10 May 2007

Wendi Deng Gets Slated

Here's to the girl in the red shoes,
She smokes my cigerettes and drinks my booze,
She has no cherry but that's no sin,
She still has the box that the cherry was in.
- Anon.
Jack Shafer at Slate picks up on the saga of the spiked Wendi Deng story:
You can no more injure Rupert Murdoch by calling him a purveyor of sensationalism and trash than you can offend gangrenous flesh by calling it stinky. The man has doesn't have calluses. He is a callus.

That's not to say Murdoch is completely impervious to what is said and written about him. His weak spot is his family...
Shafer highlights the weakness of the Fairfax editors and News Ltd hacks' argument that the story was not newsworthy:
Contrary to News Corp. assertions, Deng wielded real power inside News Corp. at the time the Journal story ran. The third paragraph of the piece states:
Though she doesn't have a formal position with her husband's media empire, she has quickly asserted influence over News Corp.'s operations and investments in Asia, the most important growth market for the company.

Working with her stepson, James Murdoch, 27, Ms. Deng has initiated or advocated Chinese Internet investments totaling between $35 million and $45 million, according to a top News Corp. executive. With her advice, News Corp. has also formed partnerships with cable companies in the region looking to upgrade their systems for high-speed video and Internet access.
Today, Deng is integral to the launching of News Corp.'s MySpace in China. MySpace China is taking on a partner, reports the April 27 Wall Street Journal, and News Corp. will have at least three seats on its board, "one of which will be occupied by Mr. Murdoch's Chinese-born wife, Wendi, who has spearheaded MySpace's push into China."
Of course, being a gold-digging bitch is no crime. But given Deng's profile, which is only going to grow when the old man dies, it is most certainly newsworthy.

Shafer suggests Murdoch should "take the Wendi Deng punches and relax":
Deng has a past; Murdoch has a past. Lots of people combine ambition with romance. So what if she extracts from the life of Sammy Glick a role model instead of a cautionary parable? Their match is hell-made and perfect.
You have to wonder if being on the recieving end of some sleaze journalism might not make Rupert rethink his business ethics. Even just for a millisecond.