No one in News Corp.’s New York headquarters knew quite what to do when the pie landed on Rupert Murdoch.
“The newsroom stopped,” said one person inside the Wall Street Journal offices at the time, where the hearing was being broadcast on the televisions in the bullpen.
Outside, two NYPD cars were parked directly opposite of the building’s main entrance on Avenue of the Americas, while a CNN reporter filmed a report with Mr. Murdoch’s flagship building in the background. Inside, Mr. Murdoch’s operations tried to carry on: Fox News ran the London hearing live, and the Journal reporters—upon recovering—prepared a front-page story for the next morning.
But the pie-stained moment—which included Mr. Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng, slapping the assailant, and his son, James, complaining to the police—was, in many ways, tailor-made for Mr. Murdoch’s favorite local outlet, the tabloid he had twice bought and most closely resembles the embodiment of his life’s work: Turning dry dispassionate reports of government bodies into dramatic, personal narratives of powerful men and business elites behaving badly. And yet, if any Murdoch news outlet had something resembling an emotional desire to protect the 80-year-old Australian on what he called the “most humble” day of his life, it was the New York Post, the money-losing property that has long felt like a physical extension of its doting owner. The Post ran the story on page 35. Read More
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