News of the World Scandal Shows Power of Print

Richard Cohen on Rupert Murdoch's inky downfall
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2011 12:57 PM CDT
News of the World Scandal Shows Power of Print
A copy of the last-ever News of The World newspaper is for sale at a newsagents in central Manchester on July 10, 2011 in Manchester, England.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Richard Cohen is thrilled about the downfall of News of the World, and not just because it was “a revolting scandal sheet” run by the hated Rupert Murdoch. “I thrill that what we are witnessing is a good, old-fashioned newspaper scandal,” Cohen writes in the Washington Post. “The amazing thing about the current scandal is that at its heart is not some Web site or cable network … but ink on processed pulp.”

Murdoch is, as Conrad Black once called him, a “great bad man.” Great for his empire, bad for the way he abused it to his own ideological and personal ends—and he had no greater weapon than his newspapers. “Everyone from princes of the realm to celebrities to the mightiest politicians in the land lived in dread of what the Murdoch press could do,” Cohen marvels. “He could kill you with ink.” He deserves no pity now that the tide has turned. “There is no sadness here, merely just deserts.” (Read more Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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