The grotesque amount of condescension from the elite media concerning the purchase of Dow Jones, which includes The Wall Street Journal, by "media mogul" Rupert Murdoch is astounding.
In a nostalgic essay for The Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote about the good old days when he worked for the Journal and expense accounts were as liberal as some of the reporting. Ignatius claims-without proof-"that as the company's economic fortunes declined, so did some of its journalism" and that "the Journal's editorial page increasingly did its own reporting, with equal portions of journalistic hustle and ideological spin, and it often overshadowed the news side," which he suspects "helped undermine the franchise."
Never mind that the editorial page editor during the period Ignatius regards as flawed-the late Robert Bartley-won a Pulitzer Prize. Ignatius ignores the often vitriolic left-wing editorials and columns in The New York Times, a newspaper that has recently suffered from a decline in circulation-even in its core market.
Most of the elite media were of one mind (surprise!) when it came to Murdoch's acquisition of the Journal. NBC's Andrea Mitchell called him "a controversial press lord" and declared Murdoch "deeply conservative," which liberals intend as a slur only slightly less insulting than the label "deeply religious."
Before Fox News Channel was born, I met with several network news presidents, telling them that someone was going to go after a demographic that felt shut out by the mainstream media. These people, I said, go to church, fly the flag, respect the nation's traditions and institutions, and hate the liberal media. They feel censored, or stereotyped, by the media elites. I told them the person who recognizes that demographic and gives them a voice would reap a huge reward.
That person is Rupert Murdoch. Some of the offensive (to me) tabloid stuff notwithstanding, he just may be the media's savior. The elites hate him, but growing numbers of people are buying his products.
© 2007 Tribune Media Services, Inc.