Rival newspapers are not calmly reporting the news that Rupert Murdoch has sealed the deal to buy The Wall Street Journal for a royal sum. The Washington Post front page headline today makes Rupert sound like he came in with tanks, not just cash: "Murdoch Seizes Wall St. Journal In $5 Billion Coup." Liberals must really see this tycoon as some sort of press-baron version of Pinochet.
In New York, competing papers made it sound more like Rupert won another prize, like he bought a new yacht. "Dow Jones Deal Gives Murdoch a Coveted Prize," wrote The New York Times on its front page. "Rupe takes the prize: Wall Street Journal owners selling out to peddler of Post" was a headline in the New York Daily News.
If you sense more than a little hauteur from the liberal media snobs, you're not wrong. Just as the left thinks "democracy" triumphs only when the Democrats win, they also think "journalism" is defined by "fighting for the people," that is by marching up the hill to get liberalism enacted. Any media outlet who's not trying to ape Bill Moyers is merely spreading corporate boilerplate and capitalist propaganda like....Dow manure.
The Times story today sniffed that the deal "also gives a larger voice in national affairs to an owner whose properties often mirror his own conservative politics." As if the liberals working under Pinch Sulzberger clutching his little stuffed moose aren't trying to "impose" liberal politics -- on the entire political apparatus. Anyone who doubts this, please reread Pinch's Abortion Should Be A Sacrament by Now graduation speech, the Schmaltz at New Paltz.
It ought to be fascinating to see if Murdoch will "impose" his views on the Journal's news pages, which would mean the long-standing schizophrenia between Robert Bartley supply-side conservatism on the editorial pages and Al Hunt tantrum-throwing "fight the neo-fascist nonsense" liberalism of the news pages might end.