Emma Tucker outside the Journal offices on April 4.
Photo: Daniel Arnold

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Emma Tucker got her first inkling that something bad might be happening on the afternoon of March 29.

Two months into her job as editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, she was having a business-as-usual meeting with Liz Harris, her managing editor. Harris, an Australian, had followed Tucker to New York from the also–owned–by–Rupert Murdoch Sunday Times of London. Harris mentioned, almost as an aside, that a 31-year-old foreign correspondent named Evan Gershkovich had missed his daily check-in. The last time he’d been heard from, he had just arrived at a steakhouse in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to meet a source. Not to worry; these things sometimes happen.

Tucker, 56, paused and thought for a moment. She had been introduced to hundreds of people since Murdoch announced in December that he was giving her the Journal job. Before she arrived in New York, she’d passed through the Journal’s London bureau and met a procession of foreign correspondents stationed there. Ah yes, Evan. He had left Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine, but within a few months, he’d returned to do reporting, filing vivid, on-the-ground stories about the human, economic, and social costs of the war. She remembered.

Harris assured her boss she would keep her posted, and they went back to work. But Tucker had trouble focusing. She kept thinking back to 2014, when she was deputy editor at the Times of London and two of the paper’s journalists were kidnapped in northern Syria. The pair managed to escape but not before one was shot in the leg. Tucker met with them and their families when they got home. Ever after, her approach with foreign correspondents was cautious. She would order them back from danger zones, sometimes against their own wishes. She had learned what it was like to face the anguished family of a reporter. She tried to push those dark thoughts from her mind.

At about 6 p.m., she looked up from her desk and noticed Harris moving hurriedly toward her. She could tell from the way her No. 2 was walking that something had gone horribly wrong. Gershkovich still hadn’t checked in, Harris told her, and there were local reports that a man had been arrested in a restaurant.

In Russia, a driver was sent to the reporter’s home. Nobody was there. Night fell in New York, and Tucker returned to her new apartment on the Upper West Side — her three sons still live in the U.K., and her husband has been to-ing and fro-ing — to drift off to an uneasy sleep. At 4 a.m., her phone rang. It was Harris. The successor agency to the KGB, the FSB, had Gershkovich and was accusing him of spying. Tucker got on a call with the Journal?’s security team, an attorney, and the foreign editor. At 5:11 a.m., she emailed a note to her new staff.

Soon, Tucker, who had never worked in America before and hardly knew her way around the city, let alone her own newsroom — her assistant hasn’t even moved from London yet — became the public face of Gershkovich’s imprisonment.

She appeared all over television, on everything from Face the Nation to Anderson Cooper 360° to Fox & Friends, to protest the Russian charges of espionage as “utter rubbish.” The Journal immediately profiled its reporter on the front page of the weekend paper, posted a selection of his coverage of Russia outside the paper’s paywall, and then published a piece about the infamous Lefortovo prison, where Gershkovich is being kept. Tucker and Harris visited the reporter’s family in Philadelphia on April 2 to deliver notes from their son’s friends and colleagues. Journal reporters, normally advised to be circumspect on social media, were instructed to tweet as much as possible about Gershkovich, and readers were encouraged to add #IStandWithEvan to their social-media posts.

Now, Tucker’s journalistic rivals have rallied around her. “She has handled a difficult situation with urgency and confidence,” says Joe Kahn, executive editor of the New York Times. “Emma has also done one of the most important things an editor can do in a terrible situation like this, using good journalism and a powerful platform to keep the injustice front and center in people’s minds.”

Which is really — even when you run one of the most powerful news organizations on the planet — all you can do. President Biden has spoken up in support, and it’s going to be up to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has already said “there is no doubt that he is being wrongfully detained,” to negotiate his release. The assumption is that the Russians are planning on convicting him secretly so they can use him for a prisoner swap.

Tucker’s job is just to keep him in the news. “You really have to think how to keep high and sustained visibility,” says Fred Ryan, the publisher of the Washington Post. He’d started in his job just weeks after reporter Jason Rezaian had been imprisoned in Iran in 2014. “There’s a fire hose of things coming at the White House and particularly the president,” he says. “Things quickly get deprioritized because there’s always something new.” The Post’s then-editor, Marty Baron, had to become the public face of Rezaian’s imprisonment. “My role,” says Baron, “was really to be a regular presence at key moments on television, on radio, and other interviews with the printed press, to be the person who was always talking about Jason and articulating what was going on and the injustices that were being inflicted upon him.” Baron had encouraged continuing attention from other media outlets and confronted Iranian officials when possible, including Hassan Rouhani at his annual meeting with the press prior to the U.N. General Assembly.

For a new editor in a strange land, it’s a challenge. The Journal staff had been wary of Tucker, and for good reason. Her predecessor was Matt Murray, a Journal lifer who had been given the top job in 2018 after the staff rebelled against the previous Murdoch import as editor, Gerard Baker. Baker was a bumptious right-winger who’d been accused of slanting the coverage toward Trump. So the worry with Tucker, as one reporter puts it, “was, like, ‘Are you Gerry or a reasonable person?’”

After all, Murdoch chose them both. As he opaquely wrote back when I asked why he picked her, “Emma Tucker will build on The Wall Street Journal’s authority and give it new life, as she did with The Sunday Times in London.”

What he wants from her is one of many open questions in Murdoch world. There is the coming defamation suit against Fox News by Dominion (the trial is set to start April 17, but embarrassing revelations have been dribbling out for months). His plan to remerge the two halves of his empire — the wildly profitable TV part and the legacy newspaper business — ran aground in January. And last month, the 92-year-old got engaged to be married for a fifth time, but by April it was off. Questions of succession and the entire future of his imperium swirl.

Inside the newsroom of the Journal, which remains Murdoch’s prize possession, staff are learning who it is he has foisted upon them now and what her plans are for the august broadsheet as Tucker faces the most intense crucible imaginable for an editor. Although, as Baron points out, “this is probably something that could help her win trust with the staff, to show that she is totally committed to Evan’s release.”

Emma Tucker keeps Evan Gershkovich in the news.

People who know Tucker will remark that this is not, technically, the first time she has lived in America. But it has been a while.

She grew up middle class in the town of Lewes, south of London. Her father was a lecturer in child psychology at the University of Sussex, and her mother had been a teacher. When she was 16, as she recounted on a 2018 podcast called Media Masters, she “saw an advert for a school” in New Mexico called the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West. “I set off with two other British girls aged 15 — no, we were 16, we did our O-levels — to this school, literally in the middle of nowhere.” It was a formative adventure.

In 1986, she arrived at Oxford. “It was still quite a male atmosphere,” says Stewart Wood, a Labour Party politician and former adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown who befriended her there, “but she was not at all intimidated by that.” When the captain of the rugby team barged naked into her room one night, she felt the school didn’t take the intrusion seriously, so she wrote about the incident for the Guardian.

“That was the beginning for her,” says Rachel Johnson, a British journalist and the sister of former prime minister Boris Johnson. It became clear Tucker was going to be a writer; she edited a college magazine titled The Isis.

Although not a member of the British elite by birth, she stood out. “She’s one of my oldest and best friends,” Johnson says. “She’s my daughter’s godmother, and I’ve known her since we were at Oxford together. We were all younger then. She’s a woman of stature and maturity now, but I wouldn’t have said either of us were particularly grounded. But she was always good fun, absolutely full of energy and just adorable in every way, really. There was a place called the Dub Club, the Caribbean club. We used to go there, and we all wore the same clothes. We wore jeans and black roll necks. We thought we were cool.”

Each year, the Financial Times would take on two graduate trainees; in 1989, Johnson became one of them, and Tucker followed in 1990. “We just had a blast because there were very few women on the paper,” remembers Johnson. “I mean, like, four. It was me and Emma against the rest. She was always much more diligent, I think, and applied than I was. Stayed there longer, got sent abroad, had three kids.” (Tucker also has three stepsons with her second husband.)

Tucker became an economics reporter at the FT in the early ’90s, just as the U.K. was being booted from something called the European Exchange Rate Mechanism — basically the system that preceded the euro, which Britain ultimately never took up — sending shock waves through the economy. It was a complicated story to cover, which made for good training for her next job: She moved to Brussels to report on the minutiae of the European single market. “She persevered with a lot of grit and determination to get to the top,” remembers her then-boss, Lionel Barber, who went on to be the editor-in-chief of the FT. “She can be very charming, and she’s got a good sense of humor. She recognizes the absurd — often when I’ve been absurd — and she’s good at poking and pricking pomposity.”

She soon struck up a friendship with the mischievous foreign editor, an Aussie named Robert Thomson who dressed a bit like a teddy boy and had an eye for quirky stories. He became the weekend editor, and young Tucker filed colorful feature stories to him about subjects like polyglottal “Eurobrats.” (Tucker speaks French, German, and Spanish.)

He was a good friend to have. Thomson ascended at the FT, becoming the U.S. managing editor in 1998. While living in New York, he’d gotten to know fellow antipodean Murdoch, and when he was passed over for the top job at the FT in 2001, he defected to the Times of London. Murdoch and Thomson famously get on well. They share a birthday, and The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta once wrote that “he is perhaps Murdoch’s only close friend.”

The Times, founded in 1785, was the original crowbar Murdoch used to pry his way into the London Establishment. He’d bought the center-right paper and its weekend edition, the Sunday Times (which, in common English fashion, has always been run like a separate paper with its own editor and staff) back in 1981, when he was just 49.

In 2007, after Murdoch vastly overpaid for The Wall Street Journal in order to force his way into the American Establishment, he brought Thomson over as its publisher, then its editor. But before he left London, Thomson had lured Tucker away from the FT to the Times.

By 2013, she was No. 2 at that paper, working under then-editor John Witherow. Wood, the Labour politician who knew Tucker from university, remembers visiting the newsroom then and describes their relationship: “Witherow was, and is, someone who has a reputation of being quite, what’s the word, dictatorial. You had all these people scuttling and asking for his view on quite detailed things they clearly had a grip on. He was also a taciturn guy. He quite kept to himself.” Tucker, says Wood, “was, style-wise, quite different to that in the sense that she talks a lot, likes to get people in, likes to ask them what they’re thinking. The energy she wears on her sleeve quite strongly, and if she has worries, she’ll express them. She’s almost the opposite, character-wise, to him.”

In 2020, she became editor of the Sunday Times. She was the first woman to have the job since 1901, when the paper was edited (and owned) by Rachel Beer, a member of the fabulously wealthy Sassoon merchant family.

Many on Fleet Street marvel at Tucker’s ability to rise in Murdoch world seemingly without compromising her beliefs. “If you’re looking at the political spectrum at the top of News Corp., Emma is not a natural fit there,” says Barber. Witherow describes her as “more a metropolitan liberal.” Wood says, “She’s never hidden that, and yet she’s thrived under Rupert Murdoch at a time when the conservative government had been in power for a long time, and Murdoch had been pretty clear that he supports, broadly speaking, the Conservatives.”

Tucker was, among other metropolitan things, anti-Brexit. She also recognized that the future of the Times of London was in creating a “quality journalism” brand and hiding it behind a paywall. As she said in that 2018 podcast interview, “We made a very conscious decision not to compete on breaking news but to focus on what we’re really good at. What are we really good at? News, comment, analysis, big reads, features, advice.”

That was the strategy she took with her to the Sunday paper. “The paper had been run forever by a bunch of old-fashioned print people, and Emma was brought in with a real mandate to totally overhaul the place,” recalls one former Sunday Times colleague. “She basically said, ‘Welcome to the digital revolution.’ She hired a bunch of younger faces, promoted younger people.” Out went the “pompous old men” with their “misty-eyed tales about the glory days of Fleet Street, when they were just printing money and drinking gin in the afternoons. She would say, ‘Now we actually have to work for people’s attention.’” She wore sneakers to the office, always kept an open door, and made the news meetings an exciting place to be.

The paper had to play to its upmarket subscriber base, but it also had to stay true to its Murdoch DNA. Tucker seemed to achieve the balance well. “I had been terrified when she came in that this might be some new expression of wokery being foisted upon the Sunday Times,” says Rod Liddle, the paper’s right-wing columnist-provocateur, “but we went out for lunch quite early on and she had a sense of humor.” Perhaps she was just adapting to her Murdochian environs? “I don’t think she’s a chameleon,” says Liddle, “’cause she would argue with me about stuff. I think she is of the liberal left but is not remotely doctrinaire about it.”

“She’s had to put up with a lot of prejudice and obstacles as a woman journalist in Britain,” says her former boss Barber. But “she’s very good at handling men and getting what she needs done,” says the Sunday Times colleague in what came to be a frequent refrain on many of my calls for this article. “Yes, I think she is very good at managing men,” says Rachel Johnson. “She’s a fantastic woman,” attests Witherow.

When she was asked about newspapering being an old boys’ club by Media Masters, she seemed to shrug it off: “I don’t think there are obstacles to women getting on. I mean the issue for British newspapers I don’t think is so much women; it’s that we’re not very diverse — and that’s much more of a challenge, frankly, than whether or not women are getting promoted.”

Meanwhile, her revamped paper had its share of agenda-setting scoops. The Sunday Times had been a big Boris booster, but after Tucker took over, the paper’s investigative desk — the “Insight” team, as it’s known — dug into Johnson’s shambolic handling of the pandemic. The resulting 5,000-word exposé, headlined “38 Days When Britain Sleepwalked Into Disaster,” went off like a bomb on Downing Street. I asked Boris’s sister, Rachel, if it ever got tense when her brother was being brought to the woodshed by her best mate, Emma. “We managed to keep that very separate,” says Johnson. “I can’t take any responsibility for anything she put in the paper. I have been blamed for it on occasion, but it’s never ever been anything to do with me.” (Although it presumably didn’t drive too much of a wedge between the two friends, considering she once described her brother’s rhetoric as “tasteless” and “totally reprehensible.”)

There have been other scoops. Last year, the Sunday Times broke the story of how the future King Charles III accepted a suitcase with €1 million in cash from a Qatari politician.

It was about a year ago that Tucker began telling people that she sensed she was being groomed to edit the Journal.

The Journal is Murdoch’s most important paper. In 2007, he overpaid for it from the Bancrofts. (The haughty Pierces of the Murdoch-inspired show Succession are based, in part, on that family.) As with his purchase of the Times of London decades prior, the Journal gave him a respectability that paired nicely with the reach of Fox News (which he started in 1996) and the New York Post (which he purchased in 1976).

But the Journal?’s ability to set the nation’s news agenda the way the New York Times and Washington Post did — despite having larger circulations than both at the time — was hampered by its approach to coverage. It was the premiere chronicler of finance, stuffed with investor tips and hard-hitting reporting on corporate America, and had a deliberately antediluvian front page with illustrations and not photographs. All this dated from the era when it was the businessman’s second read. But, as a consequence, people didn’t tend to say, “Did you see the front page of the Journal today?”

The Journal had two other things going for it: a firmly right-wing opinion section that operated separately from the news pages and had its own fixations (see “Who Is Vincent Foster?”) and a paywall that readers were actually willing to pay for (maybe because it could be counted as a business expense), while the Gray Lady was still giving herself away for free online.

But Murdoch wanted his even-grayer lady to pop. “If I may be so bold as to say that in this country, newspapers have become monopolized,” he said to a roomful of Journal bureau chiefs shortly after he bought the paper, according to Sarah Ellison’s 2010 book War at the Wall Street Journal. “They’ve become — some of them have become pretty pretentious and suffer from a sort of tyranny of journalism schools so often run by failed editors.”

The paper’s editor Marcus Brauchli was reportedly paid $6.4 million in severance to get lost, and Murdoch installed Thomson. Photos and nonfinancial news arrived on the front page, the features and lifestyle sections were expanded, and soon Murdoch had what he’d always wanted: a national daily newspaper, if one that seemed, in many ways, rather like any other quality broadsheet anywhere else in the world. There was even, for a while, a local-news section called “Greater New York,” which seemed designed to troll the New York Times.

In 2013, when the Murdoch empire was split in two, Thomson became the CEO of News Corp., home to all the newspapers and book publishing. His deputy at the Journal, Baker, was bumped up as editor. He had followed a familiar path: Like Thomson (and Tucker), Baker worked at the FT through much of the ’90s before jumping to Murdoch’s Times.

The newsroom did not take to Baker, to put it mildly. He seemed to many a reporter the caricature of an out-of-touch British colonial administrator. He sent barking emails and dropped words like otiose in staff memos. And he was a right-wing ideologue with a penchant for vaguely sinister chalk-striped suits.

But the real trouble came during, and after, the 2016 election. He was a bit too openly smitten with Trump for many on his staff. He once joined his reporters for a meeting at the Trump White House, soon after which a transcript of the Oval Office meeting leaked showing how Baker had sucked up to Ivanka. (“It was nice to see you out in Southampton a couple weeks ago.”)

The New York Times and the Washington Post and several upstart digital news operations, many of which embraced the resistance, started picking off top talent. By 2018, things had become so untenable that Baker had to be deposed, moved over to the opinion page, and given a cranky column called “Free Expression,” in which he could bang on about the sorts of things that presumably Murdoch gets himself riled up about when he can’t sleep at night. (Recent headline: “Employers Need to Put the Squeeze on Woke Intolerance.”)

Baker was replaced as editor by Matt Murray. He wasn’t a Murdoch apparatchik but a Journal lifer and an American. It was a remarkable choice in some ways in its very banality. Murray was known as being meticulous and focused on keeping up standards.

The Journal got some of its mojo back and broke big scoops, such as the news of the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments (first reported in 2018) and the Facebook Files (2021). But Murray is not a Murdoch made man or, in some ways, a natural newsroom leader. “The Journal under Matt really became rather gentlemanly,” says one hotshot reporter there. “He was boring, risk averse, very temperamental, and he would weigh in on every story.” He was so detail oriented that he would reportedly line-edit stories on WSJ Noted, a magazine the paper started to appeal to young people, objecting to “jargon-y woke-isms” like “trans-phobia.”

It was a difficult time for newspapers, with the New York Times and the Washington Post struggling to respond appropriately even as Trump behaved in ways that were unprecedented. Black Lives Matter and its aftermath only upped the tensions between leadership and many more progressive members of their staffs, who would gather on Slack channels to complain, critique, and strategize (one at the Journal was called Newsroomies). Murray was determined not to let his sober newspaper become drunk with outrage. But it was difficult. “There was so much devotion to this notion that we were the only ones who played it straight,” says another Journal reporter, “that we would bend over backward often in the wrong way.”

Meanwhile, Murray found himself in a simmering beef with Almar Latour, another Journal veteran who reportedly was also up for the editor’s job in 2018. “They hate each other,” the New York Times’ Edmund Lee quoted a source saying in 2021. Murray and Latour reportedly undermined each other, and sources told the New York Times that Murray was unhappy when Latour was promoted to be the CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of the Journal in 2020. (The Journal denied the feud at the time.)

In any case, it wasn’t all that surprising that Murray wouldn’t last forever in the job. He was always going to be a bit too American J-school deep state for Murdoch, who likes his editors to be Brits or Aussies. Just pick up a copy of his other New York paper, the Post: Its editor-in-chief, Keith Poole, and top columnists — Douglas Murray, Piers Morgan, Miranda Devine — all have funny accents. When Tucker’s appointment was announced, News Corp. said Murray would take on a new role reporting to Thomson.

The WSJ Leadership: Rupert Murdoch, 92-year-old mogul facing challenges to his legacy names new editor of his fanciest toy. Emma Tucker, editor-in-chief. Robert Thomson, Rupert’s bestie and Emma’s champion, he’s a good ally to have in Murdoch world. Almar Latour, a journalist turned suit, he reportedly “hated” Emma’s predecessor, Matt Murray (not pictured). Liz Harris, Emma Tucker’s Aussie consigliere, one of three women she brought in from the Sunday Times. Gerard Baker, a Trumpy right-winger and ex-Journal editor-in-chief who was deposed in a reporter revolt. Now a cranky opinion columnist.
Photo: Images: Getty

In February, Elon Musk joined Murdoch and his inner circle in a box at the Super Bowl. Tucker watched the game with Latour down in the stands. She asked many questions about how the peculiar American sport is played. A few weeks after that, she was in Washington, D.C., meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and attending the Gridiron dinner.

In some sense, Tucker is following in the tradition of nervy British editors before her who have splash-landed at the top of a New York publication and expected to sink or swim. “It can be quite a daunting pond with all its different power players and mores,” says expat Tina Brown, “which is why I wanted to give a party for her.” Brown and British ambassador Karen Pierce had organized a welcome gathering for Tucker in March. The guest list was larded with power brokers from the worlds of finance (Stephen Schwarzman, Jamie Dimon, Steve Rattner) and media (Gayle King, Jeff Zucker, Anna Wintour). But a few days beforehand, Tucker bailed on her big party.

Thomson had invited her to join him at the Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco, and he is her boss, after all. “I think it’s a complex political situation at The Wall Street Journal,” muses Brown. “Everyone understands that Rupert is the great Logan Roy presence, as it were, stalking through the newsroom even when he isn’t stalking through the newsroom. And there’s Rebekah Brooks in London, who is always kind of an unknown force, and Robert here. So there’s quite a bit of trickiness.” (Brooks is the News Corp. executive who oversees the British papers; her career had very nearly been derailed by the phone-hacking scandal that came to a head in 2011.)

Tucker has always been a favorite of Thomson’s, who emailed me, via a News Corp. flack (it was, curiously enough, paired with the quote from Murdoch himself), that “Emma is a brilliant journalist and sage leader, and her excellence and efficacy will become obvious to all. She has taken the helm at a crucial time for media, with the looming challenge of Artificial Intelligence — her Actual Intelligence is even more potent.”

Tucker has brought with her from London three confidants. There’s Harris, the managing editor, and also Taneth Evans, an expert in digital strategy. But perhaps most crucially there is Jo Bull, her no-bullshit executive assistant who is the News Corp. whisperer, someone who can help Tucker navigate the competing power centers in the court of Murdoch. “She’s been in that world for ages and knows everyone and everything,” says one person at the Sunday Times.

Maybe it’s because Succession is back on HBO for one last season, or maybe it’s because the chess pieces really are still moving, but Murdochologists have been in overdrive lately. And soon the Dominion trial will start, which means Tucker will have to cover her boss and the Fox News people who share 1211 Sixth Avenue with her. Maybe it’s best not to read too much into it all. “Emma is much liked by Rupert,” says Brown, “so she has strength.”

There will be plenty else for the Journal to cover: Trump’s trial, a presidential election, a possible banking crisis, clashes with China, and, of course, war in Ukraine.

Tucker spent her first few weeks touring the newsroom and domestic bureaus. “It was kind of a speed-dating thing,” says one of the reporters, “and the editors were adorably nervous about showing off for her.” The staff there is still fixated, almost irresponsibly, on the internal politics of making it onto the print front page.

Tucker will, I’m told, now attempt to deprogram them all from such considerations. When reporters see their bosses squabble over print front-page placement, it sets a toxic top-down precedent about how and when things get pitched, reported, packaged, presented, and published. (This is why the New York Times did away with its “Page One” meetings years ago and the masthead editors there handed off print front-page decisions to a team of lower-ranking editors.) Tucker wants to deprioritize the dry, short, incremental news reports that make up much of the Journal’s daily output in favor of lengthy investigations, and she wants to cook up creative, conceptual stories that rely on the kind of expert business analysis that only a Journal reporter can provide. Ironically, this seems to be a return to the paper’s editorial identity under the Bancrofts, only digitized.

Two such recent stories that Tucker has pointed to as examples of what she wants include the investigation into who might have blown up the Nord Stream pipeline and a writerly report about how the collapse of Credit Suisse struck at Switzerland’s existential identity as a nation. Change is hard at the Journal, though. “She’s talking about doing big enterprise, impactful stories,” says one of the reporters, “but they’re also freezing newsroom travel. There’s worrisome creaks in the timber. We just don’t know, six months from now, will she be putting her own mark on the place? Or just responding to what changes you can make in the time you have? We just don’t know if she’s transformational or not.”

It’s a jittery time for everyone in the media business, and there are layoffs all over. Tucker’s contemporaries back in Britain say she must have been surprised when she first saw the size of the Journal’s budgets; she’s used to much smaller newsrooms and making do with a lot less.

But whatever changes she plans on making will have to wait. Right now, all anyone can think about is Gershkovich. “In pursuing Evan’s freedom, Emma is doing much that all can see and much, much more behind the complex curtain of global diplomacy,” Thomson wrote in the email to me. “Her savviness and empathy are vital at a time of high emotion and inevitable uncertainty.”

On April 6, the New York Times editorial board published a strongly worded call for Gershkovich’s release. The next day, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell issued a rare joint statement demanding he be freed. A Moscow court is scheduled to hear an appeal on April 18 from Gershkovich’s lawyers, but, as the brother of Paul Whelan — another American currently being held by Russia — told Murdoch’s Post in early April, he worries it could be a “long, drawn-out process.” Whelan said Gershkovich’s charges were “identical” to his brother’s: “They’re concocted charges of espionage based on paranoia, rather than reality.”

And where is Rupert Murdoch? Under fire for, among other things, the Dominion lawsuit, he seems less the global power broker he once was, at least in public. He and Thomson are said to be working their connections around the world because you never know from where the breakthrough might come. But Tucker is the one out front.

Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter, was imprisoned in Iran for 544 days. “These are very tricky situations,” says his former editor Baron. “They likely go on for a long time. Almost never is there an instant release, or even a release within a short period of time. The Journal, both a new editor and the entire staff, has to be prepared for the long haul.”