One day--and it will be soon, now, we think--Jack Shafer will be able to move on from carping about Rupert Murdoch and get back to doing what he loves. Whatever that was. Was it worrying at the state of media consolidation? Because today, he's got a long joke going on the standard boilerplate disclosure statement the Wall Street Journal will have to run if News Corp. acquires the paper. We'll refrain from running the whole thing here--but trust us, Shafer finds it hilarious.
Of course, one thing we've been asking since the Rupert/Dow Jones news began and the chorale of Murdoch critics begun their repertory is: "Why Murdoch? And why now?" Murdoch's been piling up the media portfolio for some time now--why only become shrill with concern when it's the Wall Street Journal that's on the block? And frankly, as large and many-tentacled as News Corp. is, when it comes to media consolidation, shouldn't an equal measure of concern be tossed Time Warner's way? Or Disney? Or Viacom? Vivendi?
Still, Shafer (who writes for Slate, which used to be affiliated with this little storefront outfit up in the Pacific Northwest called Microsoft before being acquired by this little up-and-coming indie media concern called the Washington Post Company, which owns the Washington Post, the Herald, the Express, the Gazette chain of Maryland hyperlocals, Greater Washington Publishing, Newsweek, Frommer's, the Post-Newsweek family of television broadcast stations (operating in eight cities), CableOne in Phoenix, Kaplan Educational Services, and Classified Ventures, LLC (which is jointly co-owned by Belo, McClatchy, Tribune and Gannett)) shows signs of having finally come through all of the Kubler-Ross "Stages of Grief"--as evidenced in his parting shot:
"Murdoch's Wall Street Journal will fail in the marketplace because readers of financial journalism are a bright, skeptical lot who will refuse to accept his interests, prejudices, and standards as their own. The upside of the Murdoch acquisition--which now looks likely--is that his tenure will serve to revitalize American financial journalism as Journal readers decamp in search of a credible replacement."
Of course it will, Jack...of course it will. And then none of the general concerns raised by Murdoch's Dow Jones bid will ever rear their heads again.
Composing Murdoch's Disclosure [Slate]
[Image of Rupert Murdoch (who we're guessing is the monster from the upcoming J.J. Abrams "Cloverfield" movie!), created by Philip Bump.]
More:Eat The Press
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