There Are No Do-Overs In Big Buyouts

This shit pisses me off like you would not believe:

Bancroft Family Members Express Regrets at Selling Wall Street Journal to Murdoch

by Richard Tofel
ProPublica, July 13, 2011, 3:30 p.m.

This story was co-published with The Guardian.

A number of key members of the family which controlled The Wall Street Journal say they would not have agreed to sell the prestigious daily to Rupert Murdoch if they had been aware of News International’s conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal.

“If I had known what I know now, I would have pushed harder against” the Murdoch bid, said Christopher Bancroft, a member of the family which controlled Dow Jones & Company, publishers of The Wall Street Journal. Bancroft said the breadth of allegations now on the public record “would have been more problematic for me. I probably would have held out.” Bancroft had sole voting control of a trust that represented 13 percent of Dow Jones shares in 2007 and served on the Dow Jones Board.

Lisa Steele, another family member on the Board, said that “it would have been harder, if not impossible,” to have accepted Murdoch’s bid had the facts been known. “It’s complicated,” Steele said, and “there were so many factors” in weighing a sale. But she said “the ethics are clear to me — what’s been revealed, from what I’ve read in the Journal, is terrible; it may even be criminal.”

Elisabeth Goth, a Bancroft family member not on the Board who had long advocated change at Dow Jones, expressed similar sentiments. Asked if she would have favored a sale to Murdoch in 2007 knowing what she does today, she said, “my answer is no.”

Oh, whaah. If only we had known that Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp were a bunch of slimeball crooks! Nobody could have anticipated! Yada yada.

Cut the crap. I’m sooooo sick of hearing this shit you have no idea. If only we’d known Saddam Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass distruction! If only we’d known that Big Shitpile was about to implode! If only we’d known that deep water oil wells weren’t safe! Let’s see: in five years we’ll be hearing from ExxonMobil executives, “if only we’d known that peak oil was here and global climate change was real!”

If only .. if only!

Give me a break. Murdoch’s takeover of Dow Jones was a hard-fought battle. And it didn’t happen so long ago that I don’t remember my in-box being flooded with petitions about it, either. I remember stories like this one, in which major Dow Jones stakeholders sounded the alarm bells:

The Audit: What’s the problem with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. acquiring Dow Jones?

Jim Ottaway: To me, the first biggest issue is more media concentration in the hands the people who use their media power for personal, political, and business interests, as Murdoch does so blatantly with the New York Post, FOX News network, Star TV in China, Phoenix TV in China. He has the largest total broadcast audience in China, where they’re getting no criticism because of his deal with the devil there. On Monday (June 25), the New York Times had a long piece on how Murdoch manipulates American politicians and FCC officials to get the TV regulatory approval to keep all his television stations and not have to sell them. Then on Tuesday, it had a really good investigative piece on how he does the same in China. And I must say that these two articles made my statement on May 6th seem polite. I was horrified about the stuff I didn’t know about. There’s no moral compass.

I mean for crying out loud, Murdoch had to promise to appoint a special independent editorial committee to protect the Wall Street Journal from Murdoch’s right-wing ideology, an agreement which was immediately ignored. Surprise, surprise.

So no, Bancroft family. Don’t tell us that you wouldn’t have sold Dow Jones had you known Murdoch & co. were creeps. No, you’re still assholes, and no amount of “hoocodanode” will salvage the family name (or re-write the history books).


Filed under media, Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street Journal

6 responses to “There Are No Do-Overs In Big Buyouts

  1. Beauzeaux

    Murdoch was FAMOUSLY scum long before he bought the WSJ. The Bancrofts et al. are suffering seller’s remorse now that even the MSM is down on Rupert.

  2. PurpleGirl

    The Bancrofts are not having seller’s remorse. They just want to make it look like they care… I doubt that anybody else, any company, or any equity fund would have payed as much as Murdoch did for the WSJ. The Bancroft family wanted out of the business and wanted to pull out as much profit as they could from the deal.

  3. Proud Socialist

    The translation: “had I known then what I know now… I would have twisted his arm and held out for more money”.

    Everything else is dissembling for the rubes.

  4. Flying Junior

    Day late. Dollar short. But thanks for the thought.

  5. Min

    Cry me a river, Bancrofts.