"No respectable fish would be wrapped in a Murdoch newspaper."Mike Royko, who quit his job at the Chicago Sun-Times and took his column across the street to the "enemy" Chicago Tribune one day after Rupert Murdoch took over the Sun-Times.
-- Mike Royko
That was in 1983.
The great Roger Ebert recounts what happened next:
... Mike Royko called Rupert Murdoch The Alien. He landed on the Chicago Sun-Times like a bug-eyed monster from outer space and extruded poisonous slime. I was an eyewitness.Under the leadership of publisher James Hoge, the paper had won six Pulitzers and should have won another one (for the ingenious idea of opening a bar named the Mirage and baiting it to attract the flies of Chicago corruption). Hoge had just overseen a redesign of the paper that made it then (and in my opinion still) the most elegant tabloid I had ever seen.The Sun-Times was poised on the edge of something great. The Chicago Tribune remained tethered to its hidebound past. Morale was high.After the closing of the Chicago Daily News in 1978, Royko, the greatest Chicago columnist, had taken up residence in a corner office of the Sun-Times where he wrote his superlative daily column and smoked all the Pall Malls he wanted to. This golden age lasted until 1983. The paper was owned by Marshall Field V and his brother Ted Field. Ted wanted to cash in. Marshall couldn't or didn't choose to buy him out. Murdoch was known to be a bidder. Royko was involved in negotiations with a group of local investors assembled by Jim Hoge to buy the paper. Marshall Field, who owned half the paper, said he was willing to sell to that group, but Murdoch offered $10 million more than Hoge could raise, and Marshall's brother, the movie producer Ted Field, insisted they take it....
While Royko eventually snuck out to that great barbecue and softball stein-hoist in the sky in 1997, Murdoch continues to infest the planet with his multimedia fascism and his loyal army of
goons and well-poisoners.
From the redoubtable Charles P. Pierce:
Were he alive today, I wonder what Royko's escape route from the clutches of VoldemurdI am not comforted by the outburst of genuine Third Wave banality slung around there by chairman Genachowski, especially when I realized that Murdoch is just a short step off stage, salivating at the prospect of gnawing what meat is left off the bones of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, two once-great newspapers currently dead in the fields because that same golden new age of wealth creation resulted in almost three decades in which American newspapers came to be owned by avaricious, bean-counting morons. Murdoch wants both papers, and the only thing keeping this horror at bay are those "outdated prohibitions" that prevent him from owning newspapers and radio and television stations in the same market. Media writer Craig Aaron has been all over this.There is simply no reason for any country anywhere in the world ever to do favors for Rupert Murdoch ever again. His British operation has been exposed engaging in outright criminality. (And anyone who thinks that criminality stopped in the UK is fooling themselves.) His television network in the United States has turned to outright buffoonery and is starting to stagger in the ratings. He is the Bhopal in any media ecosystem in which he is allowed to flourish. There never has been a better time to break what power he has left.Instead, it appears that we are going to streamline ourselves right into enhancing his power in minor markets like Chicago and Los Angeles. It appears to me that this ought to be of some concern to an administration on which Mr. Murdoch has painted a bulls-eye since January of 2009. Vengeance is not always a bad thing.
would look like this time?