Posted by: Jon Fine on September 17, 2007
WSJ leaning towards selecting an outstanding lead dog for its for-the-richies upcoming monthly magazine Pursuits: Rich-person specialist (and Wealth Report blogger) Robert Frank, who just penned the sharp and enormously entertaining pop-sociology treatise on the ludicrously-rich, Richistan.
But the move is more interesting for another reason entirely. Frank was one of the reporters who wrote a massive November 2000 piece (that’s firewalled) on the past and present roles of Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng. Said front-pager, a nearly 4,000 word treatise that covered the personal and business histories of the then-31 year old Deng, had Murdoch fuming.
And Murdoch hasn’t forgotten about it. From a (firewalled) Times piece in May:
[News Corp. spokesman Gary Ginsberg] said the only instance when Mr. Murdoch did have objections [to Journal coverage] involved a 2000 Journal profile of his third wife, Wendi Deng, which delved into her romantic history.
“If it’s a legitimate news story, Rupert would say fine,” Ginsberg said. “But it wasn’t a legitimate news story, in that Wendi had no role in the company at that time. What they were doing was looking for a pretext to write a public story about a private individual.”
I don’t agree with Ginsberg’s reasoning. But, hey, whatever, Rupert’s turning the other cheek! Or at least he’s not walking around the Journal newsroom settling old scores with a portable guillotine.