Monday, December 1, 2008

Murdoch Dyes Hair Orange, Chases Obama, Seeks New Image in Bio

At the end of “The Man Who Owns the News,” Michael Wolff gets a glimpse of Rupert Murdoch the reporter.

Arriving for an interview one morning, Wolff finds Murdoch hunched over a phone in a white shirt, singlet showing. The billionaire News Corp. chairman is chasing a tip, barking questions, seeking confirmation, scribbling notes.

“This wasn’t a destroyer of journalism, this was a practitioner,” Wolff writes. “On the other hand, he was trying to smear somebody.”

The flip-flop from admiration to anxiety epitomizes the tension coursing through this labored, often maddening portrait of the 77-year-old mogul whom so many journalists love to hate.

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