Murdoch, He Wrote

Rosebud would be his sled...if they had sleds in Australia. My take on Murdoch from the front page of the Daily News:

WHEN THEY make the Hollywood movie about global press baron Rupert Murdoch - and they will - it will start just like "Citizen Kane," the 1941 classic about the ruthless rise and political influence-peddling of thinly disguised-as-fiction newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst.

But it will likely end with all the drama of the Watergate thriller "All the President's Men," a sordid but irresistible tale of illegal bugging, bribery, furtive parking-garage meetings - and a powerful leader toppled by his own hubris.

And that was before yesterday's short interlude of "The Benny Hill Show" - minus only the zany music - when a self-proclaimed comedian interrupted Murdoch's much-anticipated testimony before Britain's Parliament with an attempted shaving-cream pie to his face.

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, good op-ed on tabloids in today's New York Times. I like to think the Daily News embodies the very best of this tradition, without the Murdochian (or U.S. supermarket tabloid) sleaze:

The tabloids may test the limits of the ethically or legally acceptable, but they are often doing so in the service of a popular desire to see behind the facade of public life. They rely on the appeal (a very human one) of seeing elements of our societies that are often shamefully hidden away from view. 

The tabloids are the newspapers most dutifully dedicated to ideas of exposure, and are willing to take risks in the service of that goal. It may be the case that much of what they expose is perhaps of little social import, but this is more a matter of taste, and the tabloids certainly never claimed to be tasteful.  Certainly the fact that the American tabloids first broke important news stories, like the extramarital affair of John Edwards, the former United States senator and Democratic vice-presidential nominee, suggests that they are not merely peddling insignificant gossip.

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