Bailey on the WSJ & Murdoch

Today's column by Steve Bailey, Just say no to Rupert Murdoch , is a reminder how fortunate Boston is to have him on the the business section front twice a week. As some may recall, there were rumors that he would leave in the latest round of buyouts. Thankfully, they turned out to be false.

Today, Bailey does not go after Murdoch so much, as he does the Bancroft family (which has New England ties, by the way) for even considering selling the WSJ to Murdoch.

"Now Murdoch, at 76, wants to buy what he has not been able to build in a lifetime. His $5 billion bid is a rich premium for Dow Jones & Co., owner of the Journal, which has made more than its share of management missteps over the years. But the Bancrofts need to ask themselves: Do they really want to be the generation that sells the Journal to a man whose contribution to American journalism is the New York Post and Fox News? Because that is who they will forever be. And they will be poorer, not richer, for it.


The Bancrofts are about to make a pact with the devil. Over the past couple of days The New York Times has spelled out in detail how Murdoch uses his media reach to promote his vast business interests, whether in Washington or in China. Fat book contracts for congressmen. Another one for Deng Xiaoping's daughter, and a sensitivity to the Beijing government that has made him "the Chinese leadership's favorite media baron," as the Times put it.


The Bancrofts of Boston still have time to do something really unusual, even heroic, by just telling Rupert no.

Indeed, the Bancrofts could do the world of journalism of big favor -- or at least spare it a huge indignity -- by simply hanging on to their newspaper and their legacy. But I am not optimistic.