Steerpike Steerpike

Rupert Murdoch bites his tongue

What happens when you get two elderly proprietors, one with a book to sell and the other with a Twitter account? Well, sadly, with Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch, the answer is a fairly one-sided fight. Black is enjoying both freedom and the airwaves at present by going on a PR megablitz for his new book, A Matter of Principle. He has called Sky’s Adam Boulton a ‘jackass’ and Jeremy Paxman a ‘priggish, gullible, British fool’. But Uncle Rupe got the worst of Black’s sharp tongue:

‘He’s a psychopath. Like Stalin, except that he doesn’t kill people. I’m not suggesting he’s a homicidal psychopath – he just severs people out of his life like that. I have great admiration for what he’s achieved but he’s a terrible man.’

The world waited with baited breath for Murdoch to respond. He’s not been afraid to attack critics on the social network: last week he called Hugh Grant a scumbag. But he was muted this time when a fellow user asked him how he felt about Conrad’s jibe:

‘Saddened. Conrad was first class publisher of Telegraph, but tricked in dodgy stuff in Canada by bad partner. Never be surprised by C Black’s language. Oz PM Keating called him a ” f—— walking thesaurus”’

Well, that’s not going to sell papers.

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