The scandal enveloping Rupert Murdoch would have delighted Mike Royko


The late Mike Royko, for all his faults, was one of the best newspaper columnists in American history.

Wryly lampooning the movers and shakers in business and politics was Royko’s stock-in-trade. There can be doubt that he would have especially enjoyed turning his proverbial guns on the now-scandal-plagued media mogul Rupert Murdoch, for whom Royko had a special disdain.

Roger Ebert RECALLS Royko’s reaction to Murdoch’s takeover of the Chicago Sun-Times — and adds these jabs of his own at the man to whom Royko referred as “The Alien.”:

[Murdoch] landed on the Chicago Sun-Times like a bug-eyed monster from outer space and extruded poisonous slime. I was an eyewitness.

Under the leadership of publisher James Hoge, the paper had won six Pulitzers and should have won another one (for the ingenious idea of opening a bar named the Mirage and baiting it to attract the flies of Chicago corruption). Hoge had just overseen a redesign of the paper that made it then (and in my opinion still) the most elegant tabloid I had ever seen.

The Sun-Times was poised on the edge of something great.


On the first day of Murdoch’s ownership, he walked into the newsroom and we all gathered around and he recited the usual blather and rolled up his shirtsleeves and started to lay out a new front page. Well, he was a real newspaperman, give him that. He threw out every meticulous detail of the beautiful design, ordered up big, garish headlines, and gave big play to a story about a North Shore rabbi accused of holding a sex slave…The Sun-Times, which had been placing above the Tribune in lists of the 10 best U.S. newspapers, never took that great step it was poised for.


It is therefore with a great deal of satisfaction that I observe the Alien’s current troubles. This man has done more to harm journalism in America and Britain than any other person. I cannot speak for Australia. In the U.S., where his newspaper holdings are limited to the New York Post and the (actually good) Wall Street Journal, his damage has been done with Fox News, the first deliberately and unapologetically biased and partisan network in American history.



  1. Murdoch’s news network, Fox, was the only one not to carry the story when it was first broken about the unethical manner of “news” gathering his organization was doing as acceptable investagating reporting. Fox was silent that Sunday on the topic.

    Maybe this will end the lengend Fox News Network has projected that they are the only one doing stories other networks refuse because only Fox isn’t being controlled by the Democrats.

    I stopped reading the Wall Street Journal when Murdoch’s influence of politics entered into what had been a respectable paper. –

  2. So Carol I take it you dont read, or watch, anything that is backed by George Soros?

  3. Ah, George Soros — the bugaboo of wingnuts everywhere.

    To hear them tell it, George Soros is the leader of the evil conspiracy to sap us of our precious bodily fluids.

  4. expdoc

    Kind of like the Koch boys, eh Mr. C. That’s a great hypocritical start to a steamy July week.

  5. doc: Your comment above makes no sense whatever.

    By the way, your silence in the wake of the acquittals in the Kenneth Gladney case is duly noted:


  6. Mike Carroll

    Please spare me the hypocrisy of liberals bemoaning a so called lack of Journalistic ethics (now there is an oxymoron) within the Murdoch empire.
    In the meantime, I’ll keep my WSJ and Pat and his fellow travelers can continue to wallow in the increasing mediocrity of the NYT.

  7. expdoc


    2 points-
    1) If you don’t see hypocrisy in your brushing off comments about George Soros as lunacy on the same blog where the Koch brothers have been deemed to be puppetmasters of the right then you are demented.

    2) I don’t know anything about Kenneth Gladney and the St. Louis case. Never even heard of him or it. Explain why I should comment on it?

  8. doc: In your comment No. 7, you write:

    “I don’t know anything about Kenneth Gladney and the St. Louis case. Never even heard of him or it. Explain why I should comment on it?”

    But on July 6 of last year, you wrote this:

    “After a health care town hall meeting in August [2009] Kenneth Gladney was beaten, kicked and called racist names by Rep. Russ Carnahan’s SEIU supporters. Gladney was hospitallized after this unprovoked attack in South St. Louis County.”

    You also mentioned the Gladney case in another comment in that same thread:

    Check it out here:


  9. expdoc

    Thanks for the reference.

    Now for my comment.

    Sounds like justice was done. Thank God for our judicial system.

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