A few days ago ProPublica ran a story by Richard Tofel on the Bancroft Family’s recent reaction to the Murdoch scandal that was co-published with The Guardian.
A number of key members of the family which controlled The Wall Street Journal say they would not have agreed to sell the prestigious daily to Rupert Murdoch if they had been aware of News International’s conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal. MORE
The Bancroft family should have thought of that before they let the dollar signs blind their eyes to the truth of Murdoch’s intentions to turn the WSJ into another political mouthpiece for right-wing politics. Like they didn’t know who Rupert Murdoch was in August of 2007?
Frankly I can’t think of a better mascot for a rag that is the journalistic flagship for Wall Street than Rupert Murdoch. He is a mirror image of the corruption and greed of Wall Street and its wealthy investors.
In August of 2007 Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp sealed a $5 billion agreement to purchase the publisher of The Wall Street Journal. The 76-year-old Mr. Murdoch, whose properties range from the Fox television network to the Times of London, negotiated hard to win the paper he long coveted. He has promised to invest more in Dow Jones journalism. On December 13, 2007, Murdoch took over the 119 year old Journal.
The Bancrofts worried about protecting the reputation of the Journal, the nation’s second-largest newspaper. They feared Mr. Murdoch would meddle in the paper’s editorial affairs and import the brand of sensationalist journalism found in some of his properties such as the New York Post. Some Bancrofts sought other buyers. [So why did they sell? Why for the money, of course. If you don’t want fleas then don’t lie with dogs like Murdoch.]
Ever since Murdoch first evinced interest in the Journal, much has been made of his apparent desire to revamp the paper in order to more directly challenge the New York Times. A Newsweek story on Murdoch reported that he sent Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. a letter declaring “Let the battle begin.”
On April 23, 2008, Journalism.org, Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence reported that in the first three months of Murdoch’s stewardship, the Journal’s front page has clearly shifted focus, de-emphasizing business coverage that was the franchise, while placing much more emphasis on domestic politics and devoting more attention to international issues. But it is not, at least not yet, as broad as the New York Times on the same days. Source Pew Research Center
I wonder if someday Arianna Huffington will regret selling out to AOL?