Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch made no bones about his desire to disrupt The New York Times' business. Now he's making the rivalry personal. In a weekend WSJ story, media writer Michael Wolff
picks out a petty swipe at Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger: in an article
about women in healthy countries preferring more feminine men, the bottom
half of Sulzberger's face is used in an illustration. The five other
images in the illustration are credited to Getty Images--that one New
York Times credit may have been the tip-off. "Just imagine," writes
Wolff, "what Young Arthur felt this morning when he saw the lower
quadrant of his face in the
Journal representing the archetypal girly-man."
The New York Times have a similar record of provocation? It's not
clear. A quick skim through their Murdoch coverage reveals a story
on the Journal's "attempt to eat into The Times's mass-market audience
and lure away some of its luxury advertisers," but that's hardly mean-spirited. The nearest match may come in David Carr
slight mockery of the media mogul when reporting on Murdoch's
acquisition of MySpace in 2005--well before this "very nasty
newspaper war" began. Carr refers to Murdoch as MySpace's "rich, doting relative named Rupert," and dubs
him the "dad at the teenagers' party, working hard to fit in." In a more recent article from the past summer, Carr
suggests Murdoch's bold move towards a pay wall may not be greeted by the "hearty applause" he was hoping for, but rather by "crickets chirping."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.