Massive 'NYT' Story Profiles Murdoch and His Maneuvers

By: E&P Staff It's so big it gets four reporting credits. It's titled "Ruler of a Media Empire Reaches Out for More," and who else could that be but Rupert Murdoch?

The article appears in Monday's New York Times, reported by Jo Becker, Richard Siklos, Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, and written by Becker. It comes amid conflicting reports on how close Murdoch, the News Corp. chief, is to actually gaining control of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

Murdoch declined a request for an interview for the Times epic.

"His vast media holdings give him a gamut of tools ? not just campaign contributions, but also jobs for former government officials and media exposure that promotes allies while attacking adversaries, sometimes viciously ? all of which he has used to further his financial interests and establish his legitimacy in the United States, interviews and government records show," the article states near the outset.

"The sale would give Mr. Murdoch control of the pre-eminent journalistic authority on the world in which he is an active, aggressive participant. What worries his critics is that Mr. Murdoch will use The Journal, which has won many Pulitzer Prizes and has a sterling reputation for accuracy and fairness, as yet another tool to further his myriad financial and political agendas. 'It is hard to imagine Rupert Murdoch publishing The New York Post in Midtown Manhattan, with all of his personal and political biases and business interests reflected every day, while publishing The Wall Street Journal in Downtown Manhattan with no interference whatsoever,' James Ottaway Jr., a 5 percent shareholder and former director of Dow Jones, said recently."

The article traces Murdoch's career in the U.S., his tangled business dealings and political links, including the new and surprising coziness with Hillary Clinton. There are dealings with the FCC and an alliance with Sen. Trent Lott -- because Murdoch's HarperCollins published a book written by Lott.

The article, available at, concludes:

"Over the years, as Mr. Murdoch built his empire, he has lusted after The Journal. In the mid-1980s, he attended a black-tie press dinner in New York and found himself sitting next to Julie Salamon, then the Journal?s film critic. She vividly recalls his fascination with the inner workings of the newspaper and said he clearly expressed his desire to own it someday.

"Ms. Salamon initially dismissed Mr. Murdoch. 'The idea of this tabloid guy buying The Journal, which was then at the zenith of its success, seemed preposterous,' she said.

"But by the end of the meal, impressed by Mr. Murdoch?s canny sense of the American media landscape, Ms. Salamon said, 'I went home with a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach, like this guy might actually do it.'"


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