Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rupert Murdoch's Dragon Lady & Media CENSORSHIP

" ... First they commission a major profile of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s young Chinese wife, then they spike the story. Could it be hazardous to upset Rupert down in Oz? ... "


By Stephen Glover
July 2, 2007

What Rupert doesn't want you to know about Wendi

For a man who has made a fortune out of articles about the private lives of others, Rupert Murdoch is remarkably coy when it comes to his own. He has most chivalrously extended this protection to his attractive Chinese-born third wife, Wendi Deng, both before and during their marriage.

At the beginning of May, the Australian Fairfax group spiked a very lengthy profile of Wendi written by the experienced foreign correspondent Eric Ellis, who had laboured over it for weeks. It had been commissioned by a magazine called Good Weekend, which accompanies both the Melbourne Age and its stablemate the Sydney Morning Herald.

Most Fairfax journalists were convinced that the profile had been dumped because, as of last October, Mr Murdoch's News Corp owns a 7.5 per cent stake in Fairfax. No amount of pleading could convince them otherwise. Evidently, the piece was not a paean of praise for Wendi, and contained, for example, some acerbic observations about her dynastic ambitions. Even her best friends do not deny that she is a tough cookie.

So it seemed that Mr Ellis's work would not be published. Now it emerges that the far-sighted editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, has bought the profile, presumably in the belief that it deserves a wider airing. And yet it has not so far appeared in the paper, and there are fears that it may never do so.

I'm told that Mr Rusbridger believes that the profile is rather one-sided. Come on! Since when did such considerations prevent the Guardian running a piece about someone it does not like? I very much hope that Mr Rusbridger is not frightened of offending Mr Murdoch. He surely does not fear that the press magnate will put News of the World reporters on his back. Come on, Alan! Publish and be damned!

By Stephen Glover

Rusbridger should publish and be damned

Last week I discussed a profile of Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch's attractive third wife, which was spiked by the Australian Fairfax group.

Perhaps we should not be too surprised, since Mr Murdoch's News Corp owns 7.5 per cent of Fairfax, and he has always displayed a chivalrous concern to protect Wendi's privacy.

What is more surprising is that The Guardian, which bought the profile after it was spiked by Fairfax, should have so far not published it. Alan Rusbridger, the paper's editor, is reported to consider it rather one-sided. That may be a judgment that should have been arrived at before the profile was bought. In any case, as I said last week, such considerations have not deterred The Guardian from running one-sided articles in the past.

Fortunately, we can now judge for ourselves since an Australian magazine called The Monthly has published the profile, which was written by Eric Ellis, a distinguished foreign correspondent. It can be read on-line by subscribers and should soon be available free. One-sided would not be my description. It is massively long – perhaps too long – and meticulously researched.

Mr Ellis has travelled to China, where Wendi was born Deng Wen Ge, and he has spoken with her school friends, He has been to America and talked to many former colleagues and friends. It is one of those articles that piles fact upon fact and generally withholds judgement – much more in the style of American, rather than British journalism. If you were feeling mean, and were searching around for an adjective to describe it, you might conceivably settle for "dull", but not "one-sided".

Mr Murdoch is 76, Wendi is 38. She is clever and ambitious. They have two young children. The profile justifies itself on the basis that she will seek to be a player when Murdoch dies, or grows senile. And yet we know very little about her – unless we read Mr Ellis's profile.

Why won't The Guardian publish it? I suggested light-heartedly last week that Mr Rusbridger might be alarmed by the thought of Mr Murdoch unleashing grubby reporters from The News of the World to turn him over by way of retaliation. I doubt that this can really be the reason since Mr Rusbridger has nothing to hide.

But why not publish? Perhaps Mr Rusbridger simply does not want to offend the most powerful media magnate in the world. That would be an ignoble response in the editor of a great liberal newspaper. All these doubts and worries would be dispelled if only Mr Rusbridger would publish and be damned.

New Century Magazine- Beijing

Murdoch's wife: censored profile to be published in China on Thursday


Two sides to every brain

After death threats, bomb blasts and courtroom dramas, a journalistic frenzy over a story about Rupert Murdoch's wife paled in significance


Spain - A Wendi, mejor ni tocarla (Wendi, Better Not to Touch Her!)

Prensa y Poder - El Murdoch Imperio - Press and Powe - The Murdoch Empire


Murdoch impidió que se publique una nota sobre su joven esposa

Dirt on Deng

There is no particular reason why the lives of the rich and famous should be any more interesting than our own.


Australian Magazine Kills Profile of Wendi Murdoch

Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong, April 20, 2007

First they commission a major profile of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s young Chinese wife, then they spike the story. Could it be hazardous to upset Rupert down in Oz?


Aussie Newspaper Kills Story About Rupert Murdoch's Wife

Danwei, Beijing, April 24, 2007

Here's one crackerjack cover story you won't be reading in Good Weekend magazine any time soon – the revealing inside account of the life and times of Wendi Deng.


Stop The Presses
Financial Times, London, April 24, 2007

Some of the Australian-born media baron's rivals seem to be getting squeamish about writing about Murdoch and his family


Why Did Paper Pull Story on Murdoch's Wife?

The Guardian, London, April 26, 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald got cold feet about running a story on Rupert Murdoch's third wife, Wendi Deng?


Deng's vanishing profile will be Fairfax’s Jonestown fiasco

Crikey, Melbourne, May 1, 2007

The decision by Fairfax to kill the 10,000-word profile of Wendi Deng by Eric Ellis has done some serious damage to the company’s reputation for fearless publishing


Wendi: The Real Story
Crikey, Melbourne, May 2, 2007

Fairfax's Good Weekend magazine decided to can the profile it had commissioned on Wendi Deng, wife of Rupert Murdoch. As we wait for the full Deng article to pop up elsewhere, Crikey exclusively unveils some of the tidbits that GW thought too hot to publish


Murdoch To Dow Jones: Believe What I Say Not What I Do
Financial Times, London, May 4, 2007

Also coming at an awkward time is a less public media furore in Australia about the recent spiking of a – rather unflattering – profile of Mr Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng, by the Sydney Morning Herald, the flagship paper of Fairfax


How Not To Kill A Story
Asia Sentinel, Hong Kong, May 4, 2007

An Australian newspaper’s decision to quash a profile of Rupert Murdoch’s beautiful young Chinese wife has only fueled interest in the piece, which is bound to be published soon


Row Over Axed Wendi Deng Story
The Guardian, London, May 4, 2007

The abrupt spiking of an 11,000-word profile of Wendi Deng, the wife of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, has caused ructions at the Australian newspaper group Fairfax

http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,,2072857,00.html passwords (eric@ericellis.com and vejer)

The Vanishing Profile
The Age, Melbourne, May 5, 2007

THIS is the curious case of the vanishing profile that won't go away


Murdoch Pulls Out Of Fairfax
Crikey, Melbourne, May 7, 2007

It will be interesting to see if Fairfax management decides it can now run the Eric Ellis profile of Rupert’s wife, Wendi Deng. Media Watch is expected to run its forensic eye over the saga tonight. Fairfax really should avert any further embarrassment by running the profile next Saturday


ABC Media Watch, Sydney, May 7, 2007

The Fairfax press can't fit in an extensively researched article on Rupert Murdoch's wife



The Monthly to publish Wendi Deng story

The Monthly magazine has announced that it has bought and will run – at a length of about 10,000 words – the Wendi Deng profile that Fairfax suppressed, and that the copy is so good that, according to the editor Sally Warhaft "had it been published by Fairfax, it would have been the best piece Good Weekend had ever run."


Wendi's spiking sets the sparks flying

LAST week, the Fairfax-owned Australian newspaper abruptly spiked an 11,000-word profile of Wendi Deng, who may be more familiar to this column's readers under her married name, which just happens to be Mrs Rupert Murdoch (the third, at the last count)


Meet Mrs. Murdoch

Who had a critical profile of his wife, Wendi Deng, spiked?


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