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Schadenfreude

It's with some satisfaction that I report-regarding the ultra-liberal New York Times (aka the Grey Lady)-that her executives have been driven by market forces into negotiating a $.25 billion operating-capital loan, at junk-bond interest rates, from Mexican money-man Carlos Slim; best of all, that most reviled newspaperman in journalistic circles, Rupert Murdoch, is now predicted to be ready to buy the Grey Lady body and soul.

This nugget of information comes from the Wall Street Journal, itself a recent Murdoch acquisition; the latter comes from author and columnist Michael Wolff in an interview on C-SPAN, discussing his biography of Murdoch entitled, "The Man Who Owns the News".

Recently, the Grey Lady discontinued her shareholder dividends, as her stock price tanked, because she's losing both readers and advertisers who used to pay generously for "All the News That's Fit to Print", but choose not to any more. My satisfaction might be called "schadenfreude", a German word now in English dictionaries, expressing "pleasure over the discomfort of others". As befits an opinion column, I'd opine that the Grey Lady, like other papers ranging from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to USA Today, is being punished for her politically left-preference journalistic bias.

I recommend the Wolff interview if you can tolerate his preferred speech pattern: he affects that stylized mix of stutter-stammer-and-umm interlaced with competent prose (first invented by conservative advocate William Buckley, who was derided by his critics on the left for using it).

The derision stopped when the affectation was adopted by liberal advocate Michael Kinsley. Now it's in Wolff's chosen verbal repertoire, which employs that I'm-faintly-amused-by-the-less-intelligent-than-I-target-of-my-writing technique commonly used in New Yorker columns (for which magazine Wolff has, not surprisingly, written.)

For example, Wolff describes Murdoch as "a fundamentally non-verbal person" who has "never read a book"; who is merely a "newspaperman" and not a "journalist"; and whose Fourth Estate ambition is solely that "ya gotta make a product people want" by "delivering what its readers want". He labels Murdoch the likely buyer of the New York Times.

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