In the wake of Warren Buffett’s
announcement that he’s giving away 85% of his fortune to charity, the
spending habits of the world’s wealthiest people are being put under
the microscope as never before.

But at least one prominent
billionaire has signalled he’s not getting on the charity bandwagon –
Rupert Murdoch says he intends to retain control of his company’s
assets rather than place them in some form of charitable fund, reports The Oz
today. “Our assets are not there for the money”, explains the News Corp
chief, “our assets are there to try and make a difference as a media

So how do Rupert Murdoch’s assets “make a difference” to the world? Here’s a selection from today:

  • Nikki ran my battery flat in our X-rated phone video. S-x-mad Nikki
    Graham took a starring role in a porn vid when she dragged her lover
    into a hotel bed. But knackered John Cook nicknamed the text-s-x maniac
    “nympho Nikki” because she tired him out with her constant cravings. – News of the World

  • Big Brother b-tch Grace has lashed out again – this time claiming Pete exaggerates his Tourette’s Syndrome when in the Diary Room. – The Sun

  • Naomi is all the “rage” on a diva’s day in court. Naomi
    Campbell sashayed into court in 4-inch spike heels and a scowl, wearing
    a black, sheath cocktail dress too tight to conceal a cellphone. Lucky
    for us. The raging supermodel and her retinue of handlers, lawyers and
    a humongous bodyguard parted the crowd at Manhattan Criminal Court
    while Naomi sailed through the metal detector as if floating on a
    runway. – The New York Post

  • If the idiots from Greenpeace stopped using whaling as a major
    fundraising vehicle there is a very good chance the Japanese would stop
    harpooning the dumb beasts. – Piers Akerman, Daily Telegraph
  • I don’t get it. Australia gets beaten with the last kick of its
    World Cup game against Italy – an outrageous penalty – and thousands of
    Australians roar with joy. Yes, I call them Australians, since most
    were born right here. Shouldn’t that mean something? But these cheerers
    actually see themselves more as Italians. Or, in the polite camouflage,
    “Italian-Australians”. – Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun

Meanwhile, the current edition of BRWexplores the growing Business of Giving with a list of the top 50 Australian givers in 2005. Greg Poche is the top giver – If you look at donations
as a percentage of wealth – at 4.3%. A noble
figure, but small in comparison with Buffett’s pledge to give away more
than three quarters of his fortune.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey