When Michael Wolff started shopping his biography of Rupert Murdoch, he opted to go with a “high six-figure” offer from Doubleday instead of taking the risk of having his previous publisher, Harper Collins, put out the book. (Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. owns Harper Collins.)
But these days Mr. Wolff has emerged as something of a sympathizer—at least with Mr. Murdoch’s ambition to own The Wall Street Journal.
In The Times:
In a 3,600-word column in the September issue of Vanity Fair, Mr. Wolff parries the sky-is-falling op-eds about Mr. Murdoch’s deal for Dow Jones, calling the detractors “pantywaists.” He predicts for The Wall Street Journal “the loss of a few points of I.Q., a quickened pace, a higher sense of drama” and writes that it will be “less accurate, perhaps, but less tedious too.”
Brent Cunningham, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote on its Web site Friday that Mr. Wolff’s “calculatedly counterintuitive take on Murdoch” in Vanity Fair “had ‘book proposal’ stamped all over it.”
Mr. Wolff tells The Times:
“What he relates to is not what you say about him, but what you say about his enemies,” Mr. Wolff said. “If you share the same enemies, you have something in common. And my feelings about the phony-baloney virtuousness of the journalistic community are similar to his feelings about that phony-baloney virtuousness.”