Donald Trump’s secret weapon: It Was Wendi Wot Won It!


How Wendi Deng Murdoch influenced the course of the US election. An unhappy intersection with Panama Papers


In the fading fruit bowl of global media memes, Wendi Deng Murdoch is the perfect peach—the story so eternally delicious that if she didn’t exist we would have to make her up.

Sometimes we do.

She never disappoints. From the many conflicting accounts of how she and Rupert Murdoch discovered true love two decades ago, to the colourful details of her first marriage written by Wall Street Journal staff (who turned out to have strangely limited career prospects); on to the Murdoch family brawl over her children’s inheritance; slugging the pie-thrower who attacked Rupert at the UK parliamentary committee in 2011; all before her special friendship with former UK PM Tony Blair: Wendi has always been the best story in town.

And who can forget Clive Palmer’s fanciful (and entirely unsubstantiated) Twitter claims that she was a secret Chinese agent tasked to infiltrate Rupert?

But Wendi and the Panama Papers? The latest theory can be filed under the modest label, How Wendi Helped Bring Down Western Civilization (subtitled Or At Least The Hillary Clinton Bits Of It). Continue reading

News Corp by its fingertips: Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers eye the abyss

Two questions emerge in the aftermath of Paddy Manning’s remarkable revelations in Crikey (here) of the disastrous fall in earnings at News Corp Australia in 2013: why did News Corp take so long to disclose what had happened; and what happened next?

The news from 2014 is not good. News Corp Australia’s publishing operations appear to have dropped another 73 per cent in operating income in 2014, from $88 million to $A24 million. That’s after a 69 per cent drop in 2013. News Ltd was almost certainly losing money in the first half of F2014 before it inched its way back into the black in the second half. Now CEO Robert Thomson talks of “green shoots in the Nullabor”, by which he means it’s currently not actually loss-making. But you can write off this massive economic unit as a serious money earner. Continue reading