Time Magazine joins the rush to profile the 21st century’s Minister of Propaganda, Rupert Murdoch. In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Slate, Keith Olbermann, and others have taken turns trying to analyze the man and/or the deal to consume Dow Jones and it’s pearl, the Wall Street Journal.
Time’s piece covers a lot of the same territory as the others, but delivers some choice quotations from the dark horse’s mouth:
“Why would I spend $5 billion for something in order to wreck it?”
Gee, I don’t know. Why did you do it to the New York Post and your London papers?
“When you’re a catalyst for change, you make enemies – and I’m proud of the ones I’ve got.”
Like the employees of Dow Jones who staged a “sick out” to protest your attempt to buy the company? Being proud of your enemies is not exactly a display of journalistic neutrality.
“…if you look at our general news, do we put on things which favor the right rather than the left? I don’t know. We don’t think we do. We’ve always insisted we don’t. I don’t think we do. Aw, it’s subjective. Neither side admits it.”
That’s some pretty fancy footwork. Plus, it sounds like you’re admitting what you say neither side admits.
“My worry about the New York Times is that it’s got the only position as a national elitist general-interest paper. So the network news picks up its cues from the Times. And local papers do too. It has a huge influence. And we’d love to challenge it.”
Asserting that you want to challenge the influence of the “national elitist” New York Times is further proof that you intend to shape the content of the Journal despite your denials.
It couldn’t be more clear, to anyone with a discernible pulse, that Murdoch is determined to burn his brand onto the Dow Jones properties regardless of what promises he mumbles to seal the deal. If the Bancrofts consent to Murdoch’s overtures they cannot later claim that they had no idea what damage he would do. They cannot pretend that they thought the paper’s integrity had been protected. They will be forever culpable for their naivete and their greed. No excuses – just a legacy of shame.