Bancrofts need to come to table with impolite questions
Slate.com media columnist Jack Shafer writes Friday that the Bancroft family needs to be prepared to ask News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch some nasty questions when they meet with him to discuss selling Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, for a proposed $5 billion.
Shafer wrote, “The rotten old bastard intends to charm them all with his lies, as he has his previous marks. To cancel his spell, I suggest that every Bancroft purchase a copy of Marilyn Nissenson’s new book, The Lady Upstairs: Dorothy Schiff and the New York Post, and read the section about how Murdoch acquired Schiff’s newspaper.
“Even though the liberal Schiff knew all about conservative Murdoch’s reputation for publishing sordid tabloids, she accepted his $31 million cash offer for her paper in 1976. When the deal was done, Nissenson reports, the two released a joint statement in which Schiff said, ‘Rupert Murdoch is a man with a strong commitment to the spirit of independent, progressive journalism. I am confident he will carry on vigorously in the tradition I value so deeply.’ Murdoch promised that the Post would remain a ‘serious newspaper’ and the next day told the New York Times that ‘the political policies [of the Post] will stay unchanged.’
“Serious newspaper? Political policies unchanged? Rupert lied, and Schiff either bought his lies or talked herself into believing him because a change in the tax laws would have screwed her out of millions had she had waited until 1977 to sell the paper to somebody with more integrity.”
Read more here.