Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Swine Company that Runs Fox News Exposed

Here's an op-ed from the Guardian newspaper about the folks that run Fox News, made Palin, destroyed Obama's chance to govern and on and on....

After the Gordon Brown revelation, can this scandal get any worse?

With revelations that Gordon Brown's children were targeted, the News International scandal is spiralling out of Murdoch's control

Gordon Brown with his wife, Sarah and new baby boy, James Fraser Brown, 21 July, 2006.
Gordon Brown with his wife Sarah and new baby boy James Fraser Brown in July 2006. Photograph: David Cheskin/PA

Another day, another shock. The Gordon Brown revelations are truly shocking. But I've written that before. There is so much that generates this response. Our language of shock fails us at every turn.

The muck has spread from the News of the World (deceased) to The Sun and the Sunday Times. And it includes a centre-stage role for News International's chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

But the discovery that Brown suffered from the dark arts over his children puts the spotlight back on a publisher that staggers from crisis to crisis without any apparent strategy to cope.

In fact, its public relations seems disastrous, and 80-year-old Murdoch – who has conducted himself in public so carefully in the past – now seems to have lost the plot.

Did he think it wise to have his arm about Brooks as they both smiled for the cameras within a day of 200 employees being dismissed?

Did he believe that trying to manage the news with injudicious leaks was a clever manoeuvre in the face of such a welter of negative information emerging about the company on an hourly basis?

Did he care at all about the years of deceit that have been the hallmark of News International's handling of a terrible catalogue of unethical (and illegal) behaviour?

The man is losing touch and if he isn't careful, he will lose his company.

Shareholders in the States were already aghast at the previous exposures of wrongdoing by NoW journalists. That started the share price slippage.

Now there is even more reason for News Corp's investors to take flight. Can they get out before the price collapses still further?

Consider once more the heinous nature of News International's eavesdroppers: intercepting the voicemail messages of murder victim Milly Dowler; hacking into the phones of the parents of one of the Soham murder victims; listening in to the mobile phones of the families of 7/7 victims and of servicemen killed in Afghanistan.

No one was safe from the journalists and investigators of Wapping. Not even the country's prime minister.

Brown has now revealed that his infant son's medical records were obtained by the Sun. And the paper went on to publish a story about the child's serious illness.

Brown's tax affairs were the subject of computer hacking. Lawyers were fooled into handing over details from the files.

The sheer scale of the assault on Brown's privacy is mind-boggling.

There are all sorts of related questions too, about failures of security – and, once more, about Scotland Yard's failings.

Scandal follows scandal. There are no words to describe just how big it is, with political, policing and media involvement.

Is our current prime minister, David Cameron, able to cope? I don't think so, because he is compromised too. But he had better act correctly from now on or the country will make him pay.

As for Murdoch, he is in a firestorm, caught in the kind of media feeding frenzy that his own papers have so often orchestrated. It is difficult not to delight in his embarrassment.

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