It is perhaps the hardest assignment in journalism today: try to make Rupert Murdoch look sympathetic without making a fool of yourself. A few have tried, notably The Wall Street Journal's editorial page (which actually gets paid by Rupert Murdoch) and most recently, this morning's New York Observer (whose owner counts himself a social friend of the Murdochs). The last line of defense for the aging mogul seems to be mostly made up of a school of devotees who sound like they're reading from the same talking points when they urge the public to read the phone hacking scandal in the context of a newspaper gone astray rather than a news empire's reckoning day. Unsurprisingly, Rupert Murdoch either writes the paychecks or hangs out on weekends with almost all of these supporters.
The New York Observer
The Kushner-owned paper posted a staff editorial marked less by disdain for News of the World being misdirected towards Rupert Murdoch than straight-up praise for Rupert Murdoch. The op-ed paints Murdoch as newspaper's savior and says he "singlehanded revitalized the [New York City's] newspaper landscape." This part is great:
Mr. Murdoch surely is not perfect. But he happens to be a world-class visionary who has revived dying newspapers (against the advice of his more-practical advisers), supported alternative vehicles for political and cultural criticism from Fox News to the Weekly Standard, and improved the readability of properties like The Wall Street Journal. He has been a staunch supporter of Israel and a crusader for education reform in New York.
It's worth pointing out, as Joe Coscarelli does at the Village Voice, that Rupert and Wendi Murdoch are good friends with Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump. Kushner's even been described as Murdoch's protégé.