Bil Browning

Are All British Media Owners Jackasses?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 19, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Alexandre Lebedev, News Corp, News of the World, Rupert Murdoch, Sergei Polonsky, The Evening Standard, The Independent

What's the deal with owners of British newspapers acting like jackasses lately?

First there's the whole News of the World scandal that led to the paper's demise and owner Rupert Murdoch donkey-jackass.jpgsquirming before Parliament. Leading editors and corporate overlords have been fired, others are in jail, and News Corp shareholders are advocating have sued the company as more and more evidence surfaces that Murdoch & Co knew reporters were tapping phone lines to get scoops.

Now another billionaire newspaper magnate has taken center stage for his own bad antics. Alexandre Lebedev punched ex-billionaire Sergei Polonsky three times in the face on Russian television during a discussion of world economic policies. Lebedev owns The Evening Standard and The Independent.

A host on the show, called "Crisis: The Russian response", said the brawl was a sign of a worsening economic situation.

"If oligarchs are fighting then it means things are not going well and the crisis a very worrying issue," said Yekaterina Gordeyeva, with a slight smile.

Lebedev, 51, is a former Russian spy who made billions trading stocks and bonds after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Polonsky was on the Forbes billionaires list in 2008 but was knocked off during the economic crisis, which hit Russia harder than many other emerging countries.

At this point, I'm waiting for Jerry Springer to announce his purchase of The London Times. Video of the slugfest after the break.

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