The News of the World debacle is a huge media story — and in typical fashion, our “Fair & Balanced” major news media organizations generally don’t know how to deal with it. Namely, by stating the facts. Such as:
“It seems increasingly likely that the techniques of bullying, coercion, spying, and the politics of personal destruction common at the News of the World were not limited to this one piece of the Murdoch media empire. Even short of hacking, Murdoch’s properties often behave like cults, not news organizations. We have known for a long time that Fox Cable News instructs reporters on how to spin the news and promotes fascist demagogues in the evening magazine shows.” — Professor Juan Cole at Informed Comment: “Is Murdoch’s Media Empire A Cult?”
This week, Murdock tried to head it all off by backing out of his $12 billion BSkyB satellite broadcast takeover bid. Today, the Guardian reported that “A threat of imprisonment by parliament forced Rupert Murdoch and his son James to perform a volte face and agree to give evidence next week to a Commons committee investigating why News International executives provided false information to MPs.”
It couldn’t happen to more deserving guys. As things continue falling apart, here for those just tuning in are a couple of compelling videos that really lay bare the Murdoch mess.
The first features Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, who I’ve greatly admired since I first got to know him during our annual international Organization of News Ombudsmen meetings:
The second features Nick Davies, the amazing reporter who refused to take no for a story:
Now, who will lay bare Murdock’s shenanigans on this side of the pond? Just in from the Guardian: “FBI launches investigation into allegations that 9/11 victims’ phones were targeted.” Faux News anyone? Fixed News? I’m surprised that anyone’s surprised.
— C.B. Hanif