Apr 20, 2012

Rupert’s deputy … Leveson latest … NY Times’ decline …

It's always a thrill to witness those moments when true history is made and, as David Salter writes today, the mantle of News Limited's number one brown-noser has passed from Terry McCrann to Geoff Elliot.

His master's voice: thoughts of Rupert’s deputy. It's always a thrill to witness those moments when true history is made. This morning, the mantle of Undisputed Heavyweight Brown-Nose Champion of News Limited passed from long-serving Murdoch business writer Terry McCrann to his young challenger, Geoff Elliott. Elliott, the business editor of The Australian, claimed the title in a unanimous points decision with today’s fawning piece on his boss, News Corp No.2 Chase Carey, which ran as the lead feature in The Deal, the monthly insert mag edited by Lyndall Crisp. It seems Elliott was quite impressed with this $30 million-per-year New Yorker with the silly twirled ends on his handlebar moustache. "His gaze is firm. There is no hesitation," drooled The Oz business hack and former Washington correspondent. Carey is "direct and clear-minded" and has been an "outstanding success" with "undisputed talent as an executive". He's "likable and apparently without fear". Had enough? There’s more. Throughout his career Carey has shown "an ability to remain unflappable and negotiate without histrionics". He "marries steeliness with a laid-back manner" while he "disarms and charms". We get the idea, Geoff. Yet after three solid pages of this hem-kissing twaddle we still don’t have any useful handle on what Murdoch’s deputy chairman, chief operating officer and the president of News Corporation is really like. Less than 20% of the feature is direct quotes from Carey -- a measure of how little he had to say (or how little of what he said was worth reporting). The first quote is "How are you going?". Now there’s a scoop. None of this stopped Elliott bowling up long hops to his boss in a transparent attempt to help him get News off the hook from its current difficulties. And if Carey had trouble actually forming the right words, Elliott was there to put them in his mouth. "What Carey is alluding to," he writes, is that "sorting out the problems in Britain is critical to stemming a reputational contagion that can take hold even with no basis in fact." No basis? But anyone still troubled by the News of The World phone-hacking outrages would have noted Carey’s assurance that "from a regulatory perspective we’re going to put things right". Not from a moral perspective, mind, or from the perspective of changing the ethical culture within News, but just from a "regulatory" perspective. What a comfort to us all. -- David Salter News' creative excellence. There were a number of worth winners in the strictly internal 2012 News Limited Creative Excellence Awards.

Crikey's favourite was the winner for "best multi-platform execution" taken out by Anna Bandini, Nathan Lister and Grant Gatehouse from the Gold Coast Bulletin for their "Bikini Parade" triumph. For the uninitiated, the 2011 flesh fest involved 357 women walking 1.6 kilometers across the Glitter Strip's main beach in the "world's largest bikini parade". Great work guys. A lesson in modern journalism. It takes just day for a tweet with embarrassingly ignorant spelling ...

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3 thoughts on “Rupert’s deputy … Leveson latest … NY Times’ decline …

  1. Pete from Sydney

    the ue usual 5 News Corp stories, where would you be without them? Nice dig on the Creative awards too…starting to smack a little of a vendetta

  2. Coaltopia

    The 2005 “Working the Refs” article linked off the Poynter article was quite interesting. Thanks.

  3. AR

    Stilgh – you are assuming that she meant scented water – they might have been plain high enema games…

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