Friday, January 29, 2010


John Cheever is an amazing writer.  Check his stuff out.  I was surfing through all the back issues of the New Yorker that are available to subscribers yesterday, because they were nice enough to provide links to all of the stories that J.D. Salinger published over the years.  It was interesting to read through them in their original typeface, with the original advertisements, everything exactly as it was in the original magazine when it came out.  I realized that Cheever was also probably in there somewhere, so I did a search and read one of his stories.  He has a distinct and gripping style, but not overstated or even loud in any way.

Harold Evans, an editor of the London Times and other papers, just came out with a memoir called My Paper Chase.  According to him, he definitely did a lot of work to uncover corruption of various kinds, pollution, to get the story on tyrants and maniacs in political power, and generally did the job an editor should be doing.  He was eventually forced out by Rupert Murdoch.  No surprise there.

Murdoch actually in some ways was kind of an admirable businessman.  At the time he took over the London Times, the printers' union had excessive power and was continually making demands and shutting things down.  Murdoch build an entirely new printing facility out of town on the ruse that he was starting up a new paper.  He shut down the presses and staffed the new presses with non-union people, managing to break the power of the unions.  It was quite an audacious move, and according to Harold Evans, something that needed to be done.

But the most important thing about Murdoch is that he owns Fox news.  That is unforgivable.

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