“There’s not much doubt, Rupert Murdoch declared on his Fox News cable network last year, that Steve Jobs is the best chief executive in the U.S.,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes for Fortune.

“That was in June 2010, when Murdoch was still plotting with Apple to launch The Daily. The owner of the now defunct News of the World has been busy with more pressing concerns, but we haven’t heard much from him lately about Jobs’ incredible focus or the beauty of Apple’s products,” P.E.D. writes. “In fact, a couple of stories in the Wall Street Journal this week suggest there may have been a shift in the editorial wind at Murdoch’s News Corp. properties.”

MacDailyNews Note: P.E.D. references the following two WSJ articles, which we also covered:
• Dominant, disruptive Apple casts large shadow over technology sector – July 23, 2011
• WSJ: Some Apple directors ponder CEO succession; Jobs: ‘I think it’s hogwash’ – July 19, 2011

P.E.D. writes, “What’s going on? We can only speculate. But Murdoch, despite what he told a Parliamentary committee this week, is a hands-on editor, and nowhere more so than at the Journal. Could the paper’s editorial attitude toward Apple have anything to do with what’s happening at The Daily?”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s not Apple’s fault that The Daily sucked at launch. We haven’t gotten around to giving it another chance. Such are the risks of leaving a bad first impression.

We explained what was wrong with The Daily here: Twitter data suggests News Corp.’s The Daily iPad news app is losing audience – April 6, 2011

P.E.D. writes, “When The Daily launched in February, Murdoch predicted that it would ‘sell millions.’ Five months later, that doesn’t seem a likely prospect… Murdoch has not always been enamored of Steve Jobs. Michael Wolff, the author of The Man Who Owns the News, says that in his presence Murdoch once described Jobs as a ‘loon.”

MacDailyNews Take: Michael Wolff, Michael Wolff… Oh, yeah, we remember:
I’ll Say the Unsayable About Apple: “Many, many, many people who pride themselves on a hard and shrewd level of realism believe that Steve Jobs is a goner.” – August 11, 2010
• Is There Anything That Can Trip Up Steve Jobs (Except the Grim Reaper)? – July 19, 2010
• Michael Wolff: Steve Jobs is very much alive; is this good news? – June 8, 2010
Newser’s Michael Wolff: ‘Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch: Let’s sue the Internet’ – March 3, 2010
Apple: Maybe We Should Be Afraid: “Apple is a strange and dastardly company which, sooner rather than later, we’re going to regret pledging our allegiance to.” – February 24, 2010
Apple Dies – January 16, 2009

Grind that ax. (Just stay away from Mr. Jobs; we’re afraid you’d use it, you creepy slime bucket.)

If Murdoch feels he’s been betrayed by The Daily — an adventure that ran up $30 million in start-up costs and has been burning through nearly $500,000 a week ever since — who knows what he’s saying about Apple’s CEO today?”

Full article here.

Related article:
News Corp.’s ‘The Daily’ lost $10 million over last three months – May 5, 2011
News Corp.‘s Super Bowl ad for The Daily shows Apple iPad, neglects to say ‘Apple iPad’ (w/ video) – February 7, 2011
The Daily: First national daily news publication exclusively for iPad debuts; Jobs: ‘It’s terrific’ – February 2, 2011
News Corp. and Apple launch The Daily for iPad: 99-cents per week, $39.99 per year – February 2, 2011
News Corp.‘s Rupert Murdoch hails Apple’s revolutionary iPad as ‘game changer’ – August 5, 2010
News Corp.‘s Rupert Murdoch: ‘All media is going to go onto Apple’s iPad’ (with video) – March 18, 2010
News Corp.‘s Rupert Murdoch waxes enthusiastic about Apple’s iPad – February 19, 2010