21 Jun. 2007

Rupert Murdoch Under Investigation!

Oooh, yes! The New York Times is launching a multi-bureau investigation into Rupert Murdoch and his global News Ltd operations. The investigation will led by NYT managing editor Jill Abramson.
“Bill has asked me to lead an investigative project for the next month, which I’ll mainly do from home,” Ms. Abramson wrote at the time. “It involves a group of domestic and foreign reporters, but I obviously can’t tell you what it is.”

Well, the group includes one obvious choice: media reporter Richard Siklos, who authored Shades of Black, the 1995 biography of disgraced press baron Conrad Black.

Although Mr. Siklos is currently covering the Black trial in Chicago, he’s also been busy reporting on Mr. Black’s fellow media mogul, Rupert Murdoch: He has had nine bylined pieces, including a 3,300-word cover story in the Sunday Business section, since News Corp.’s bid for Dow Jones was announced on May 1.

The investigative project also includes, according to a source at The Times, investigative editor Matt Purdy and reporters Jo Becker (in New York), Jane Perlez (in London) and Joseph Kahn (in Beijing).
Murdoch is reportedly aware of the investigation. Gosh, wouldn't it be nice to see Murdoch spluttering and squirming in the dock like Conrad Black has been doing?

Remember, Murdoch is a chief enabler, if not architect, of the Iraq War. This is the man whose media outlets helped bring Bush, Blair and Howard to power. If the NYT's best reporters cannot find some big time dirt on him, they are just not doing their jobs properly.

The big question may be whether Sulzberger, who backed Judith Miller to the hilt, will publish the dirt on a fellow traveller. I'm thinking the latest Dow Jones revelations on Murdoch's sleazy China deals may have just tipped the balance.

Popcorn, anyone? This journalistic feast is going to make the Eric Ellis profile of Murdoch's wife (disgracefully spiked by Fairfax) look like a tasty hors d'ouvre.