Newswatch: A Disdain for Respectability

In America, where monopoly ownership has made many newspapers fair, bland and unadventuresome, Rupert Murdoch, the invading Australian press lord, set out to buck the trend. He bought the liberal tabloid New York Post and turned it into a paper conservative and vindictive in its politics and sensational in its news coverage. Many of his fellow editors and publishers consider him an embarrassment to their craft and a barracuda as well; the lack of respect is mutual ("Most American papers," says Murdoch, "do a few outstanding things, then coast"). Suddenly, however, Murdoch's bold reinvention of cynical, rowdy journalism is in jeopardy.

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