Thanks to Twitter, Rupert Murdoch's next "war" is only 140 characters away. This week, it just happens to be with "lies and libels", "old toffs and rightwingers" and a damning BBC documentary about News Corp.'s alliance with computer hackers. To catch you up, the BBC had produced and aired a documentary which, as The Guardian reports, alleges that "News Corp.'s pay-TV smartcard security unit, NDS, had promoted piracy attacks on rivals, including in the United States." And though News Corp.'s Chase Carey has already called the documentary a "gross misrepresentation", it didn't stop Murdoch from weighing in via social media, and sometimes doing his best impression of Yoda:
Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels.So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing.— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) March 29, 2012
That was followed up by:
Enemies many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century's status quo with their monoplies.— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) March 29, 2012
Toffs, right wingers, libelists, liars--that's ... so many people. And of course, this has spurred some media outlets to jump to their favorite standby-- any permutation of "Murdoch declares war". Which on the one hand is sort of silly, since there are actual awful wars going on right now. But on the other hand, it's sort of easy since Murdoch's media history is littered with newspaper battles against rivals like The Daily Telegraph, The Daily News and The New York Times. Though, back then, Murdoch had to actually buy and finance another paper to start a war. Now he can just tweet.
As then-executive editor for The New York Times, Bill Keller, pointed out to Vanity Fair in 2010--Murdoch never really won those "wars." And though Keller's interview was in 2010, his words then seem even more appropriate today: "At the end of the day, you choose your enemies, you don’t let your enemies choose you."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.