Oh ... I think everybody’s doing it for money, including the bloggers. They’re trying to sell advertising, they’re trying to get a bigger audience. You get a thing like the Huffington Post, which started as pretty much a political pamphlet with advertising and broadened itself quite cleverly, but mainly just stealing stories from existing newspapers. They now have a few reporters, and blogs from individual people, but it’s a very big thing here, they have a British edition as well as an American edition. And I don’t believe that they’re making a profit yet, but they’re read by many millions of people.
So where’s the belittlement here? Let’s break down Murdoch’s endorsement of the Huffington Post:
1) Statement: “started as pretty much a political pamphlet with advertising and broadened itself quite cleverly.”
Verdict: Unmitigated compliment.
2) Statement: “mainly just stealing stories from existing newspapers.”
Verdict: Neutral. Granted that this sounds a bit derisive. But consider Murdoch’s DOB: March 11, 1931. He became a newspaper executive in the 1950s, back before he’d even been called a “moth-eaten kangaroo,” let alone grappled with the worlds of linking and aggregation.
3) Statement: “They now have a few reporters...”
Verdict: That assessment technically understates the number of reporters at the Huffington Post, which has in excess of 40 such people. Which is, to a guy like Murdoch, “a few,” max. Try the News Corp. Annual Report: The guy presides over 51,000 employees. It’s all relative with a mogul like him.
Ruling: No belittlement whatsoever.