On June 19, The Observer reported that several New York Times reporters were working on an investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s media empire—and one of them was Beijing-based correspondent, Joseph Kahn.
The Drudge Report, reported on June 22, based on “insider” knowledge, that the forthcoming piece was an “AGGRESSIVE’ EXAMINATION ON MURDOCH, HIS ASIAN WIFE, AND ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND HIS MEDIA EMPIRE…”
However, neither Mr. Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng, nor or his business interests in China, made it into today’s 3,800-word piece. And Mr. Kahn, who multiple sources informed The Observer was looking into Murdoch, was not listed among the contributing reporters.
“I’ve written a piece on Murdoch in China that should appear shortly,” Mr. Kahn told The Observer, via email.
So, apparently, The Times isn’t done with Murdoch just yet.
Mr. Murdoch’s business dealings with China have provided one of the more interesting subtexts in the entire seven-week saga.
James H. Ottaway Jr., an outspoken critic of the bid, who owns or controls 6.2 percent of the voting stock, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed: “When Rupert Murdoch’s business and news interests conflict, his business interests usually prevail. There is a clear conflict between his business interest in News Corp.’s Star TV broadcasts into the huge China market, where he has had to kowtow to government censorship, and the sharp criticism of Chinese violations of human rights, religious liberty and free speech that the Journal’s editorial page has published. I doubt that freedom to criticize the Chinese government would continue under Murdoch’s ownership.”
London Times editor Robert Thomson rebuked Mr. Ottaway’s charges last month. In a letter, Mr. Thomson reportedly wrote that the statements were “clearly a challenge to the integrity of the journalists at the Times and to me personally.”