Murdoch jacks Obama’s WSJ subscription by half a mil

The Rupert-Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal has increased the White House’s subscription bill by half a million dollars to $600,000 a year.

Politico reports:

““Obviously, we’re not paying $500,000. This is taxpayer money,” [a White House] official said. “We have no idea how we’re going to handle this. We may have to drop [The Journal].”

“It’s unclear how News Corp. arrived at the $600,000 figure. But copyright laws would prevent the news-clipping service from widely disseminating Wall Street Journal articles without the parent company”s permission.

“For the past decade, Democratic and Republican administrations alike have paid a small Virginia-based media company $100,000 or more each year to prepare customized packages of excerpts from print, TV, radio and blog outlets. Bulletin News of Reston performs the labor-intensive searches, which would otherwise require the hiring of government staff, every night starting at 9 p.m., delivering a package of article extracts and Web links to the West Wing by 5 a.m. each morning.

“The Journal, which sits behind a licensed pay wall, has always been part of the package — until now.

“Earlier this month, a Bulletin News executive informed the White House of the fee increase, which appears to have been motivated by Murdoch’s business model, not his conservative politics.”