Thursday, September 13, 2007

Green Rupert, the Wall Street Journal and an Apology

An emailer asks,
"What on earth was that For Our Friends at the Wall Street Journal post all about?"

I apologize. I should have mentioned this:

wsjAs promised, Rupert Murdoch's new minions at the Wall Street Journal picketed today, and by noon, they had attracted quite a crowd: as near as we could tell, a Daily News reporter, a reporter from South Korea—and our Intern Sheila.

Does anybody care that the 2,000 members of the union are being bought and sold like writer-widgets in some giant chess game that only those at the highest levels of News Corp. could possibly understand?

After working without a contract since the end of January, and being in negotiations since November, they're being offered a 3% raise (if by "raise" you mean "really a basic cost-of-living adjustment to keep up with inflation").

Add to that the doubling of the healthcare premiums, and they're losing money—"and you shouldn't think of this as just the prima donna reporters," said one reporter in the picket line. "It's the tech guys and the guys in the mailroom too, who aren't going to get the chance to maybe win a Pulitzer and get a raise."

That's from Gawker (Reporting live from the center of the universe), who have done a good job covering the WSJ. I'm a little surprised the headline writer didn't go with a Post-style "Herd on the Street" but at least they were there. This is from another Gawker piece on Mr. Murdoch:

Well, he is an amusing guy. Note this attempt by Reuters reporter Robert MacMillan to interview him.
MacMillan: Hello, Mr. Murdoch, I'm Robert MacMillan. I work for Reuters.
: Oh, really!
MacMillan: I just wanted to ask -
: No.
It gets better. It almost pains us to say this, because we know he's an evil tyrant hell-bent on coarsening standards in his ruthless quest for worldwide domination, but sometimes we can't help but like the guy.

And as we've pointed out before,
Mr. Murdoch is no greenie come lately