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Daniel Johnson
Lynching Rupert Murdoch « Back to Story

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"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson
"Lynching"? Gird your stomachs, readers. The City Journal is serving up yet another dish of histrionic self-pity, conservative style.
"The danger to democracy comes only when moguls try to translate their media interests into political power." - Exactly & that is why the this scandal is so good for British democracy.
It seems to me that the punishment doesn't fit the crime here.

Yes, Murdock's staff should not have hacked into voice mail machines.

But to close an entire newspaper, a multi-billion dollar property, because of that seems entirely disproportionate.

Should Murdock have paid a few million bucks to the people who he wronged? Of course.

But should he have had to close the newspaper, a profitable publication loved by millions?


As others have said, similar illegalities were practiced to uncover Watergate, and the Times and Guardian accepted stolen Wikileaks material without a tremor.

So why did Murdock make such a big deal of this by closing the paper? It doesn't make sense to me.

B. Samuel Davis July 27, 2011 at 4:11 PM
There is something hypocritical about the way in which the NY Times and the rest of the leftist press printed illegally hacked material obtained by Julian Assange, but somehow what Murdoch's organization did is beyond the pale. Let's see...ok to print classified information from the country that saved much of the world from being turned into communist dictatorships, but we should all get on board in eviscerating Rupert Murdoch for something that was done without his knowledge at one of his many many MANY media entities. Hunh?

We all know why - it is because News Corp. is the only major media organization that does not toe the liberal line, and makes piles of money as a result. The rest of the media, in the United States at least, seems too stupid to understand that since 60% of the people call themselves conservative and 20% liberal, that it makes sense to NOT to dispense news from a liberal point of view.

Here's the dirty secret as to why the media is so made at Rupert Murdoch: the only way that the traditional media is able to get away with being overwhelmingly liberal is by being a monopoly. The reason? Most people are by nature conservative, and will buy from news sources that aren't editorially liberal.
So major media was comfortable in following liberal line since people had no other choice but to buy - there was nothing else.

That is, until Murdoch came along and spoiled everything.

Murdoch understood that there was money - lots and lots of money - to be made from selling news not from a liberal point of view - Murdoch thumbed his nose at the 'arrangement' in the traditional media - and they HATE him for it, since it has ruined a con that has been in place for decades.

As an aside, the traditional media has somehow managed to maintain a solid front even though imitation is the hallmark of the news and entertainment business. In other words, haven't you wondered why it is that Fox still has the lucrative market for conservative oriented news all to itself? That not a single competitors has made the slightest attempt at seeking Fox's audience? Not just in television, but in all media? That when Newsweek, for example, was hitting the skids, it never considered - for a moment - changing its editorial bias from liberal to conservative? That, in an age when newspapers are read by mostly older, mostly conservative people, not one of the major newspapers has considered changing its editorial policies from liberal to conservative?

What gives here?

I'm going far afield here, but I've wondered at the answer to these questions for years - why do major media organizations put ideology over financial gain - especially since these are public companies and they are obligated to enhance shareholder value. What's the answer?

In any event, the limitless hypocrisy of the so-called mainstream or traditional media continues to astonish. They think themselves open minded when what they are is narrow minded neo-fascists. BBC is the worst of all, having decided, sua sponte, and without legislative authority, that its mission was to promote one point of view and to squelch those who disagree. Our pubic broadcasting entities have acted no differently, despite statutory attempts to restore balance.

I'd love to know how these organizations adopted the liberal point of view, and why they maintain it despite monetary inducements to go elsewhere. It is a BIG unanswered question.
these people hacked into the phone of a dead girl, interfering with a police investigation.

How you can defend an organization doing this is simply immoral.

Murdoch had accepted his UK empire is rotten, trying to shift the blame to Soros, Obama or competing news organizations is something that goes beyond the pale.

Murdoch has said mea culpa, when are his defenders going to take his word for it?
You have got to be kidding. These people hacked into citizens telephones. How can you apologize or excuse that? I agree that a strong press is necessary for a strong democracy. But even presidents fall when they break that law. You do no service to this outlet by defending lawbreakers.
Great question's Mr. Bruce, what are they doing with the other hand. Mr. Soros likes control,remember? And he sure is spending millions in the states.
Obama's Justice Dept can hardly wait, they hope to gag FOX before the general election next year. I ponder Mr. Soro's shadowy underground involvement in all of this. And it seems that the NYT always has the deep cover stories like Wikileaks, but never gets a bit of sludge on ot.
Let's all grow up. We (the culture) gives a name to something, ie, Journalism, Politics, Police, Justice System, etc, and we then attribute it with various virtues. Upon a moment's reflection however, it is clear that each of those is composed of men or women, some smart, some dumb, some honest, some not, some enlightened,some not...but ALL just human beings like the rest of us, filled with bias and the wherewithal to make mistakes and errors. So, let's all remain skeptical, especially about the judgments made by those in suits and robes and TV makeup. They have no greater access to the truth than others...but in the thrall of power and influence, they can wreak havoc. Rupert seems nearly saintlike compared to his judges.
The Guardian's publishing of the Wikileaks emails has placed real people in danger for their lives. Yet where are the parliamentary committees for that?
So, we are to forgive all transgressions in the name of an all-powerful press? Ethics be DAMNED! i THIINK NOT, AT LEAST i HOPE NOT.
The really interesting questions to be answered are: Why now? Why Murdoch?

It is well-known that for years a whole range of news organisations has been systematically breaking the law in pursuit of stories. Burglary, phone tapping (mobile or land-line), harassment, theft and bribery are only a few of the standard tactics. Most of the time it is quite obvious that criminal means have been used; the Daily Telegraph's exposé of MPs' corruption could not have happened without theft and receiving stolen goods. The Watergate scandal could not have been honestly uncovered - and so on.

Journalism is, and always has been, a dirty business. No news there.

We need to know: what is special about this case? and what is special about this moment? - in other words, what is going on from which public attention is being diverted by this paroxysm of moral panic?
Good article
Holy "Christ... Murdoch has the brass to say he is not responsible, because he "didn't know.....this or that"... That lie aside, : Guess where the buck stops, Mr. Murdoch? ...and, Sir: Please tell, : If your son tells stupid lies, that are palpably false, should that not reflect on your ethics as well as your genes...

Murdoch gives "free press" a bad name.
Gene Kriegsmann July 22, 2011 at 9:04 PM
When Mr. Johnson discusses the BBC and its ruthless pursuit of Murdoch, it would be extremely easy to put in a drop down menu which included MSNBC, CBS,NBC, CNN, and ABC, any of whom would easily fit that sentence and those that follow. They are desperately attempting to use this scandal to attack FOXNEWS which has all of them on the run and desperate to find viewers.
Read John le Carre's latest and you will understand English fascism. Murdoch is a Western Districts Australian Fascist, go study Australian politics and you will see his lineage, the sense of entitlement that has kept Australia's nose right up Washington's arse.
You have to be joking. If News Corp is driven out of the UK market it will be the result of an implosion. If it were a liberal organization, you would say "let the chips fall where they may."
This piece is rooted in an essentially false premise, namely that the press, as you put it, "merely reflects public opinion and taste." What morally empty hogwash! That claim, taken seriously, essentially absolves the press of any responsibility at all: whatever it says or does is merely a populist reflex.

In fact, the purpose of a morally worthy press must be to seek to uncover the lies, malfeasances, and hypocrisies of those in power. Anything else is mere craven stenography.

And the reason we should celebrate the demise of the Murdoch empire is precisely because the press he built was hardly dedicated to the Truth, but rather to either the Trivial (exposing the lies and hypocrisies of vacuous celebrities) or the Terrible (promoting his vile political agenda). Good riddance.
"How precisely the closure of a newspaper serves the cause of liberty, such commentators cannot say"
First and foremost, the statements attributed to the 'commentators' do not reference 'the closure of a newspaper serving the cause of liberty'.

Equating justified criticism against the actions of individuals/organization to the decision to close a newspaper completely unfounded.

To make it clear, the criticism was against the actions of individuals/an organization, which then took the step of shuttering the newspaper.
Is the author suggesting that these entities be above criticism, else they close down ?!

Also, the attempts to strike a populist note, (for example, the anecdote of George Orwell's disposition to this newspaper) are ham-handed and mostly irrelevant.

What newscorp did was wrong, even they do not deny it - Live and die by the sword, eh?

Also make no mistake, the competitors vie for the same piece of the business pie, the real battle is for headlines and for market share, not some foes fighting for and against 'Judeo-Chistian values'.

By suggesting such clap-trap, the author does readers a serious disservice