Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Murdoch in London: Not having a very good day

THESE HAVE NOT BEEN the best of times for world media colossus Rupert Murdoch. The hacking scandal in London has forced him to regroup with one less newspaper - the scoop-driven tabloid that had been the biggest English-language newspaper in the world. You don't get that way without juicy peekaboos of the rich and the famous. And you don't get shut down by owner Murdoch unless he is in the greatest damage control mode in media history. Few, if any, outside the Murdoch empire are inclined to weep.

The ugly slop that Murdoch's News Corp. is trying to ooze out of specifically centers on the company's News of the World, whose sneaky intrusions reached as high as the country's beloved royalty to various other victims along the way. It now embraces private investigators, politicians, the prime minister , bribed police and anyone else that the paper found useful in titillating its readers. It has been going on for a decade, which shows you the depths of tolerance and benign neglect that some public officials exercised in the paper's behalf.

But it wasn't until the scandal sheet hacked the voicemail of a girl before she was found dead that people started to take the paper's unlawful tactics seriously enough for officials to respond.

Team Murdoch, which presides over Fox News in America, reacted to the perilous news about its gossipy ways to set up funds for potentially explosive law suits that would get quite monstrously costly.(By the way, Media Matters is reporting that the gang at Fox News has largely ignored the nasty cause celebre. Are you surprised? Wouldn't think so.)

Murdoch, his son James and his top editor, Rebekah Brooks have now been asked to appear before Parliament to to explain the paper's bad habits.

The scandal couldn't have come at a worse time for Murdoch as he is deeply engaged in a multibillion dollar takeover of BSkyB, Britain's largest pay TV provider. (Murdock never thinks small.) There is growing disaffection for the deal by Parliament as well as for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been described as a close friend of the Murdochs. It was Cameron, after all, who hired f0rmer Murdoch editor Andy Coulson, as Cameron's press spokesman. A few days ago Coulson was arrested and charged with, um, "inappropriate' payoffs to some police who were in on the deal.

More damage control: Cameron now stands with those who oppose the Murdoch TV takeover. Makes sense to me, in a survival sort of way



JLM said...

On BBC news last night an Australian journalist reported that Murdoch's company owns more than 80 percent of the news outlets in Australia (Murdoch's native land) and virtually none of them are reporting on the story either.

Grumpy Abe said...

When influential newsmongers don't report their dirty laundry, it's supposed to mean that the dirty laundry never happened

Marv said...

Haven't seen a word about the scandal on the cable channel, and front-page clutter at foxnews.com is providing cover for a tiny link to an AP story.

"We covered it, we covered it..." on our Web site!!!

mencken said...

Indiana Jones would have trouble finding the News Corp. story on Fox's web page.

It's nestled between "Man Searches For Over a Year For Gold to Make Engagement Ring" and "British Man's Eyeball Pecked Out by Seabird".

PaulRyanFan84 said...

What is everyone talking about? I watch Fox News everyday and they have been all over this story.

Do you guys even watch Fox???

Grumpy Abe said...

You watch fox every day? How was I supposed to know that?