The Murdochs love nothing more than a tabloid war. As we reported last week, their arch rival in New York, the Daily News, has accused the Murdoch-owned New York Post (“Headless Body in Topless bar”/”Your readers are our shoplifters”) of a “dump-and-pump” circulation rort. This is a scheme where the Post is alleged to be dumping 50,000 free copies every day around New York in what the Daily News calls a “frantic, desperate effort” to boost circulation through bulk sales.

Now the empire is fighting back. In a pithy interview with The New Yorker, Lachlan Murdoch refutes the allegations, saying “I might even read the Daily News if I were stuck in a white padded cell.” Sitting alongside the Murdoch scion for the interview was the Post’s editor Col Allan, who laughed approvingly at his young boss’s comment: “Yes, very good.”

On the Daily News allegations, Allen says he’s sick of the “hypocrisy of these people,” claiming “they’re still shoving 50 papers a day in bulk into the prisons of the mentally insane on Wards Island” Adds Col Pot: “I mean, give me a break.” Read more here.

Meanwhile, the subject of Murdoch is also top of mind over at New York magazine, where they’re running with a long profile of Rupert’s relationship with the Big Apple. You get the flavour of the piece from its first par:

“The Murdoch-isation of America has never felt so irreversible. At any given moment, according to Business Week, one in every five households is tuned into a show produced or delivered by News Corp.; meanwhile, Fox News is crushing CNN, the Weekly Standard is running the Bush administration, and three of the top six books now on the New York Times’ best-seller list were published by Regan Books. And in perhaps the most unmistakable sign yet that New York’s preeminent right-wing robber baron has become an entrenched member of the city’s Establishment, Rupert Murdoch recently purchased the late Laurance Rockefeller’s Fifth Avenue triplex for $44 million. In cash.”

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW