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Reunderstanding Rupert Murdoch

What You Should Have Read, Dec. 2, 2008

Published on .

Reunderstanding Rupert Murdoch

Slate's press critic Jack Shafer thinks Michael Wolff's new biography, "The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch", accepts the mogul on his own sordid terms. Wolff, who writes about media, politics, and power for Vanity Fair, cultivates a cynical and dark image for himself, so Murdoch made a logical bet when he wagered that their shared blackheartedness would produce a flattering biography. But Murdoch bet wrong. By accepting Murdoch on his own terms, Wolff tilts his focus toward the sympathetic, but it's the sort of sympathy John Milton rewards Satan with in "Paradise Lost". Murdoch, like Satan, is simply the most interesting character in the larger story and therefore the most deserving of our understanding.
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