For goodness’s sake, cheer up. Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones represents unqualified good news.
Consider just two points:
1. If Murdoch’s bid succeeds, his ownership would be good for the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, which Larry Kudlow rightly calls “the greatest conservative platform in the world.”
In recent years, the Journal has suffered declining cirulation and unimpressive advertising revenues—and this pressure on the newspaper as a whole would sooner or later have had an effect on the editorial pages. Murdoch would infuse the newspaper with capital—and make it newly competitive. Whereas most other newspapers in the United States lost circulation last year, after all, Murdoch’s property, The New York Post, gained circulation.
The man knows newspapers. Actually, as anyone who has ever dealt with him can attest, the man loves newspapers.
2. Murdoch’s bid is bad for the New York Times.
For decades, the Times has had a particular role, the newspaper of record, all to itself. That was tolerable, more or less, until about a decade ago, when the Times moved so hard to the left that not only its editorials but nearly all its major news stories became obviously, and poisonously, political. There are exceptions—the great John Burns, for example, who is certainly the best and fairest foreign reporter in the country. But you know what I mean—as does every reader of this happy Corner.
Now the Times is in trouble. Its stock is sagging, and at the most recent shareholders’ meeting a large block of investors, including institutional investors—very serious people, in other words—abstained from voting the company’s board of directors back into office. If anyone is ever going to challenge the Times’s monopolistic hold over elite opinion—on serving as the newspaper of record—the moment is now.
Murdoch has seized the moment.
Good for the Journal, bad for the Times. Can you possibly need any other reasons to pop a cork?