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Vanity and Rupert

Rupert Murdoch opens up to Vanity Fair’s Michael Wolff as background for an upcoming biography. The article provides great insight to the man and, by proxy, the companies he runs.

But his odd lack of seductiveness or felicitousness—contributing to his aura of villainy—became after a while alluring in itself. There’s no spin, because he really can’t explain himself. Rather, what you see is what you get. He’s transparent. The nature of the beast is entirely evident.

There is at News Corp. never a discussion of Murdoch’s exit. It is referred to only as “in 30 or 40 years,” when he is gone—which may have started as an amusing locution, but is now a practiced and even official one. His existential predicament is, in other words, his own.

The Guardian also has a good piece on the Battle Royale that is brewing between the new WSJ and the New York Times, and why it may no longer matter.

Murdoch fell into conversation with Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the Journal’s arch-rival, the New York Times. By buying the Journal, Murdoch had parked his tanks directly on the NYT’s lawn. What, people wondered, would the two make of each other?