A lengthy NY Magazine piece out today on “The Raging Septuagenarian” — Rupert Murdoch — covers all angles, including Fox News and Roger Ailes, the New York Times on its eve of destruction, his children and the future of his empire. Click here to read it all over a long lunch.
Murdoch and wife Wendi have been friends with Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but business is business and war is war.
Gabriel Sherman‘s piece describes Murdoch’s assault on Google in miliary terms.
Last year, Murdoch and his senior executives decided they needed an organized counteroffensive. As a code name, they chose Project Alesia, named after Julius Caesar’s victorious siege of the Gallic forces in 52 B.C. Murdoch conceived the fight against Google as a political campaign. He mapped out distinct phases.
First, Murdoch and [Robert] Thomson would make a series of provocative speeches to drum up press, using News Corp.’s media outlets and other interview opportunities to shape the debate. In February 2009, during an appearance on Charlie Rose, Thomson said, “Google devalues everything it touches.” In April, Thomson said in an interview, “Certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet.”
And in December, Murdoch published an op-ed in the Journal declaring that “there are those who think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production To be impolite, it’s theft.”
The inflammatory rhetoric generated a flurry of press and laid the foundation for the announcement that News Corp. would begin charging for its online content.