Row erupts over advance copy of Rupert Murdoch book

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly upset about a new book about him about to be published in America.

The book – called The Man Who Owns The News: Inside The Secret World of Rupert Murdch – is by Michael Wolff, a columnist for Vanity Fair magazine who often writes about the media.

It is based on a series of interviews Wolf had with Murdoch just after his successful take over of the Wall Street Journal. He also interviewed many members of Murdoch’s family, including his 99-year-old mother in Australia.

Murdoch, according to a report in the New York Times, obtained an advance copy of the book from his son-in-law in London, Matthew Freud, who is married to his daughter Elizabeth.

The copy, it is said, was originally sent to a London newspaper which was considering buying serial rights.

Murdoch, according to the report, liked some sections of the book but was disturbed by the suggestion that he is often upset by Fox News, the American TV network owned by News Corp, its chief executive Roger Ailes, and the tone of its Conservatively slanted political reporting

The author of the book, who says he spent more than 50 hours taping his interviews with Murdoch, says he too is upset – that a draft copy of his book, parts of which are to be serialised in the US by Vanity Fair, had ended up in unauthorised hands.

He told the New York Times: “I am obviously upset that they’re looking at an early version of the book and a purloined one at that. In essence, News Corp is holding stolen goods.”

Wolff added that he believed the objections of Murdoch were more to do with corporate politics. He believed that ultimately everyone who reads the book will say “This is Rupert”.

A spokesman for Doubleday, the publishers of the book, said: “The factual basis of the book will stand up to scrutiny.”

He added that News Corp had not threatened any legal action – which probably confirms the author’s belief that the objections atre mainly a way to soothe any executive egos that may be bruised by the book’s publication

In London, Murdoch’s son-in-law told the New York Times that the book was being considered for serialisation and a number of copies were in circulation. “Someone kindly sent me a copy,” he said.

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