1969 — Rupert Murdoch begins publishing “The Sun”

Rupert Murdoch was already a media magnate in his native Australia, and in New Zealand as well, when he entered the British media market in 1968. His initial foray was to purchase the “News of the World”, but the following year, he picked up the struggling daily “The Sun”, which was five years old and in serious trouble. He shifted it to a tabloid format with an emphasis on page three girls and sports – he also saved money by using a single printing press for both papers (they had previously each had their own).

The revamped paper first appeared in its tabloid format on November 17, 1969 – the first headline was “HORSE DOPE SENSATION”, and its redesigned masthead was deliberately in imitation of its main competitor, “The Daily Mirror”. In the years that followed, “The Sun” would become one of the dominant newspapers in the United Kingdom (and its success helped to fund Murdoch’s later expansion into the American market). Along the way, Murdoch has made powerful enemies at every turn – but he’s also made even more powerful friends, especially on the right wing of politics in the countries where his enterprises operate.

Referenced in:
Dear Mr Murdoch — Roger Taylor

1973 – Richard Nixon proclaims that he is “not a crook”

While addressing a group of 400 newspaper editors from the Associated Press, President Richard Milhous Nixon proclaimed “I am not a crook.” On the face of it, a remarkable assertion for any head of state to feel was actually necessary to make. But then, Nixon was somewhat paranoid, and the slowly unfolding Watergate scandal was only making him more so. (Although to be fair, is it really paranoia when they really are out to get you?)

He was also lying, or at least, there is considerable evidence that suggests that he was lying, most notably the fact that his successor’s first act on taking office was to issue a Presidential Pardon for Nixon – even though he had not been convicted of any crime (usually considered a pre-requisite for pardoning).

Nope, he was a crook all right.

Referenced in:

Son of Orange County — Frank Zappa