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.
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:
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“…still just don’t get it.”