The poor Bancroft family, former owners of the Wall Street Journal, have bent themselves entirely over new WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch's lap. They've spent the last two months trying to put a representative on the board—but blew a deadline and ensured that Murdoch got to choose for them. (Bitter but true: Rupert wanted "the appearance of the support a Bancroft Family member," according to Christopher Bancroft, not "a 'seasoned champion of journalistic values' from the world of journalism." Plus! "Our family's concerns about journalistic integrity are clearly indicated by our willingness to sell Dow Jones to News Corp." Youch!) And now the family is torn apart because 27-year-old Natalie Bancroft, described dismissively as "a 27-year-old opera singer living in Europe," will sit on the News Corp. board. But?

Reading the emails that the WSJ obtained from the family shows that the Bancrofts are a bunch of tools who, for the most part, really shouldn't serve on the board of an Orange Julius stand, much less a giant shadowy evil media corporation. The only email that makes any sense is from Natalie Bancroft herself. She starts out a bit Objectivist, but keeps it real:

Please be responsible for one's actions. If the company has floundered, and past issues were ignored that was our fault, not the fault of past generations being irresponsible about not passing on a legacy.


Maybe we are no longer capable, or do not genuinely have the talent or interest to be the responsible stewards of the present business. I am not for the selling because I believe the buyer is definately not the right person to own this paper, but on the other hand, as protective as we are, and with much of the false pride many of us have, do we deserve to own this paper any longer? [...]

[I]n business, sentiment has a very small place if one wants success. I am not saying that these are principles I agree with, but that is the way of Capitalism as well.

Okay? Who's the flighty 20-something opera singer and who's the fool now?

Although we totally doubt her "opera singing" credentials. Um, unless she's singing under a stage name, there ain't nothing to speak of out there on her. Perhaps she'll be better off sitting next to the evil Murdoch henchmen.

Bancrofts bicker, miss a deadline, lose board choice [WSJ]