Bill Keller Is Not Afraid to Call Rupert Murdoch a Villain

In your feuding Tuesday media column: Bill Keller regards Rupert Murdoch's legacy, David Shuster is launching his own news site, the Harper's union battle grows ever more ridiculous, and ignoring Al Jazeera grows ever more difficult.

  • NYT editor Bill Keller's talking shit about Rupert Murdoch again: "I think the effect of Fox News on American public life has been to create a level of cynicism about the news in general... it is true that the national discourse is more polarized and strident than it has been in the past, and to some extent, I would lay that at the feet of Rupert Murdoch." Well, not so much talking shit as "saying things that are true." Still, you should expect to see your photo on Fox & Friends with monstrous Photoshopping some time soon.

  • David Shuster—a guy who was once on television—is launching a political news website, on the internet! What will set it apart, according to Shuster? "Look at Huffington Post or National Journal or Politico — they all do a very good job of covering what happened today. But you don't have an organization that has 15 reporters going out and spending two weeks on a story — and also has someone with TV name recognition who can be the face of the organization and go out and promote its scoops." The secret ingredient is David Shuster's name recognition. We wish you luck, David Shuster's employees.

  • Update on the enjoyable-on-many-levels Harper's Magazine union battle: the Harper's staff raised $50K in pledges to help support the magazine; and the rich evil anti-union publisher, Rick Macarthur, refused to accept the money! "I don't want to take money from people of modest incomes," he said. Such as Harper's staffers!

  • The Egyptian revolution is yet another shining moment of journalism for Al Jazeera, which is far and away the best Middle Eastern news outlet in the world. And you may recall that most American cable networks don't carry Al Jazeera English, out of sheer stubborn xenophobia and latent anti-Muslim sentiments! Perhaps this can change soon? Let's not expect too much from the cable industry.
[Photo: AP]