"In an age of corporate journalism, it's hard to think of a richer,
more intriguing subject than the media barons who run some of the
world's largest newspapers.
"Examining these titans of the press--from the Sulzbergers and Grahams to Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black--ought to tell us a great deal about how media power is wielded in the late 20th century. Yet it is a fascinating paradox that these press lords, while courted by presidents and prime ministers, are greatly constrained in exercising the very power that is the source of their wealth and stature.
"To be sure, newspaper owners can hire and fire editors, order political endorsements and gobble up their competitors. But their ability to twist and shape the news exists mainly in the popular imagination, for if they were to abuse this power they would quickly drive away the hired help and undermine the credibility that is central to their influence."
--Howard Kurtz, media critic for The Washington Post, March 3, 1994, in a review article of the book, "Paper Tigers," by Nicholas Coleridge. Kurtz is also an expert on the tooth fairy.
Speaking of fascinating paradoxes, or what might seem to be, people who have not yet figured him out for the phony that he is would be surprised to find that Christopher Ruddy is now selling Kurtz's book, Spin Cycle, Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine on his newsmax web site. Ruddy is best known as the one American reporter who has shown some skepticism over the obvious murder--ruled suicide by the authorities--of White House Deputy Counsel Vincent Foster. Not too long ago he was shamed into taking down his advertisement and plug for Ann Coulter's book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, because it was pointed out by this writer and others that Coulter has an entire chapter devoted to peddling the official cover-up line on Foster. Hers is, at bottom, little more than just another Foster cover-up book.
Well, as it turns out, Kurtz is not much better in that regard. Writings such as Ruddy's on the Foster death Kurtz dismisses with a wave of the hand as, "...tabloid type stories bubbling up from the ooze." And now here Chris Ruddy is peddling the book with no hint of disclaimer. Really, now, do you need to know anything more about the man? If your answer to that question is still in the affirmative please read Part 2 and Part 5 of my "America's Dreyfus Affair, the Case of the Death of Vincent Foster," on my web site.
If it's Kurtz and Spin Cycle you feel you need to know more about, check out "Howard Kurtz Libels Ambrose Evans-Pritchard".
April 25, 1999
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