Saturday 22 October 2011

Conrad Black on Rupert Murdoch's sensitive side

You would think newspaper proprietors were pretty thick skinned about their own coverage in the press given the way their own titles dish out criticism, but a piece by former Telegraph owner Conrad Black on Huffington Post about Rupert Murdoch shows otherwise.

First Black complains about his coverage in the Murdoch press: "I was naturally disappointed when, as my own legal problems arose eight years ago, his vast media organization swung into vitriolic defamatory mode, endlessly accusing me of crimes years before any were alleged.

"When revelations of his own sleazy behavior came to light in the hacking scandals in England, it also came out, confirming what I had heard from my own sources, and which I would have known from my knowledge of how his company is run, that Murdoch had personally intervened to make reporting on my problems nastier (despite having assured me in writing that he would try to prevent excesses)."

Then Black reveals how Murdoch complained about the Telegraph: "In earlier times, whenever there had been anything even slightly unfavorable about him in any of our publications, he had called me to object, or had his British managing director call my co-chief executive at the Telegraph. Even as he was stoking up the media lynch mob against me, he told his latest biographer, Michael Wolff, as he told others, of his high regard for me as a publisher, as if his febrile libels and fabrications were the coincidental, spontaneous antics of autonomous underlings."

It seems, as Corporal Jones would say, that newspaper proprietors "don't like it up 'em!".

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