So nice to see that Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch has found a place to rest his head.
Since Wendi got the triplex on Fifth Avenue as part of the divorce, Rupert has not exactly been facing homelessness, but still. . . He has landed a rather special spot: the top four floors (take that, Wendi!) at One Madison. (For those planning to drop by, the entrance will be on E 22nd, between Bway and Park.) That’s a lot of stairs for a guy his age, but apparently it’s worth it to be able to say you’ve got a quadriplex.
According to the Times, he paid more than $57 million for the new condo. Ah, to think of the money to be made in mass media!
Wikipedia: The building under construction in September 2008; the Met Life Tower is in on the left
By Christopher B. Daly
Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch is not finished trying to acquire more news outlets, despite his unsavory legal problems.
His latest target is the L.A. Times, the paper that the conservative Otis and Chandler families used to spearhead the phenomenal growth of LA (and, not incidentally, their family own’s fortunes). A story in today’s NYTimes provides an update.
Here’s the situation: Like most big newspapers, the LATimes is in financial trouble, so its owner (the Tribune Co.) wants to sell it. One of the few buyers of newspapers is Rupert Murdoch.
Here’s the problem: Murdoch already owns two television station in Los Angeles, KTTV and KCOP. Like all holders of broadcast licenses in the United States, the two stations are subject to regulation by the Federal Communications Commission. Decades ago, the FCC idealistically promulgated rules that limit the ownership of tv and radio stations and that limit the “cross-ownership” of broadcast entities and newspapers in the same market. The idealistic impulse was to try to keep ownership diverse and prevent anyone from monopolizing the market for news and opinions in a given part of the country.
Here’s the wrinkle: Murdoch runs his News Corp. by basically using his many profitable broadcasting properties (starting with Fox TV) to subsidize his many money-losing newspapers (starting with the New York Post). His next step is to divide his company in two: a broadcasting division and a print division. If he pulls that off, he may be able to skirt the FCC rules.
Or clever but mean?
You be the judge of this satirical screenplay in today’s NYTimes magazine that imagines the Murdochs going to visit a family therapist.
It’s by Etan Cohen, (not Ethan Coen — one of “the Coen brothers”). ETAN is a screenwriterwho got where he is by the traditional route — go to Harvard, join the Lampoon, sit around and think up funny premises. Someone’s got to do it.
By Chris Daly
Here’s a story that nicely illustrates the limits of the First Amendment. Many people wrongly think that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech (and of “the press”) in all settings, all the time. Not so.
The First Amendment is written so that it prevents the government from censoring speech before it can reach its intended audience. The First Amendment says nothing about private parties, like Fox or News Corp. Private parties are free to censor their employees, and they are not shy about doing so.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that News Corp. would choose to censor Alec Baldwin. He has no recourse against News Corp. under the First Amendment, because there was no government action involved. His best revenge is to shout about it to every other news outlet he can find.
So, a hat tip to the NYTimes‘ Brian Stelter for giving this story some attention.
(At the same time, the whole episode implicitly makes the case for having diversity in the news media, so that even Rupert Murdoch cannot control absolutely everything.)