Steven Cuozzo is the executive editor of the New York Post
, the Manhattan tabloid that was taken over by Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch in 1977 and brought back from the edge of bankruptcy. Murdoch is hardly high on most media critics' lists of responsible, progressive publishers, but Cuozzo is not a media critic: he is an unabashed fan of both Murdoch and the more excessive traditions of tabloid journalism. After Murdoch took over, Cuozzo claims, the Post
"reinvented tabloid America and put the nation back in touch with itself." Inventing a tabloid America and reacquainting the nation with an older self may seem like contradictory achievements, but like the daily he edits, Cuozzo's prose steamrolls its way through nagging questions of accuracy, fairness, and perspective. Also like the newspaper, this is an entertaining story of some mighty colorful, if sensationalized, characters.
From Publishers Weekly
If only Cuozzo, executive editor of the New York Post, had kept to his mandate to the first half of his subtitle. As a veteran of the tabloid since 1973, he presents an anecdotal history as only an insider can, with verve and detail. But beneath his tale of big stories, crusty characters and the newspaper's roller-coaster ride under a succession of owners (notably Peter Kalikow, the loopy Abe Hirshfeld and Rupert Murdoch), Cuozzo must strenuously justify the Post. "Employing humor and the common touch, it broke the elitist media stranglehold on the national agenda," he declares at the outset. While he remarks accurately that the paper has always been "a partisan organ," he sees little irony in feeding the paper's working-class readers a diet of harsh conservatism and upscale gossip. Of course, he has nothing critical to say about Murdoch, who rescued the paper in 1993. Readers who wonder how a brilliant headline like "Mayflower Madam" came about will find some of Cuozzo's stories worth repeating. But those who lament the tabloidization of American journalism?TV is now the culprit, Cuozzo notes?might not find the author's defenses convincing.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.