The phrase ”Rupert Murdoch” is a generally accepted media synonym for ”proprietorial interference”. Which can come in all shapes and sizes of course.

Some rail against Murdoch’s tendency to use his media outlets to prosecute political or commercial agendas. His recidivism in this respect caused anxiety when it was announced that News had designs on The Wall Street Journal, surely a publication too stately, too significant to be bound by the proprietorial whim of Murdoch?

”We appreciate the sensitivities,” Murdoch said, attempting to calm fears at Dow Jones,  ”We are the sort of people with the same traditions that I think would prove great guardians for this paper.” Which of course everyone took with a few billion grains of salt and no diminishment in the general level of anxious hysteria.

Fair enough too, for now Rupert has fleshed out the lie. Yes he does interfere, yes he does use his vast empire to advance specific causes and agendas. ”We can change the way the public thinks,” he said overnight, announcing his plan to use the vast footprint of News Corporation to bring global warming to heel.

Which is reason enough for the folk at The Wall Street Journal to be very worried indeed.