The Rectitude of It All! NewsCorp as Media’s Moral Arbiter

In paidcontent, Andrew Clark presents a trenchant view of Murdoch and his minions’ attack on Marissa Mayer and GOOG’s “promiscuity.”  Pretty ironic, as Jack Shafer points out:

“If the WSJ didn’t want any of its stories in any way visible on Google, all it would need to do is write a little bit of code into its pages and they wouldn’t be found by web crawlers,” says Jack Shafer, media critic at the online news magazine Slate.

Shafer argues that Murdoch is hardly a moral arbiter of fair compensation for journalistic output, given his willingness to start price wars on Fleet Street against weaker rivals: “It’s quite funny that Murdoch talks about not paying for journalism cheapening it, when he was responsible for driving the price down of all newspapers in the UK.”

If Shafer had had the pleasure of going to college in San Antonio with me in the mid-80s, he would have also remembered that Murdoch’s peeps showed their defense of righteousness by running headlines which would have made the National Enquirer blanch, day after day, in the now defunct San Antonio Light.

There are two pretty delectable  ironies here.  One is the Murdoch henchman’s use of the word “promiscuity” in a derisive fashion.  (I’d say “how very British, except that he’s an Aussie).  Revenue promiscuity is precisely what newspapers never figured out, while Google did in spades.  Which brings us to the second irony.  After spending gazillions of dollars developing superior technology for search, which is after all the core function online life, GOOG provides that function for free.  So tell me again where news providers’ sense of righteously indignant entitlement comes from?

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