Today in the Daily News, Rush & Molloy attempt to make the case that News Corp. overlord Rupert Murdoch is still on Team Hillary, despite the fact that his New York Post endorsed Barack Obama last week and trashed her in the process. “When it comes to putting money down, Murdoch poured $2,300 – the maximum allowed for a primary race – into her campaign six months ago,” the husband-and-wife duo point out. “He gave Obama nothing.” But the key phrase in that sentence seems to be “six months ago.” Public statements of editorial independence aside, the Post simply doesn’t do anything that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t want it to do. The official policy of loathing Senator Clinton was reiterated even today, with a masthead editorial attacking both her and her husband. David Carr, in today’s Times, seems to see the issue more clearly:
[Clinton] never once appeared before [the Post’s editorial board — a customary act of tribute by local politicians — and her lack of deference was duly noted by the paper’s leadership.
When Mrs. Clinton was serving and running as a senator, she had a relationship with the paper. But as her candidacy for president gathered momentum, The Post became just one more part of the media scrum, and the paper did not react well to the disregard Mr. Murdoch certainly took note of the fact that the courtesies extended to Mrs. Clinton — a muted presence in the gossip columns of “Page Six”, more balance in the news pages — did not seem to be returned in kind.
Though Clinton did strive to cooperate with the paper, and Rupert did donate money to her, the honeymoon is clearly over, as many pointed out last week. “The Post has lost its appetite for Mrs. Clinton for the same reason that they lost interest in Paris Hilton,” explains Carr. “That wasn’t the story their readers wanted.” Hillary and Rupert were scheduled to have a conference call after the Post endorsed Obama last week, but it never happened. Oh honey, when he stops calling? It means he’s just not that into you.
Rupert Murdoch bucks New York Post, donates to Hillary Clinton [NYDN]
It’s Splitsville for Rupert and Hillary [NYT]
Update: As a fellow editor points out, perhaps it can be explained most simply in this manner: Rupert backs winners. Last year, he thought Hillary was going to come out on top. Now, he senses in the wind that it’s going to be Obama. Which is pretty much as big an indicator of the change in said wind as you’re going to get.