(Photo: Work Industries )
Apparently the family that controls The Wall Street Journal isn’t impressed by Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion offer to buy that venerable>"/>
(Photo: Work Industries)
Apparently the family that controls The Wall Street Journal isn’t impressed by Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion offer to buy that venerable paper. Rupe’s long been known to covet the WSJ, which—editorial pages aside—is one of the best papers in the land. Less well known is that from 1977-85 he owned the flagship of our chain, The Village Voice, and didn’t ruin it. Granted, he had also just purchased The New York Post, a better fit with his beliefs. But few old hands recall much interference at Cooper Square. He certainly didn’t rewrite Robert Christgau’s music reviews. Profit trumped ideology; or to put it better, profit was ideology. But that was also back in the days when it cost a buck (50 cents?) to pick up a copy of the Voice, before the Internet and MySpace (which Murdoch also happens to own). So I’ve got a suggestion for Mr. Murdoch—come to Seattle!
It makes perfect sense: For way less than $5B, Rupe could revitalize the Times or P.I. and get us out of this JOA nonsense. It would only help sharpen the distinction between the two papers, since neither is nasty or conservative enough to be truly entertaining. With the backing of his News Corporation, a Murdoch paper in Seattle (where he already owns TV station Q13) would have more sports coverage, more wacky columnists, more lurid crime stories, and—best of all—Page Six gossip full of celebs and pin-up girls. Just like the Post, only our local political targets are even easier for the roasting: Nickels, the do-nothing city council, and Gregoire. Rupe would eat them alive. (Side note: he could also buy back the Sonics and build his own stadium.)
Or—and this might be the best option of all—repurchase the Voice! Buy Seattle Weekly! Buy our whole damn alt-weekly chain of 17 papers from coast to coast! Murdoch wouldn’t have to invest all his fortune here, but the office could stand some new paint and a full-time barista. Then there’s the synergy! Like Bill O’Reilly (a Murdoch employee) debating SW Managing Editor Mike Seely—we’d put our money on Mike, particularly if things devolve into a wrestling match. He’s got an awesome turnbuckle leg-drop and is deceptively quick in the ring for a man of his size. And we’re crazy about The Simpsons (D’oh! Rupe owns that, too!), and the coming Simpsons movie, and there’s surely some in-house singing talent for American Idol (Rupe owns…you get the idea).
And it’s hard to see the downside to Murdoch bringing us his usual crew of drunken tabloid newshounds from New York, Fleet Street, and Australia. Instead of wine tastings on Friday afternoons, it’d be hard booze beginning daily at noon. Because it’s always five o’clock somewhere, mate.