12/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's Conservative Image Challenged By Soft Treatment Of Barack Obama

Big, bright pictures, including a two-page poster, show the president-elect in poses ranging from warm and fuzzy to downright heroic. Headlines blare "Top Dog," "One Cool Dude" and "Brink of History."

All this from a charter member of what conservatives deride as the biased liberal media, right? Not quite. This take on Barack Obama comes from The New York Post, the feisty, generally conservative tabloid that is, like the Fox News Channel, part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, the News Corporation.

So has Mr. Murdoch gone soft on liberals -- or perhaps just reacted pragmatically to Mr. Obama's sizable victory? The answer, according to people who have watched him operate at close range, is that Mr. Murdoch is a less predictable, less doctrinaire character than his critics imagine.

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