THE BLOG
12/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Murdoch the Hypocrite

As reported by Charles Cooper on CNET.com, the wily old media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, in a recent lecture sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation said that with newspapers cutting back, and predictions of even worse times ahead, "the print media may still have a bright future, if it can shake free of reporters and editors who he said have forfeited the trust and loyalty of their readers."

Murdoch, a scion of the established media opined:

My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the Internet is this: It's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers.

The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly -- and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception.

In other words, Murdoch is saying that editors aren't pandering to their "customers" enough; aren't giving them what they want like his newspapers, such as the smarmy NY Post are. The fact that he refers to his readers as customers reveals that he believes he's in the advertising delivery business, not the legitimate news business.

Murdoch is such a hypocrite. He's apparently blaming "complacent" and "contemptuous" newspaper reporters and editors for the decline of newspaper circulation and advertising revenue because of readers switching to the Internet. That's like blaming horses for the decline in the sale of buggy whips because of the invention of the automobile.

And what was Murdoch's response to the decline in newspaper circulation? It was to journalistically whore up a once-decent newspaper, the NY Post. He's blaming "complacent" and "contemptuous" editors for newspaper declines in circulation and revenue, yet his gossip rag, the NY Post, is losing over $40 million a year as a vanity publishing venture because respectable, big-spending advertisers won't touch its noxious content with a ten-foot pole. The Post's editors are not contemptuous of their readers, they give them what they want -- trash -- and it costs Murdoch millions.