'Brits take too many holidays' tweets Rupert (from St Barts)
New to Twitter, Rupert Murdoch slags off British before wife Wendi Deng steps in
WITHIN 48 HOURS of taking to Twitter at the ripe old age of 80, Rupert Murdoch has already had to delete a tweet complaining that the British take too much time off at Christmas, given the state of our economy.
"Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!" he wrote on the short-lived post seen by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The fact that the tweet was posted from the Caribbean island of St Barts where he has been holidaying might not have struck the media tycoon as inappropriate, given his current status in the light of the phone hacking scandal, but it did get a reaction from his famously fleet-footed wife, Wendi Deng, who quickly sent the message: "RUPERT!! delete tweet!!"
At least we know the Murdoch tweets are for real this time. There have been spoof Twitter accounts in the past but this one has been certified genuine by the site's executive chairman, Jack Dorsey. "With his own voice, in his own way, @RupertMurdoch is now on Twitter," Dorsey confirmed.
Murdoch's early tweets suggest he has more time for reading and watching movies than normal. "Have just. Read The Rational Optimist. Great book" was his first offering, referring to the book by Matt Ridley, former chairman of Northern Rock.
He has also read Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Steve Jobs and declared it "interesting but unfair".
Staff on The Wall Street Journal, which he has owned since 2007, will be delighted/horrified to know that on vacation he is keeping an eye on the Oped pages. Thankfully/worryingly he deemed an article on the appeal of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul "great".
Over at 20th Century Fox, another division of News Corp, they'll have learned the boss liked two movies. We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, he called " a great family movie", while The Descendants, with George Clooney, was "Thank God, one to be proud of".
The "too many holidays" tweet wasn't the first to be deleted. Another that came and went swiftly said simply: "alan-sugar". Quite what he intended to write about the pocket dynamo who founded Amstrad and now lords it over The Apprentice remains untold.
Wendi Deng, who has mainly kept to the shadows since her Crouching Tiger, Flying Wendi routine at the House of Commons in July, had already sent a lovey-dovey tweet to Rupert before stepping in as his personal Chinese censor.
According to The Australian, in reply to a New Year's greeting from Rupert, @Wendi_Deng responded: "happy 2012 to u too sweetheart. I LOVE U!!!"
Before this gets out of hand and we have another Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher on our hands, the last word must go to Lord (John) Prescott, the former Labour deputy prime minister. He greeted the tycoon's arrival in the Twittersphere with this:
"Hey @rupertmurdoch. I'm surprised you're only following two people. The police said it was at least 800."
Time will tell whether Murdoch – like Prescott – gets hooked on Twitter or whether, once back in New York from his holidays, tycoonery takes over and he finds himself able to tweet only as often as his son James reads his emails.