Newspaper Writers as Novelists

Which I mean in a good way: that is, writers who reveal their eye for the telling phrase and the memorable detail. Here is a paragraph to notice, from the latest NYT wrap-up of the long-festering corruption within News Corp:

>>Mr. Murdoch was attending a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in early July when it became clear that the latest eruption of the hacking scandal was not, as he first thought, a passing problem. According to a person briefed on the conversation, he proposed to one senior executive that he "fly commercial to London," so he might be seen as man of the people.<<

The last few words of the passage amounts to a merciless and unforgettable twist of the knife, in the guise of an innocent explanatory phrase. Congratulations to Jo Becker and Ravi Somaiya, whose bylines are on the story, and anyone else involved in the chronicle. Story as a whole has a lot of other riveting details too.

Notes to the young: this is the first story in memory that recreates the effect of living through Watergate. The revelations don't stop, what would have seemed unimaginable fantasy a week ago is hard news today, and there is no obvious firebreak ahead that will bring the disclosures to an end. I suspect that some people on the other end of the revelations have thought about the parallel too.