If Rupert Murdoch isn’t making headlines, he’s busy buying the media outlets that generate the headlines. His News Corp. holdings—from the New York Post, Fox News, and most recently The Wall Street Journal, to name just a few—are vast, and his power is unrivaled. So what makes a man like this tick? Michael Wolff gives us the definitive answer in The Man Who Owns the News.
With unprecedented access to Rupert Murdoch himself, and his associates and family, Wolff chronicles the astonishing growth of Murdoch’s $70 billion media kingdom. In intimate detail, he probes the Murdoch family dynasty, from the battles that have threatened to destroy it to the reconciliations that seem to only make it stronger. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews, he offers accounts of the Dow Jones takeover as well as plays for Yahoo! and Newsday as they’ve never been revealed before.
Written in the irresistible stye that only an award-winning columnist for Vanity Fair can deliver, The Man Who Owns the News offers an exclusive glimpse into a man who wields extraordinary power and influence in the media on a worldwide scale—and whose family is being groomed to carry his legacy into the future.
Do you know the famous misquote that goes something like: “A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head”?
Well, apparently, at some point young Rupert Murdoch was a huge fan of Lenin. The following quote is from Murdoch: Revised and Updated, page 38:
“He added an an extraordinary postscript, written in magenta ink, reaffirming his loyalty to Lenin. “Yesterday was the 29th anniversary of the Great Teacher. We stood to attention for one minute in front of THE BUST on the mantelpiece and drank several toasts-and then settled down to some good reading of adulatory Russian poetry.””
Picturing Rupert reading “adulatory Russian poetry” and owning a bust of Lenin brings a tear to my eye.
In my estimation, for every wonderful dream that I get about flying into space I get 5 to 10 horrifying dreams about nuclear war. Also I relatively frequently bump into Rupert Murdoch and Geraldo Rivera but never Matt Groening or Darren Aronofsky.
You see, ordinarily I have the most horrible memory for faces and names. Just terrible. It’s because my brain is a bit lazy. So I decided to work on that. I bought a book about remembering faces and names and started paying attention.
Something slightly surreal happened to me today. Rupert Murdoch said hello to me in an elevator. You see, I was reading Murdoch’s biography a while back and studied the pictures well enough to recognize him. So I guess he noticed the look of dumb recognition on my face and said “Hello”. I said “Hi”. Probably I’ve seen him many times before in the elevator – his office is a few floors above.
This is approximately how it went down:
Here’s the soundtrack.