Rupert Murdoch Still Frightening the Times

Scary stuff indeed: "Rupert Murdoch is moving to tighten his already-imposing grip on American news media..."

Rupert Murdoch, head of the News Corporation, which owns Fox News, is seen as a frightening conservative mogul by much of the liberal media, and the opening lines of Wednesday's A1 story by Richard Perez-Pena and Tim Arango, "Murdoch Moving To Buy Newsday For $580 Million," played into that stereotype. How's this for an ominous-sounding lead?

Rupert Murdoch is moving to tighten his already-imposing grip on American news media, striking a tentative deal to buy his third New York-based paper, Newsday, and getting his first chance to appoint the top editor of The Wall Street Journal, after the resignation of the editor on Tuesday.

His $580 million bid for Newsday and his urgency in remaking The Journal worry his competitors and cause angst in many newsrooms, including his own. And both moves are vintage Rupert Murdoch, a man who operates his sprawling News Corporation like an old-style media mogul, making big bets on old and new media - bankrolling the new Fox Business Network, aggressively pursuing a deal for Yahoo, and buying Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Journal, for far more than analysts thought it was worth. And that was just in the last year.

Stephen Labaton has more hostile reaction in "Murdoch Taking On F.C.C. Media Rule" in the Business section, on Murdoch's efforts to acquire a waiver to enable him to purchase the Long Island newspaper Newsday and thus become the owner of three newspapers and two TV stations in the New York City media market.

Labaton got comments bolstering the anti-waiver position from liberal Sen. Brian Dorgan, and two liberal groups, the Media Access Project, described only as "an advocacy organization committed to diversity of media voices," and Consumers Union. Both MAP and CU have received funding from leftist billionaire George Soros through his Open Society Institute. Neither the News Corp. nor FCC Chairman Kevin Martin would comment for Labaton, and he quoted no one else in support of Murdoch's position - nor did Labaton label any of his three anti-Murdoch sources as liberal.

A previous hit piece from the Times on Murdoch from June 2007 argued:

His vast media holdings give him a gamut of tools - not just campaign contributions, but also jobs for former government officials and media exposure that promotes allies while attacking adversaries, sometimes viciously...