Don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with the wacky hijinks of the Murdoch Empire across the pond. A brief summary is that the News-Corps-owned News of the World was caught hacking into the cell phones of politicians, celebrities and even, alarming, a 13 year-old murder victim in an effort to get scoops. The practice appears relatively common among the British tabloids but NOW had taken it to new heights. They’ve also apparently been bribing police for information. Two figures are the epicenter of this: Andy Coulson, who went on to become David Cameron’s spin doctor; and Rebekah Brooks, a woman who rose from low in the ranks to become the chief of NOW and was close to Murdoch. My apologies if I’ve left off or mangled some salient points.
I’ve been trying to think on this and kept writing up posts, but the issues seem fairly obvious. What News of the World did was vile and illegal and people should go to prison over it. It doesn’t matter if other tabloids were doing it and it doesn’t matter if there is animus against Murdoch involved. It was illegal; it was vile. Even if you leave out the part about hacking into a murder victim’s cell phone and erasing messages when her voice mail got full, it was still wrong. I’m not a big fan of celebrities, but they deserve some privacy. Uncovering the activities of Hugh Grant’s dick is not exactly exposing government corruption. I’m sorry; the people do not have a right to know what, say, J.K. Rowling might be doing at all times (rolling around in large piles of cash, I would imagine).
That having all been said, the glee that many on the Left are feeling about this, which reached its zenith when some idiot threw a pie at an 80-year-old man, is misplaced. Murdoch is not going to jail and Fox News is not going to shutter its doors. Sorry, guys. Not going to happen. McArdle:
The very thing that makes liberals hate Fox News–its slant, and its large audience–make it impossible to kill. Even if you destroyed the network, some other cable network would buy up most of its talent and move into its niche, with an audience that would be even more fanatically loyal thanks to the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy that killed their beloved news channel. This scandal will be bad for Murdoch, bad for the current British government, and very possibly, ultimately good for News Corp. But I doubt it’s going to mean much one way or another for the balance of power between liberal and conservative media outlets.
Exactly. Fox News is not the result of the Devil inflicting his vile propaganda on an unsuspecting public. It’s not a evil dragon waiting for Michael Moore to ride in on a hefty white horse and slay it, liberating us from their poison. It’s the result of millions of conservative people craving a channel that is slanted in their direction rather than the direction that all good and moral liberals think it should be. Sean Hannity is not going to be out on the street. Sarah Palin is not going to be in a pillory. Bill O’Reilly will not tarred and feathered.
Some awful people who did bad things are going to jail. And that’s the way it should be.