How will the WallStreet Journal cover a new book about Murdoch's kowtowing to the Chinese?

Media criticism.
Jan. 31 2008 6:17 PM

A Test for the Murdoch Street Journal

How will it cover a new book alleging Rupert Murdoch's kowtowing to the Chinese?

Rupert's Adventures in China.

Today's Financial Times reports a bit of news about a forthcoming book, Rupert's Adventures in China, that Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal won't be able to ignore. Or will it?

According the Financial Times, former News Corp Vice President Bruce Dover, who handled Chinese affairs for the company, alleges in the book that Murdoch wrote a personal letter to Chinese leaders in 1997 to apologize for any "misunderstanding" caused by a speech he'd given four years earlier about how satellite television could topple totalitarian governments.

The FT continues:

The letter assuring Jiang Zemin, then Chinese president, and then-premier Li Peng that Mr Murdoch was "a good friend of China" highlights the lengths the News Corp chairman has gone to to gain entry to the country's vast but tightly controlled media market. …

Mr Dover says that in 1997, Mr Murdoch wrote to Mr Li and Mr Jiang saying he was "alarmed" to hear his comments on technology's liberating effect had been interpreted as referring to China.

"This was never the case. I apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused. I remain firmly committed to China and the development of the Chinese economy," Mr Dover quotes Mr Murdoch as writing.

Murdoch has wanted to have it both ways about the nature of his "relationship" with the Chinese. In 1994, he confessed to an interviewer that he had evicted the BBC World Service from his Asian satellite TV system in order to placate the angry Chinese, who hated its coverage. Last year, Murdoch told the FTin a Page One story that he gave the BBC the boot for financial reasons.

How will the Journal editors handle this one?

******

I predict they'll play the story very straight. At least I hope they do. Send your prediction to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum, in a future article, or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Behold
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 1 2014 12:21 PM How One Entrepreneur Is Transforming Blood Testing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 11:59 AM Ask a Homo: A Lesbian PDA FAQ
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 12:26 PM Where Do I Start With Leonard Cohen?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM Watch a Crowd Go Wild When Steve Jobs Moves a Laptop in This 1999 Demonstration of WiFi
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.