As it turns out, Rupert Murdoch did indeed say "fat" not "facts" as alleged by Keith Olbermann and the Daily Kos.
Here is what he said, according to the audio. The disputed quote starts at the 17:57 mark:
While it's impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations. We reduced head count in individual businesses where appropriate and we scaled back on capital expenditures.
Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors. We also have consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS for approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.
As I noted in my earlier post, it was either a slip of the tongue or a poor job of transcription. It appears to be the latter because the first part of the sentence was completely botched as well.
So, Olbermann Watch did indeed get it right, and Keith Olbermann and the Daily Kos, both who have advanced this story, got it wrong. By the way, here's Olbermann's rant on Murdoch, which he comments on his version of the quote around the 3:00 mark.
So, my apologies to the Olbermann Watch and its readers, and my thanks to them for unearthing the audio.