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Rupert Murdoch has come under fire for reneging on a contract to publish former <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Hong Kong governor Chris Patten’s manuscript East and West. Reports indicate that Murdoch considered the forthcoming work to be overly critical of the Chinese government, and thought its publication might threaten his investments in mainland China. The press has lambasted Murdoch for toadying to a totalitarian regime, thereby impairing a fledgling democracy movement for his own economic gain. This is a pretty reasonable criticism: It is regrettable that Murdoch felt compelled to sacrifice HarperCollins’s editorial integrity to advance his business interests. But, like most controversies that embroil Murdoch, the current fracas brings into focus the disproportionate media vitriol directed at Murdoch, while the discretionary gestures of his more moderate and leftist peers receive nothing short of approbation.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />