.

On his own website in an interview he gave when shadow culture secretary, Hunt says: "The important thing is not whether a particular owner owns another TV channel but to make sure you have a variety of owners with a variety of TV channels so that no one owner has a dominant position both commercially and politically.

It is obvious that Tories rule.

Here and over the pond.

Originally posted to Karen Hedwig Backman on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 11:36 AM PST.

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