Daily Archives: July 12, 2011

“Justice? — You get justice in the next word, in this world you have the law. . .
— I’m talking about fascism, that’s where this compulsion for order ends up. The rest of it’s opera.”

— William Gaddis, A Frolic of His Own

Frolic

No fair guessing as to which opera.

Rupert

Rupert in “Happier Days”

RM

Rupert more recently

First stop — The Wiki:

“Keith Rupert Murdoch AC, KSG (English pronunciation: /ˈruːpɚt ˈmɚdɑk/; born 11 March 1931) is an Australian American media mogul and the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation.
Beginning with one newspaper in Adelaide, Murdoch acquired and started other publications in his native Australia before expanding News Corp into the United Kingdom, United States and Asian media markets. Although it was in Australia in the late 1950s that he first dabbled in television, he later sold these assets, and News Corp’s Australian current media interests (still mainly in print) are restricted by cross-media ownership rules. Murdoch’s first permanent foray into TV was in the USA, where he created Fox Broadcasting Company in 1986. In the 2000s, he became a leading investor in satellite television, the film industry and the Internet, and purchased a respected business newspaper, The Wall Street Journal.
Rupert Murdoch was listed three times in the Time 100 as among the most influential people in the world. He is ranked 13th most powerful person in the world in the 2010 Forbes’ The World’s Most Powerful People list. With a net worth of US$6.3 billion, he is ranked 117th wealthiest person in the world”

Who’s the 116th?

“Keith Rupert Murdoch was born in Melbourne, the only son of Sir Keith Murdoch and Elisabeth Joy (née Greene). At the time, his father was a regional newspaper magnate based in Melbourne, and as a result, the family was wealthy. Murdoch was groomed by his father from an early age, and attended the elite Geelong Grammar School. He later read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where he supported the Labour Party”

Aha– a Liberal!

“When Murdoch was 22, his father died, prompting his return from Oxford to take charge of the family business; becoming managing director of News Limited in 1953.[ He began to direct his attention to acquisition and expansion. He bought the Sunday Times in Perth, Western Australia.
Over the next few years, Murdoch established himself in Australia as a dynamic business operator, expanding his holdings by acquiring suburban and provincial newspapers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, including the Sydney afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror, as well as a small Sydney-based recording company, Festival Records.
His first foray outside Australia involved the purchase of a controlling interest in the New Zealand daily The Dominion. In January 1964, while touring New Zealand with friends in a rented Morris Minor after sailing across the Tasman, Murdoch read of a takeover bid for the Wellington paper by the British-based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. On the spur of the moment, he launched a counter-bid. A four-way battle for control ensued in which the 32-year-old Murdoch was ultimately successful.
Later in 1964, Murdoch launched The Australian, Australia’s first national daily newspaper, which was based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. The Australian, a broadsheet, was intended to give Murdoch new respectability as a ‘quality’ newspaper publisher, as well as greater political influence.
In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, who later admitted regretting selling it to him. In that year’s election, Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected.”

Aha — a Player.

“When Murdoch was 22, his father died, prompting his return from Oxford to take charge of the family business; becoming managing director of News Limited in 1953.[ He began to direct his attention to acquisition and expansion. He bought the Sunday Times in Perth, Western Australia.
Over the next few years, Murdoch established himself in Australia as a dynamic business operator, expanding his holdings by acquiring suburban and provincial newspapers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, including the Sydney afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror, as well as a small Sydney-based recording company, Festival Records.
His first foray outside Australia involved the purchase of a controlling interest in the New Zealand daily The Dominion. In January 1964, while touring New Zealand with friends in a rented Morris Minor after sailing across the Tasman, Murdoch read of a takeover bid for the Wellington paper by the British-based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. On the spur of the moment, he launched a counter-bid. A four-way battle for control ensued in which the 32-year-old Murdoch was ultimately successful.
Later in 1964, Murdoch launched The Australian, Australia’s first national daily newspaper, which was based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. The Australian, a broadsheet, was intended to give Murdoch new respectability as a ‘quality’ newspaper publisher, as well as greater political influence.
In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, who later admitted regretting selling it to him. In that year’s election, Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected.”

The soup thickens.

“When the Mirror group decided to get rid of its mid-marketbroadsheet daily newspaper The Sun in 1969, Murdoch acquired it and turned it into a tabloid format; by 2006 it was selling three million copies per day.
In 1981, Murdoch acquired The Times and The Sunday Times, (the papers which Lord Northcliffe had once owned) from Canadian newspaper publisher Lord Thomson of Fleet. The distinction of owning The Times came to him through his careful cultivation of its owner, who had grown tired of losing money on it as a result of much industrial action and limited ability to publish for several months.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Murdoch’s publications were generally supportive of Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the end of the Thatcher/Major era, Murdoch switched his support to the Labour Party and its leader, Tony Blair. The closeness of his relationship with Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies was to become a political issue in Britain.”

You don’t say!

“Though this later started to change, with The Sun publicly renouncing the ruling Labour government and lending its support to David Cameron’s Conservative Party, which soon after came to form a coalition government. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official spokesman said in November 2009 that Brown and Murdoch “were in regular communication” and that “there is nothing unusual in the prime minister talking to Rupert Murdoch”.

If that’s your story, you stick to it.

“In 1986, Murdoch introduced electronic production processes to his newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States. The greater degree of automation led to significant reductions in the number of employees involved in the printing process. In England, the move roused the anger of the print unions, resulting in a long and often violent dispute that played out in Wapping, one of London’s docklands areas, where Murdoch had installed the very latest electronic newspaper publishing facility in an old warehouse. The bitter dispute at Fortress Wapping started with the dismissal of 6,000 employees who had gone on strike and resulted in street battles, demonstrations and a great deal of bad publicity for Murdoch. Many on the political left in Britain suspected Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government of collusion with Murdoch in the Wapping affair, as a way of damaging the British trade union movement, by providing large numbers of police to attack and arrest pickets using violence and provocation.”

IOW he’s a thug.

But unlike the Krays, he has no class.

“Murdoch’s British-based satellite network, Sky Television, incurred massive losses in its early years of operation. As with many of his other business interests, Sky was heavily subsidised by the profits generated by his other holdings, but eventually he was able to convince rival satellite operator British Satellite Broadcasting to accept a merger on his terms in 1990. The merged company, BSkyB, has dominated the British pay-TV market ever since.
In response to print media’s decline and the increasing influence of online journalism during the 2000s, Murdoch proclaimed his support of the micropayments model for obtaining revenue from on-line news, although this has been criticised by some.
News Corporation has subsidiaries in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands and the Virgin Islands. From 1986, News Corporation’s annual tax bill averaged around seven percent of its profits.”

Neat.

“Murdoch made his first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when he purchased the San Antonio Express-News. Soon afterwards, he founded Star, a supermarket tabloid, and in 1976, he purchased the New York Post. On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalised citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only US citizens were permitted to own American television stations. Also in 1985, Murdoch purchased the 20th Century Fox movie studio. In 1986, Murdoch purchased six television stations owned by Metromedia. These stations would form the nucleus of the Fox Broadcasting Company, which was founded on 9 October 1986. In 1987, in Australia he bought The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, the company that his father had once managed. By 1991, his Australian-based News Corp. had worked up huge debts (much from Sky TV in the UK), forcing Murdoch to sell many of the American magazine interests he had acquired in the mid-1980s.”

“In 1995, Murdoch’s Fox Network became the object of scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), when it was alleged that News Ltd.’s Australian base made Murdoch’s ownership of Fox illegal. However, the FCC ruled in Murdoch’s favor, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the best interests of the public. That same year, Murdoch announced a deal with MCI Communications to develop a major news website and magazine, The Weekly Standard. Also that year, News Corp. launched the Foxtel pay television network in Australia in partnership with Telstra.
In 1996, Murdoch decided to enter the cable news market with the Fox News Channel, a 24-hour cable news television station. Following its launch, Fox News consistently eroded CNN’s market share and eventually became the most-watched cable news channel. Ratings studies released in the fourth quarter of 2004 showed that the network was responsible for nine of the top ten programs in the “Cable News” category at that time Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner (founder and former owner of CNN) are long-standing rivals.
In late 2003, Murdoch acquired a 34 percent stake in Hughes Electronics, the operator of the largest American satellite TV system, DirecTV, from General Motors for $6 billion (USD).
In 2004, Murdoch announced that he was moving News Corp.’s headquarters from Adelaide, Australia to the United States. Choosing a US domicile was designed to ensure that American fund managers could purchase shares in the company, since many were deciding not to buy shares in non-US companies. Some analysts believed that News Corp.’s Australian domicile was leading to the company being undervalued compared with its peers.
On 20 July 2005, News Corp. bought Intermix Media Inc., which held MySpace.com and other popular social networking-themed websites, for $580 million USD. On 11 September 2005, News Corp. announced that it would buy IGN Entertainment for $650 million (USD).
In May 2007, Murdoch made a $5 billion offer to purchase Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal. At the time, the Bancroft family, which controlled 64% of the shares, firmly declined the offer, opposing Murdoch’s much-used strategy of slashing employee numbers and “gutting” existing systems. Later, the Bancroft family confirmed a willingness to consider a sale – besides Murdoch, the Associated Press reported that supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and Internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan were among the interested parties. On 1 August 2007, the BBC’s “News and World Report” and NPR’s Marketplace radio programs reported that Murdoch had acquired Dow Jones; this news was received with mixed reactions.”

I’ll bet.

“In 1999, Murdoch significantly expanded his music holdings in Australia by acquiring the controlling share in a leading Australian independent label, Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Records; he merged that with Festival Records, and the result was Festival Mushroom Records (FMR). Both Festival and FMR were managed by Murdoch’s son James Murdoch for several years

In 1993, Murdoch acquired Star TV, a Hong Kong company founded by Richard Li for $1 billion (Souchou, 2000:28), and subsequently set up offices for it throughout Asia. It is one of the biggest satellite TV networks in Asia. However, the deal did not work out as Murdoch had planned, because the Chinese government placed restrictions on it that prevented it from reaching most of China. It was around this time that Murdoch met his third wife Wendi Deng.

The subject of Murdoch’s alleged anti-competitive business practices surfaced in September 2005. Australian media proprietor Kerry Stokes, owner of the Seven Network, instituted legal action against News Corporation and the PBL organisation, headed by Kerry Packer. The suit stemmed from the 2002 collapse of Stokes’ planned cable television channel C7 Sport, which would have been a direct competitor to the other major Australian cable provider, Foxtel, in which News and PBL have major stakes.
Seven complained that News Corporation had abused its market power which derived from its half-ownership of the National Rugby League, half-ownership of C7’s direct competitor, Fox Sports, and 25 per cent ownership of the Foxtel pay TV service. Seven wanted Justice Ronald Sackville to order News and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd to divest their combined 50% stake in Foxtel or to sell their wholly owned Fox Sports. They argued that this would be justified because of the way in which Foxtel gave preferential treatment to Fox Sports and declined to take any rival sports channel provider on “reasonable commercial terms”.
In evidence given to the court on 26 September 2005, Stokes alleged that PBL executive James Packer came to his home in December 2000 and warned him that PBL and News Limited were “getting together” to prevent the AFL rights being granted to C7.
However, Justice Sackville dismissed Seven’s case on all grounds, saying that there was “more than a hint of hypocrisy” in many of Seven’s claims.
Recently, Murdoch has bought out the Turkish TV channel, TGRT, which had been previously confiscated by the Turkish Board of Banking Regulations, TMSF. Newspapers report that Murdoch has bought TGRT in a partnership with the Turkish recording mogul Ahmet Ertegün.
Murdoch has recently won a media dispute with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A judge ruled the Italian Prime Minister’s media arm Mediaset had prevented News Corp.’s Italian unit, Sky Italia, from buying advertisements on its television networks

Murdoch’s disconcerting experience[clarification needed What does this mean?] with Thomas Playford in South Australia[citation needed] and his early political activities in Australia set the pattern he would repeat around the world.
Murdoch found a political ally in John McEwen, leader of the Australian Country Party (now known as the National Party of Australia), who was governing in coalition with the larger Menzies-Holt Liberal Party. From the very first issue of The Australian Murdoch began taking McEwen’s side in every issue that divided the long-serving coalition partners. (The Australian, 15 July 1964, first edition, front page: “Strain in Cabinet, Liberal-CP row flares.”) It was an issue that threatened to split the coalition government and open the way for the stronger Australian Labor Party to dominate Australian politics. It was the beginning of a long campaign that served McEwen well.
After McEwen and Menzies retired, Murdoch transferred his support to the newly elected Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Gough Whitlam, who was elected in 1972 on a social platform that included universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level, recognition of the People’s Republic of China, and public ownership of Australia’s oil, gas and mineral resources.
Rupert Murdoch’s flirtation with Whitlam turned out to be brief. He had already started his short-lived National Star newspaper in America, and was seeking to strengthen his political contacts there.”

Can the soup get any thicker than this?

Undoubtedly.

“In 1985 Murdoch became a United States citizen to satisfy legislation that only United States citizens could own American television stations. This also resulted in Murdoch losing his Australian citizenship.
Asked about the Australian federal election, 2007 at News Corporation’s annual general meeting in New York on 19 October 2007, its chairman Rupert Murdoch said, “I am not commenting on anything to do with Australian politics. I’m sorry. I always get into trouble when I do that.” Pressed as to whether he believed Prime Minister John Howard should be re-elected, he said: “I have nothing further to say. I’m sorry. Read our editorials in the papers. It’ll be the journalists who decide that – the editors.”

Translation: Fuck You!”

“McNight (2010) identifies four characteristics of his media operations: free market ideology; unified positions on matters of public policy; global editorial meetings; and opposition to a perceived liberal bias in other public media.
On 8 May 2006, the Financial Times reported that Murdoch would be hosting a fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton’s (D-New York) Senate re-election campaign.”

So much for that cunt!

“In a 2008 interview with Walt Mossberg, Murdoch was asked whether he had “anything to do with the New York Post’s endorsement of Barack Obama in the democratic primaries.” Without hesitating, Murdoch replied, “Yeah. He is a rock star. It’s fantastic. I love what he is saying about education. I don’t think he will win Florida… but he will win in Ohio and the election. I am anxious to meet him. I want to see if he will walk the walk.”

Oh he walks the walk alright.

“In 2010 News Corporation gave $1M to the Republican Governors Association and $1M to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

ie. The Legalized Mafia

“Murdoch also served on the board of directors of the libertarian Cato Institute.”

Cha Cha-Cha.

“In Britain in the 1980s Murdoch formed a close alliance with Margaret Thatcher, and The Sun credited itself with helping John Major to win an unexpected election victory in the 1992 general election.[40] However, in the general elections of 1997, 2001 and 2005, Murdoch’s papers were either neutral or supported Labour under Tony Blair. This has led some critics to argue that Murdoch simply supports the incumbent parties (or those who seem most likely to win an upcoming election) in the hope of influencing government decisions that may affect his businesses. The Labour Party under Blair had moved from the Left to a more central position on many economic issues prior to 1997. Murdoch identifies himself as a libertarian, this use of the term, however, being one many would not recognize.”

“In a speech delivered in New York, Rupert Murdoch said that the British Prime Minister Tony Blair described the BBC coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster as being full of hatred of America.”

“In 1998, Rupert Murdoch failed in his attempt to buy the football club Manchester United F.C. with an offer of £625 million. It was the largest amount ever offered for a sports club. It was blocked by the United Kingdom’s Competition Commission, which stated that the acquisition would have “hurt competition in the broadcast industry and the quality of British football”.
On 28 June 2006 the BBC reported that Murdoch and News Corporation were flirting with the idea of backing Conservative leader David Cameron at the next General Election. However, in a later interview in July 2006, when he was asked what he thought of the Conservative leader, Murdoch replied “Not much”. In a 2009 blog, it was suggested that in the aftermath of the News of the World phone hacking affair which is still ongoing in 2011 and might yet have Transatlantic implications , Murdoch and News Corporation might have decided to back Cameron. Despite this there had already been a convergence of interests between the two men over the muting of Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom.
In 2006, Britain’s Independent newspaper reported that Murdoch would offer Tony Blair a senior role in his global media company News Corp. when the prime minister stood down from office.”

“He is accused by former Solidarity MSP Tommy Sheridan of having a personal vendetta against him and of conspiring with MI5 to produce a video of him confessing to having affairs – allegations over which Sheridan had previously sued News International and won. On being arrested for perjury following the case, Sheridan claimed that the charges were “orchestrated and influenced by the powerful reach of the Murdoch empire”.”

Cozy.

“Murdoch has a history of hosting private meetings with influential politicians. Both parties describe such meetings as politically insignificant; social events, informal dinners or friendly drinks. It has however been argued that such meetings are significant because of Murdoch’s exceptional influence as an international media magnate, as well as his consistent interest in and involvement with political issues.”

Cosi

“In August 2008 British Conservative leader and future Prime Minister David Cameron accepted free flights to hold private talks and attend private parties with Murdoch on his yacht, the Rosehearty. Cameron has declared in the Commons register of interests he accepted a private plane provided by Murdoch’s son-in-law, public relations guru Matthew Freud; Cameron has not revealed his talks with Murdoch. The gift of travel in Freud’s Gulfstream IV private jet was valued at around £30,000. Other guests attending the “social events” included the then EU trade commissioner Lord Mandelson, the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and co-chairman of NBC Universal Ben Silverman. The Conservatives have not disclosed what was discussed.

In July 2011 it emerged that Murdoch had given Cameron a personal guarantee that there would be no risk attached to hiring the ex-editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson as the Conservative Party’s communication director in 2007. This was in spite of Coulson having resigned as editor over phone hacking by a reporter. Cameron chose to take Murdoch’s advice, despite warnings from Nick Clegg, Lord Ashdown and The Guardian. Coulson resigned his post in 2011 and was later arrested and questioned on allegations of further criminal activity at The News of the World.

On 21 April 2007, future Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd dined with Rupert Murdoch in New York, following a one-hour private meeting at Murdoch’s News Corporation Building.
News Limited’s resources involvement and coverage, in Australia, on the 2009 OzCar affair controversy caused antagonism by Rudd. Rudd responded to a press conference question from The Australian journalist Matthew Franklin, questioning “what sort of journalistic checks were put in place” for publishing a story claiming he was corrupt without “having cited any original document in terms of this email.” Although such newspapers Daily Telegraph, the Courier-Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser are owned by News Limited, it has been viewed that Murdoch’s personal involvement is unlikely and “the anti-Rudd push, if it is coordinated at all, is almost certainly locally driven.”
Murdoch once said that Rudd is “…oversensitive and too sensitive for his own good…” regarding Rudd’s response to criticism made of him by News Corporation’s Australian newspapers.Murdoch also described Rudd as “…more ambitious to lead the world than to lead Australia…” and criticised Rudd’s expansionary fiscal policies as unnecessary: “We were not about to collapse…I thought we were trying to copy the rest of the world a little unnecessarily.”

Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had lunch with Murdoch and Fox News president Roger Ailes in March 2009, but the New York City meeting was not public knowledge until the summer of 2010 when a Canadian Press reporter learned of it from filings with the U.S. Justice Department. News of the meeting sparked speculation of a politically motivated drive to bring “Fox News North” to Canada.”

Last but not least —

“In October 2008 Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff wrote a Vanity Fair story recounting a meeting between Barack Obama, Murdoch, and Ailes at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York early that summer. Obama had initially resisted Murdoch’s proposals for a meeting, despite senior News Corp. executives having recruited the Kennedys to act as go-betweens. According to Wolff, at the meeting Obama raised the issue of Fox News’s portrayal of him “as suspicious, foreign, fearsome – just short of a terrorist”, while Ailes said it might not have been this way if Obama had “more willingly come on the air instead of so often giving Fox the back of his hand.” A “tentative truce” was nonetheless agreed upon. Wolff also noted that Murdoch has met every US President since, and including, Harry Truman”

The buck stops. . . .where?

And now direct from the editorial pages of The World’s Worst Newspaper.

“Fair warning: This column is a defense of Rupert Murdoch. If you add everything up, he’s been good for newspapers over the past several decades, keeping them alive and vigorous and noisy and relevant. Without him, the British newspaper industry might have disappeared entirely.”

And Oh what a good thing that would be!

“This defense is prompted in part by seeing everyone piling in on the British hacking scandal, as if such abuses were confined to News International (we shall see) and as if significant swathes of the British establishment had not been complicit.”

The de rigeur “Oh they all do it defense.”

“It is also prompted by having spent time with Murdoch 21 years ago when writing a profile for The New York Times Magazine and coming away impressed.”

Translation: “I’m a whore and I LOVE IT!”

“Before I get to why, a few caveats. First, the hacking is of course indefensible as well as illegal. Second, Fox News, the U.S. TV network started by Murdoch, has with its shrill right-wing demagoguery masquerading as news made a significant contribution to the polarization of American politics, the erosion of reasoned debate, the debunking of reason itself, and the ensuing Washington paralysis. Third, I disagree with Murdoch’s views on a range of issues — from climate change to the Middle East — where his influence has been unhelpful.”

(snerk !)

“So why do I still admire the guy?”

“I’m a whore and I LOVE it!”

” The first reason is his evident loathing for elites, for cozy establishments, for cartels, for what he’s called “strangulated English accents” — in fact for anything standing in the way of gutsy endeavor and churn.”

” His love of no-holds-barred journalism is one reason Britain’s press is one of the most aggressive anywhere. That’s good for free societies. “

He didn’t invent it dear.

“Murdoch once told me: “When I came to Britain in 1968, I found it was damn hard to get a day’s work out of the people at the top of the social scale. As an Australian, I only had to work 8 or 10 hours a day, 48 weeks of the year, and everything came to you.”
So it was easy enough, from 1969 onward, to rake in the media heirlooms. Along the way he’s often shown fierce loyalty to his people — as now with Rebekah Brooks, the embattled head of News International — and piled money into important newspapers like The Times that would otherwise have vanished. “

“The second thing I admire is the visionary, risk-taking determination that has placed him ahead of the game as the media business has been transformed through globalization and digitization. It’s been the ability to see around corners that has ushered him from two modest papers inherited from his father in Adelaide to the head of a company with about $33 billion in annual revenues.”

“Yes, there have been mistakes — MySpace, the social media site just sold for a fraction of its purchase price is one.”

Riiiight. That’s a “mistake” — as opposed to spying on everyone and hacking into their computers.

“But I’d take Murdoch’s batting average. He’s gambled big on satellite TV, on global media opportunities in sports, and on the conflation of television, publishing, entertainment, newspapers and the Internet. British Sky Broadcasting and Fox alone represent big businesses created from nothing against significant odds. “

“A favorite Murdoch saying is: “We don’t deal in market share. We create the market.”
Of course, his success makes plenty of people envious, one reason the Citizen Kane ogre image has attached to him. (He would have endorsed Kane who, when asked in the movie how he found business conditions in Europe, responded: “With great difficulty!”) His success has caused redoubled envy in Britain because there he is ever the outsider from Down Under. (America doesn’t really do outsiders.)”

The Times, which I’ve found a good read since moving to London last summer, has impressed me with its continued investment in foreign coverage, its bold move to put up a pay wall for the online edition (yes, people should pay for the work of journalists), and with the way the paper plays it pretty straight under editor James Harding. The Telegraph to the right and Guardian to the left play it less straight.
British Sky Broadcasting is emphatically not Fox. It’s a varied channel with some serious news shows. Overall, the British media scene without Murdoch would be pretty impoverished. His breaking of the unions at Wapping in 1986 was decisive for the vitality of newspapering. He took The Times tabloid when everyone said he was crazy. He was right. He loves a scoop, loves a scrap, and both the Wall Street Journal and The Times show serious journalists can thrive under him.”

“I think it would be fun to run a newspaper.”

“But Murdoch’s in trouble now. An important deal for all of British Sky Broadcasting hangs on his being able to convince British authorities News Corp management is in fact reputable. He’ll probably have to sacrifice Brooks for that. Politicians who fawned now fulminate. Prime Minister David Cameron is embarrassed. Both Murdoch and his savvy son James Murdoch (of more centrist views than his father) are scrambling.
I’d bet on them to prevail. When I asked Murdoch the secret of TV, he told me “Bury your mistakes.” The guy’s a force of nature and his restless innovations have, on balance and with caveats, been good for the media and a more open world.”

Pass the onion rings, Rupe.