Rupert Murdoch smeared by word puzzle

by Toby Manhire / 17 December, 2013
"Satanic backmasking" slurs Murdoch - plus other media moguls insulted in their own papers.
A word puzzle in the News Limited title the Sunday Telegraph invited readers to identify “animals of Indonesia” in the jumbled of letters.

CIVET was there. So was DOLPHIN.

There is no such documented animal as a LIVESIHCODRUM, but read in reverse order those letters, which appear in the puzzle designed by “Harry the Dog”, and you might see why it would upset the big boss at News Limited. Rupert something.

It appears to be a novel example of “Satanic backmasking”, reckons Tim Elliott in the rival Sydney Morning Herald.

The most famous example being “Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, some of the lyrics of which, which when played backwards, sound like, ‘Oh here's to my sweet Satan … He will give those with him 666. There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.’”

A few years ago, another scribe found to his cost that mass circulation newspapers might not be the place to sneak in unspoken sentiments.

Stephen Pollard had been about to begin a new job as editorial writer at the Times newspaper of London (another Murdoch organ) when something unusual was discovered in the final editorial he wrote for the Daily Express, the paper recently acquired by controversial media mogul and pornography publisher Richard Desmond.

There was an acrostic.

Spell out the first letter of each sentence in an otherwise mundane leader on the farming industry, and you would read, “F*** YOU DESMOND” (needless to say, he did not use the asterisks).

It was a mistake. Pollard, who had previously said Desmond and his lieutenants treat readers “like imbeciles who want to live on a diet of pap”, found that the Times job was suddenly no longer on offer.

See also:

Murdoch papers come out swinging on press regulation

Ten of the best newspaper corrections

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