Once again, the Jewish/Israeli leaders cannot take any criticism regarding their treatment of the plighted Palestinian, from anywhere, without screaming anti-Semitism or blood-libel. This is just as bad as Muslim riots when a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed appears in a political cartoon and raises outrage in the Middle East.
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes a great editorial in the Washington Post regarding the downfall of mainstream newspapers in the digital age and how accountability journalism and the pursuit of truth is so important to the media’s health.
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, is bracing for testimony from the now defunct News of the World editors that will reveal the indicated tight relationship between the P.M. and News Corp. publications.
ABC News reported some of the political donations of Rupert Murdoch and his media organizations and the recipients of those donations included some names that may surprise some. Names like Pelosi, Schumer, and even Obama. Names that have the (D) by them when they run for office. Names that also regularly get attacked by the Murdoch-owned pundits at Fox News.
This should really surprise no one paying attention to the media scandal in Britain. Murdoch has been shown to wine-and-dine prime ministers of different ideological schools of thought on his private yachts so the reality that he donates to both parties in the U.S. is logical and should be expected. Murdoch is simply an opportunist. Tighter campaign laws in the UK force him to use one type of tactic to buy influence there. Loose campaign finance laws allow him to more openly buy his influence here. He uses the tools (money) at his disposal to get his way.
Remember that these methods of gaining influence are not the illegal actions Murdoch’s organizations are under scrutiny for using. That he gives money to different political parties is no surprise as many corporations and wealthy donors do the same in the U.S. The fact that these donations are not illegal is what should concern people.
It is amazing we do not legislate campaign donations in a much tougher way in the United States. Let’s face it. When someone donates a large amount of money to many different people on separate sides of the ideological spectrum, it is not a donation because those recipients reflect the ideological philosophy of the donor. It is a donation to make sure legislation tilts in the interest of the donor. We have a word for that. It’s called a bribe.
Any rational and truly democratic society would call it what it is and make sure the laws would not allow this buying of influence to occur. The likelihood of corruption is obvious and the fact it has happened many times in the U.S. is no secret. In a democracy with an objective media, there would be an uproar calling for change. In a democracy where the biased-media is the one performing the corruption, the silence is deafening.
A good article from the NYT on how nerve-wracking the questioning of Rupert Murdoch by the U.K. government should fray the nerves of not only Murdoch but the politicians who have curried his favor, too.
Mark Lewis, the attorney filing many of the lawsuits against News Corp. subsidiaries during this hacking scandal, is now suing the Times of London for hacking into the e-mail account of a popular blogger in the U.K.
This scandal just gets bigger and bigger. How will it end for News Corp. and Mr. Murdoch’s media empire?
This thing is so huge (4000 victims of phone hacking) that it had to cross the Atlantic at some point. I would just like an investigation of FOX News and The Wall Street Journal for this culture of corruption at the News of the World and BSkyB may be fostered in these other institutions also.
As the hacking scandal of the Murdoch-owned media unfolds, Sky News now claims it was hacking only in the interest of the public good. They even describe an example that is hard to argue against since it is one of the rare instances where we might not be too appalled at the thought of Sky breaking a particular case (a man faking his death to collect insurance money and Sky finding him through email). But where is the line drawn and would Sky even draw a line in the interest of a good leading story?
We know that journalist can do great investigative reporting such as Watergate and can contribute to the public good. But this is (at least to our knowledge) done within the legal limits of the law. When journalist and news organizations begin accusing people of crimes based on their own amateur criminal investigation it runs the risk of ruining the lives of innocent people. And when the story is a bombshell-type that will draw a ton of reaction from the public, editors will be too tempted to ignore it in the interest of selling more papers and gaining more advertising revenue.
Let’s face facts. The U.S. criminal justice system has been wrong at least a portion of the time and has put innocent people in prison and unfortunately executed some. This is a system filled with experienced people trained to do the jobs they perform and they still get it wrong some of the time. What happens when we have people not properly trained to do this work but have the power to tell the world about their investigations? We get accusations that prove to be wrong at a higher rate than the justice system but still take a huge toll on the innocent people involved.
The results of this case will seemingly have a massive impact on the world of journalism and, in particular, the ethics of chasing stories in the future. Whether the eventual penalty will be hard enough to stop this invasion of privacy of all people (public official, celebrity, accused criminal, or family of a fallen soldier) remains to be seen. We can really only hope enough can be done to stop this type of illegal vigilante journalism before more people get their lives negatively affected by false and unfair accusations.
For background information on this story please view the Frontline episode linked here from yesterday’s post.