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Michael Wolff on Rupert Murdoch’s Family Ties

poar02_murdoch0812.jpgVanity Fair is excerpting Michael Wolff‘s much talked-about (much criticized by Rupe, himself) forthcoming book, The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch. Judging from the excerpt the secret world involves, perhaps not surprisingly, a whole lot of family dysfunction, except that Rupe doesn’t like that word. And anyway, everything’s relative!

Another benefit of dealing with the hapless Bancroft family was that it made him feel so much better about the dysfunction in his own family (dysfunction is a modish word that irritates him — he uses it only because his children say it so often). The Murdochs, who have had their problems, are not, he is confident, heading in the Bancrofts’ direction — not yet.

Other interesting tidbits? His eldest daughter Prue from his first marriage is the only one who doesn’t have her sights set on taking over the business, also she often talks him as though he’s her husband “irritating husband she has to beat some sense into.” The other children, meanwhile, learned through eldest son Lachlan’s missteps that it was a good idea to be at a distance, at a far remove from the old man,” making them “the Murdochs everybody who is also distant from the old man wants to get close to.”

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