Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows

Ahead of this afternoon’s select committee appearance, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the worrying level of control Rupert Murdoch has over the news agenda.

Ahead of this afternoon’s select committee appearance, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the worrying level of control Rupert Murdoch has over the news agenda, particularly in the US.

Not content with just bowing to Murdoch’s wishes while on air, Fox News have gone beyond mere sycophancy and actually attempted to position their parent company as one of the victims of phone hacking.

This video, taken from last Friday’s edition of Fox and Friends, shows the depths to which the Murdochs are willing to go to attempt to downplay the issue in the USA.

After briefly running through the closure of the News of the World as a result of public outrage, News Corp’s name was then linked with the Pentagon and Citibank, both recent victims of hacking, in a crude attempt to defend Murdoch’s reputation.

Watch it:

Not content with just downplaying News Corp’s involvement, the week’s resident sycophant Bob Dilenschneider, showed a basic lack of understanding of the public outrage surrounding the scandal, saying:

“For some reason the public keep going over and over this… we are teetering on a default and what do they do, they keep talking about this.”

As someone whose background is in public relations and crisis management, surely Dilenschneider should have a better understanding of why the public are reacting in such a way. However, given his background, it is a mystery why the show goes on to position him as an expert on the hacking crisis and its broader implications.

As the following quote shows, his knowledge about the actual details of the crisis and what it entails is laughable at best:

“The issue really is, why are so many people piling on at this point? We know it’s a hacking scandal. shouldn’t we get beyond it and really deal with the issue of hacking?

“We’ve got a serious hacking problem in this country… so we’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this hacking problem.”

In many ways, the spin being attempted by Fox is eerily reminiscent of lines being parroted  by Conservative MPs.

Nick Boles on Newsnight was the latest Tory to drastically underplay the current crisis, describing the scandal as a “little local difficulty” in a desperate attempt to justify David Cameron’s initial decision not to cut short his Africa trip.

What is clear is one thing, in the words of Ed Miliband, the Right on both sides of the Atlantic:

“…still just don’t get it.”

16 Responses to “Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows”

  1. Chris

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  2. Darren Bridgman

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  3. Hammy Cammy

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  4. Ric Nicholls

    RT @leftfootfwd: Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  5. Mizreikilover

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  6. connal99

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows: //bit.ly/oZoFsE reports @TRouse11 #hackgate #NewsCorpse

  7. Paul Evans

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows //t.co/YeJM7fw

  8. Michael

    Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows – //tinyurl.com/3nnyatw

  9. Ed's Talking Balls

    I don’t know anything about Dilenschneider. If he’s appearing on Fox News and is seen as trying to downplay a media scandal then obviously he’s going to be accused of having suspicious motives. Yet anyone could have said the words you quote him as having said (i.e. that while US credit ratings are at threat and there is a sovereign debt crisis across Europe, all the press can talk about is the despicable behaviour of News International) and I would have to commend them for talking sense. Make no mistake, this is a scandal. It won’t simply “go away”. It has to be addressed and hopefully will be, through the various inquiries which have been announced, together with the ongoing police investigations. But to pretend that this is the only major news story going on, or even the most important, is baffling in my eyes.

    As for Nick Boles, he was responding to a question as to why the Prime Minister is in Africa instead of in the UK. He responded, reasonably, that it would be a great affront to the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria if he were to cancel pre-arranged and highly important visits concerning trade and implied, essentially, that the Prime Minister has a great many things to concern himself with besides merely the News International saga. In fact, Cameron has reached a compromise position by honouring his commitments in Africa while returning early, having extended Parliament, to try to deal with the press scandal. In my eyes this is more sensible than causing a diplomatic rift and harming trade prospects in the future.

    As regards just who doesn’t “get it”, people from across the political spectrum can be accused of this. Cameron certainly didn’t seem too, when he reacted slowly and didn’t even seem clear on whether or not Brooks should resign. But given that the press are focussing solely on News International and not on rising fuel prices, constantly above-target inflation, Libya, etc, it is clear that they don’t “get it” either. And although there appears to be a concerted effort to persuade people that Ed Miliband “gets it”, I’m not convinced; attempting to make this a party political issue doesn’t persuade me that he’s a serious politician committed to dealing with serious issues.

  10. Dave Citizen

    I consider myself to be pretty cynical but having watched the video clip I am even more convinced than ever that something has to be done about concentrated private ownership of news media.

    If this was a story being run under the old soviet regime we would all be congratulating ourselves on how our free press could not distort public understanding of an issue to further a narrow self interest in this way.

  11. baz baz

    I’m just commenting on the video, which is what i thought we were supposed to be responding to? Not Nick Boles, because he is not mentioned in the video.
    The video of Mr Dilenschneider interviewing a man who seems just as daft as himself, is amusing were it not so depressing, both seem to be trying to say, “Hey get real, there are far worse hacking scandals, the Pentagon, City Bank, etc, what’s all the fuss about, this is just a British Newspaper?”, completely missing the point, that it is the newspaper that is doing the hacking, not the newspaper being a victim of hacking!!!!! To spell it out for the two dumbest guys i have seen on a video clip from Fox for some time. News of the world (owned by Mr Murdoch which also just happens to own Fox) has been hacking British people for years to generate stories, celebrities and ordinary people, as many 4000 of them. Sinking so low as to hack into the voice mail of a missing child’s cell phone, reading messages and deleting them, to see what they could print. The police thought the missing child was reading her own messages and deleting them, thus giving both the police and the parents hope that she was still alive! She wasn’t alive, she had in fact been raped and murdered weeks beforehand…that’s why the British public are angry. Rightly so. Murdoch’s company also paid the police to get stories, protect it’s informants and gather smears against its enemies. It also appears both the former Blair’s labour government and the subsequent Conservative led goventment also schmoozed Murdoch’s News Corp (Fox)giving them unfair advantage in payment through political and censorship favours. It also seems Mr Brown’s labour government did not play ball with Murdoch and were thus also hacked, smeared and ridiculed…this is serious stuff. News Corp are not hacking victims, they are the hacking assassins? Why do i have to even explain this? Just stop watching Fox. It has no concept of honour or truth.

  12. Ed's Talking Balls

    ‘something has to be done about concentrated private ownership of news media’

    So, is there nothing wrong with concentrated public ownership of news media, a la the BBC?

    I recognise that there are clear points of distinction, but the principle that plurality is desirable and that monopolies are unhealthy holds, in my view. This is true irrespective of whether the dominant force is publicly or privately owned.

  13. Mr. Sensible

    I don’t think you can compare the BBC with the likes of… This.

    More evidence of what could well have happened had Murdoch got his way on B Sky B.

  14. Selohesra

    Fox news is almost funny as it is so blatently biased – I dont think that fools many people – the bias at the BBC is more subtle but no less persistent – I think that actually makes it more dangerous to democracy.

    Interesting the way BBC covered the assualt by Labour member (rightly expelled by the party) on 80 year old Murdoch – constant reference to custard pies, shaving foam and paper plates trying to playdown the attack as slapstick and relatively minor. Compare that to the outrage a few years back when flour bombs were released in Parliament.

  15. CAROLE JONES

    RT @leftfootfwd: Fox take Murdoch sycophancy to new lows //t.co/XuHeZfv

  16. Dave Citizen

    Seloh and Ed – I tell you what, how about we agree to get the private media ownership into line with democratic interests first then by all means move the focus to whether the BBC is providing objective agenda free news. I’m certainly a little suspicious when it comes to how the BBC run some stories that seem to reinforce establishment norms and values rather than simply reporting the facts a la sound journalism.

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