Why Murdoch spurned Hillary

Back in 2006, the New Yorker speculated that Rupert Murdoch might back Hillary Clinton for president in '08. Given the Post's recent endorsement of Barack Obama, though, that's obviously not going to happen.

Today, Times media columnist David Carr offers an interesting analysis of what changed. After noting that the warmth of the Murdoch-Clinton relationship may have been overstated, and that Clinton's recent inattentiveness to the Post could have been a factor, Carr focuses on what he calls the "tabloid instinct for mischief":
Papers like The Post thrive on what Edgar Allan Poe called the 'imp of the perverse.' By zigging when others expect it to zag, The Post puts itself in the thick of the national discussion and asserts itself as something other than a money-losing tabloid that people in an island off the coast of America pick up mostly for gossip and sports.

Tabloids thrive on heat. They love a running story, but they also get bored easily.... Col Allan, the editor of The Post, is someone who lives and dies by understanding the moment. And it is his opinion, and that of Mr. Murdoch, that this moment does not belong to the Clintons.

In its purest form, The Post functions as a kind of mood ring and mirrors the public’s lack of enthusiasm for a package presidency that has Bill Clinton in campaign mode again. The Post has lost its appetite for Mrs. Clinton for the same reason that they lost interest in Paris Hilton: that wasn’t the story their readers wanted.
Very nicely put. (BTW, some new polling data bolsters bolster's Carr's argument.)

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