Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch is, in person, charming. Everyone agrees. You get a glimpse of this in the account of working for him written by Philip Townsend, who was his butler in London during the 1980s. (Townsend had a dog who died, and whom he kept in Murdoch’s freezer.) When Murdoch made the switch to living more healthily – influenced by the fact that his father died at 67 – he did so by announcing to his butler: ‘Phil, I’m into yin and yang and all that shit.’

here, from an amazing profile by the great John Lanchester, England’s Michael Lewis.

Been meaning to write for awhile now (will get to) Rupert Murdoch’s parents. Before you talk shit about Rupert Murdoch, Rupert as Mr. Burns, consider that in his head he probably remembers himself as the scared child of two of the toughest, most badass Australians who ever lived.

Rupert’s dad — like, his actual father* — was one of the most powerful forces influencing the 1919 Versailles Conference.  Like: his dad was in on the end of World War I.

Every Helytimes reader should devour this book by the great Margaret MacMillan:

If you want to understand Iraq, say, or Palestine?  Start here.  Learn about how Ho Chi Minh desperately sought a meeting with Woodrow Wilson about the French Indochina/Vietnam situation (no luck).

(I read this book.  Still don’t know anything.)

(disclosure: I am a subcontractor/essentially employee of Rupert Murdoch)

* In 1927 he [Keith Murdoch] saw a photograph of an attractive 18-year-old débutante, Elisabeth Joy Greene, in Table Talk magazine, and arranged for a friend to introduce him. [Keith Murdoch was, at that time, 42.  Elisabeth is Rupert’s mom.  She died two years ago in 2012.]

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