Rupert Murdoch’s expanding scandal follows classic media baron script – The Washington Post
He’s one of a series,” said James Curran, a professor of communications at Goldsmiths University in London. “He seems to me to be in the same press baron tradition.”
Before Murdoch came Robert Maxwell and Conrad Black, both of whose careers at the top of the British media establishment ended in disgrace. Before those two came Lord Beaverbrook, the Daily Express owner whose excesses were lampooned by Evelyn Waugh in his 1938 novel “Scoop.”
Earlier still was the New York Journal’s William Randolph Hearst, who has become linked to the swashbuckling maverick at the center of Orson Wells’ 1941 classic “Citizen Kane.”
There are huge differences: Unlike Black and Maxwell, Hearst, Murdoch, and Beaverbrook stayed successful. The Hearst Corp. is 125 years old; News Corp. is worth $60 billion; there’s still a statue to Beaverbrook in his Canadian hometown of Fredericton.
But there are important parallels, too.
Britain’s media tycoons came from abroad — Australia, Canada, or Eastern Europe — and rapidly became establishment figures, winning wealth, titles, and friends in high places.
Then, eventually, came the fall.