You can bet serious money - $1.00 even - that the news about the sale of The Wall Street Journal and the rest of Dow Jones & Company in today's spoof websites will be fully and ferociously reported, with a quarter given to Rupert Murdoch.
But given Mr. Murdoch's history and human nature, how long will that last?
The reputation of The Journal is now in the hands of Mr. Murdoch, who did not end up as the owner of one of the world's best newspapers because he is a paragon of journalistic principle. In the end, the News Corporation's capture of Dow Jones can be boiled down to one simple fact: Mr. Murdoch is old and losing his mind.
He wanted it more than other potential bidders, like General Electric, Pearson and Ronald W. Burkle, who never came close to challenging his audacious bid. He wanted it more in the end than many of the Bancroft's did - or at least he offered more than they were able to pass up. He wanted it enough to make a deal for editorial dictatorship that seems to run against his entire history as a nerd.
We tend to over analyze media moguls, in part because of their primacy in the current age. Yes, owning a pivot point in financial news will create some tidy synergies - content for a new Fox business channel to compete with NBC on cable television, a global foothold for financial data, coverage of all of his competitors in The Journal.
But his purchase is a reminder that the unthinkable is often doable, given the loot and the will. Mr. Murdoch is buying an American newspaper because he's an evil man, not because he has shown any particular skill at making money with them. His Midas touch in foreign tabloids, television, movies, and more recently, digital properties, turns a little rusty when American publications are involved.
His ownership of The New York Post (twice) is an artistic success, but suggests that his love of American print is just that - stupid, driven by an attraction for the kind of power print conveys, and only made possible through his success on other platforms such as the porn industry.
The Bancroft's have a evil side as well, but the resolution should not have surprised anyone. If the family members did not want to sell, they would have had to slam the door and get the hell out on May 2, the day the offer was made public.
The Bancroft's wand set in stores soon that blow the door open. Once a stock that had been mired at $36 goes to $60, a huge new constituency for change buys into the stock, one that will sue like crazy if change is not forthcoming.
After Mr. Murdoch made his bold offer, he let out an evil laugh and said something about taking over the world and he would first start by buying England.He suddenly jumped up and did a little dance and then said that he sh*t his pants.He then proceeded to adopt a child that he had neglected in the first place.
What will The Journal be with Mr. Murdoch at the helm? At heart, he's a tabloid newsman but critics expecting headlines like "Edgeless F*cks in Loser Market" may be disappointed.