July 18, 2011
Not many people are defending Rupert Murdoch these days, except, of course, Rupert Murdoch and those on his payroll. Criminal investigations are ramping up on both sides of the Atlantic, and the number of arrests in the phone hacking scandal has now reached double digits, but in an interview with his very own Wall Street Journal, Mr. Murdoch claimed News Corp. has handled the crisis “extremely well in every possible way,” making just “minor mistakes.” Reminiscent of former BP CEO “I would like my life back” Tony Hayward, Mr. Murdoch said he was “getting annoyed” by the headlines, but would “get over it.”
Continuing to undermine any reputation the paper may have had as a serious news organization, today the Journal editorialized that it isn’t the nearly 4,000 people who had their voicemails hacked who are the victims. No, the real victim is the First Amendment.
Along the same vein, the folks over at Murdoch-owned Fox News came out with their own Alice through the Looking Glass moment Friday. In anchor Steve Doocy’s assessment, the problem is not that thousands of people had their voicemail hacked by Murdoch employees. No, Mr. Doocy helpfully explained, the real problem is how easy it is to hack into private information. News Corp., like Bank of America, Citigroup and others, is just a victim.
Watch this — it’s really unbelievable.
News Corp. is hardly a victim. The thousands of people — perhaps including some Americans — whose privacy was violated by Murdoch’s profiteering minions are victims. On Sunday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) became the latest lawmaker to call for congressional hearings into the matter. It’s time for Congress to heed those calls. The American people deserve the truth. Mr. Murdoch is slated to testify before Parliament tomorrow; Congress should ensure he has an encore performance here in the U.S. as soon as possible.