20 Apr. 2008

Murdoch's Next War Looms

Rupert's Zionist Crusade continues apace. Newsweek has a 5-page story on Murdoch's looming "war" with the New York Times (which they suggest New York billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg will soon buy, now that he's given up on the GOP nomination).
Along with much of the rest of old media, the Times has been losing advertising dollars to the Internet hand over fist, though its Web site is a big hit with readers.
Of course it didn't help that NYT put all their best columnists behind a propaganda firewall for a few years. It didn't help that they never really opoligized for Judith WMD Miller. It doesn't help that they continue to operate as GOP shills, promoting an economic agenda that is hastening their own collapse...
Late last week its parent company reported a first-quarter loss of $335,000; the Times's own business section said it was "one of the worst periods the company and the newspaper industry have seen." Advertising, its lifeblood, fell almost 11 percent, "the sharpest drop in memory," the Times wrote.
Murdoch buying the WSJ and then delivering the killer blow to the Old Gray Lady - who could have imagined it eh? And of course the editorial influence at the WSJ is already well underway:
Rather than entrust the job of all this to subordinates, Murdoch has been devoting half his time since acquiring Dow Jones to reshaping the paper. He has become a regular and jarring presence in the Journal newsroom: ever since he appeared unannounced on Easter — to, as he puts it, "set an example" — top editors have been dragging themselves into the Journal's headquarters across from Ground Zero on Sundays. "What sets Rupert apart is that after he's made a major acquisition, he goes in and works it and gets it running the way he wants it to, and then leaves managers in place," says Arthur Siskind, senior adviser to Murdoch.
For example, here's how Murdoch handled the recent sex scandal involving Eliot Spitzer:
As the story was breaking online at NewYorkTimes.com, Murdoch was stuck on his crippled jet in a hangar at a private airport in Palm Beach, Fla. With his wife, Wendi, looking on, Murdoch frantically worked the phones, bombarding New York Post editor Col Allan and Fox News chief Roger Ailes. "I couldn't believe it," Murdoch said later of Spitzer's scandalous predicament. "Naturally, I was on the phone: 'What do you know, and how are you going to treat the story?' " Murdoch was so caught up in the moment that he even sketched a mock layout of how the story might appear in The Wall Street Journal.
But of course his editors are like, totally independent:
The Times, like numerous other media outlets, has been critical of Murdoch for allegedly using his media properties to pursue personal business and political ends—a contention that Murdoch vehemently rejects. "I've never, ever done that," he says angrily. "I challenge anyone to show that I did."
Murdoch insists he only pulled the BBC World News out of his Star TV coverage in China for "purely financial reasons" and not to curry favour with Beijing's mandarins. But like one exec says:
"It's never a good time to have to confront someone like Murdoch, who doesn't care about making money on a particular product."
It's not about the money. It's about the massive doses of endless self-adulation that go with such sheer, unrestrained power.