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« Local legends | Main | Can I say "both"? »

Jul 18, 2011


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Of course, they do. As does simple politics. British politicos have been groveling at Murdoch's fet for years because his tabloids are not reluctant to print lies to sway voters. But, now, the British public is really pissed. So, being politicians, they know which way the wind is blowing.

Hacking into phones and phone records is not a laughing matter. Nor is interfering in police investiagtions. And, not least, neither is making stuff up and printing it.

Some on the right would excuse all these sins because Murdoch is a very successful rich person, which seems to be their most important measurement of success. but, if the NYT has been caught doing this, we all know what would be happening on Fox and other Murdoch tools.

Legally, much will likely hinge on who knew what and when. Since staffers and editors are very unlikely to have sent Rupert memos saying they were about to hack someone's phone, the old man will probably skate. But his moral culpability is obvious. He is not an absentee owner. He set the tone for how the people he employed could behave.


Murdoch is a sociopath and like all sociopaths, he finally exceeds what society deems acceptable limits. He will be replaced with yet another of his kind and the circle will go round again...

Preston Earle

Ed, since I learned several years ago that "begs the question" doesn't mean what it sounds like it means, I've been looking for examples for of correct usage. I'm thinking your post "Do schadenfreude, payback, and competitive advantage play into coverage of the News Corp. scandal?" begs the question.

When I read the WSJ editorial yesterday I thought it was a thoughtful, reasonable response to the situation they find themselves in, but then I'm a fan of the WSJ and generally agree with their political positions. Rosen's tweet and your post seem to be (loosely) schadenfreude, payback, and [seeking] competitive advantage. Do you have any particular criticism of the editorial?

Ed Cone

Sure, Preston, how about lionizing Hinton but not mentioning that he oversaw the failed internal investigation of the hacking scandal, which is why he was forced to resign from the WSJ job?

Also: downplaying the magnitude of the scandal, the parameters of which greatly exceed the stated confines ("...years ago at a British corner of News Corp.") and are still moving outward; greatly understating the cause of the outrage (it goes well beyond Milly Dowler); minimizing the scale of the lil ol' enterprise in question ("a single media company," sure, but a huge and hugely powerful one); not mentioning the repeated attempts at damage control that preceded the arrests and strategic apologies; playing the Everyone Does Bad Things card; etc., ad nauseum.

General agreement with an editorial board shouldn't mean blind faith in everything it says.

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