作者：欧达 译 来源：Newyorker 2011-07-15 10:07
During his long career as the pantomime villain of the media world, Rupert Murdoch has seen out many scandals, but nothing like this one. Back in 1983, under attack for his decision to publish a set of diaries from Adolf Hitler that turned out to be forged, he famously remarked, “After all, we are in the entertainment business.” Today, nobody, least of all Murdoch, is laughing.
With the British parliament about to come together in an unprecedented move to thwart him, Murdoch this morning accepted the inevitable and called off News Corporation’s takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting, which, together with the BBC, dominates British television. Meanwhile, one of his own papers, the Wall Street Journal, confirmed my suspicion that he might even be prepared to sell his three remaining British newspapers—the Times, the Sunday Times, and the Sun—assuming a buyer can be found.
The BSkyB announcement marks a humiliating climb down for Murdoch. At this stage, however, he has more important issues to deal with—namely, insuring the survival of himself and his family at the helm of his beloved News Corporation. In the midst of a media frenzy, it is always dangerous to make definitive judgments, but at the moment it is hard to see how Murdoch can ever fully recover from the blows he has suffered in the last few days.
Failing in his designs for BSkyB was the least of it. To all intents and purposes, the media company, whose satellite dishes protrude from the roofs of ten million British homes, is already part of the Murdoch empire. News Corp. owns thirty-nine per cent of BSkyB’s shares, and Murdoch picks its boss. From 2003 until 2007, his youngest son, James Murdoch, was BSkyB’s C.E.O. Since then, Murdoch, Jr., who now runs all of News Corp.’s operations in Europe and Asia, has held the post of non-executive chairman of BSkyB, a post he will continue to hold, the company said today.