It was interesting to see just how large Rupert Murdoch loomed at today’s Mirror Awards, celebrating "the best in media industry reporting," at the Rainbow Room in New York. (For the record, B&C did not win for Overall Excellence–the NY Times’ Monday Media section did. But we were a finalist.)
Humorist Andy Borowitz started off with some sharp jabs at Fox News, ripping the network for what he deemed to be its unflinching championing of the Bush administration (CNN: The economy is "bad." FNC: The economy is "good.") . The room of, for lack of a better term, media elites, chuckled at Borowitz’ characterization of both Fox News and Murdoch’s NY Post.
But an outsize number of the 20-odd nominees–and winners–were there because of stories they’d written about Planet Murdoch. NY Times scribe Joe Nocera, winning for Best Commentary, first thanked the Bancroft family, former owners of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, for the level of dysfunction that prompted him to do substantial stories about the Dow Jones ownership at the Times and, previously, at Fortune. Ken Auletta won "Best Single Article" for his New Yorker story "Promises, Promises," which looked at "What might the Wall Street Journal become if Rupert Murdoch owned it?" last July.
Auletta beat out Michael Wolff’s Vanity Fair story "Murdoch’s Private Game," while a batch of Wall Street Journal reporters were finalists for "Best Investigative Piece" for their four-story chronicle of "The Battle For Dow Jones: A Newspaper Covers Itself."
Of course, B&C has been known to cover News Corp., Fox News, the Fox stations and network, and other Murdoch properties now and then.
Just goes to show you how much clout the guy wields, even if a lot of people don’t care to admit it.