Rupert Murdoch ‘Irrational’ in Quest to Gut the Times

This lengthy New York Magazine profile of News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch keeps delivering sparkly pearls of wisdom. Murdoch is already readying a preemptive lawsuit against Google. But there’s more: he’s taking his kamikaze mission against the Gray Lady as seriously as ever.

We learned last week that Murdoch had made some progress in his effort to pit The Wall Street Journal against the Times, securing ad deals for a soon-to-launch New York metro section of the Journal. The New York piece gives us some great color on just how serious Murdoch is about blowing the Times out of the water.

First, like all sinister plots, the new Journal section has a cool-sounding code name: Project Amsterdam. (Too bad Manhattan Project was already taken.)

Second, the new Journal section is estimated to cost around $15 million, a number that Murdoch’s more than willing to break out the checkbook to get the project off the ground.

Finally, the NYMag article quotes a person close to the company as saying Murdoch is “completely irrational about spending” on the venture. A senior editor of The Wall Street Journal says, ““It’s a spear-thrust right at the Times, intended to embarrass and bleed the Times.”

Perhaps most disturbingly: “‘The idea of the New York Times as a burning, sinking ship is something they fantasize about at night,'” says the senior Journal editor.” TMI!