Tempests in a British Teapot

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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There’s no doubt that the News Corp. scandal in the United Kingdom is indeed a scandal. Yet, is it the end of the world for Rupert Murdoch? Is it definitive proof that Murdoch’s media empire is unprincipled, undisciplined and evil? Does it warrant a congressional investigation? Is it the singular event that will bring down Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, as the Left so fervently hopes?

The answer to all of these questions would appear to be “no.” Phone hacking is reprehensible even by the sketchy standards of tabloid journalism, in addition to actually being illegal. But the self-righteous clamor resounding from the Left over a British scandal is several orders of magnitude removed from the story’s importance to American audiences. The Left’s unqualified delight in finding a piece of Murdoch’s media empire caught doing something wrong says a lot more about the way leftists think than it does about News Corp.

The nation is in the midst of a high-stakes struggle over the debt, taxes and spending, but you’d hardly know it from looking at Media Matters for America’s website. The Fox-obsessed recent journalism grads at Media Matters have been foaming at the mouth since the scandal broke: “The DOJ And Congress Need To Get Involved In Murdoch Hacking Scandal,” “Senators: Investigate News Corp.,” “Expert: Hacking May Have Violated U.S. Law.” Those are just some of the headlines featured on Media Matters’ banner as of Sunday night. For Media Matters, as for much of the rest of the Left, this is the most important story in the world.

Even the relatively less delusional Associated Press couldn’t help but pile on. An AP story dated July 17 related the facts of the scandal, as well as much of the speculation, but not before taking a gratuitous swipe at Murdoch’s media empire:

Though the former executive, Rebekah Brooks, and the police chief, Paul Stephenson, have denied wrongdoing, both developments are ominous not only for Murdoch’s News Corp., but for a British power structure that nurtured a cozy relationship with his papers for years.

Overall, mainstream media outlets have had a hard time hiding their glee over Murdoch’s embarrassment. MSNBC declared: “Murdoch Empire Under Threat,” while ABC treated readers to a detailed, none-too-flattering examination of the entire Murdoch clan in a piece entitled “Faces of a Scandal.”

Mainstream media have never understood how or why News Corp. has been so successful, refusing to believe that outlets like Fox News attract viewers because they are more in tune with the American psyche than the other big networks. The leftist narrative declares that nefarious, underhanded tactics have to be the source of Fox’s success and that of other News Corp. outlets. The hacking scandal is the “proof” they’ve been so desperately waiting for; no matter that it involved a now-defunct tabloid that was published in a nation half a world away. We would have never seen this kind of media feeding frenzy had the scandal involved some equally obscure outlet (by American standards) owned by The New York Times or one of the old networks.

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  • Larry

    Mulcaire was the go to man for the entire British press community for hacking, etc. Every British newspaper used his work and his stolen document and emails. However, it is only NoTW that his being given the treatment (rightly so that it is being given the treatment), and not papers like the Observer (sister rag to the good leftist grauniad), or electronic media.

  • Rifleman

    It seems to be a lot more newsworthy than dan rather's fake documentation and lies to influence a presidential election over here were.

    • Jim_C

      That was newsworthy enough to end Dan Rather's career.

  • teq

    Fleet Street is famous for its 'take no prisoners' style of journalism. American journalists are boy scouts compared to them. The lefties will dig in vain to find wrongdoing at Fox and the WST. But let 'em go ahead and investigate. It will keep them occupied and out of trouble.

    • http://www.boycottscotland.com Edward

      Then true journalists should dig through the shady dealings Fleet Street engages in .
      http://www.boycottscotland.com

      It's all about british "compassion" ove the bomber of Pan Am103 and Libyan oil contracts.

  • BLJ

    My guess is that Soros and his globalist pals are behind this. Control of the media is an important ingredient behind their plans.

  • Jim

    Isn't that something "The News of the World" is the news paper or tabloid that ever hacked or spied or what ever. Maybe it is time for the entire media to be investigated just to see if others are also doing it.

    Talk about spying with out a warrant? ;one of the social media sites collects a great deal of information about it's members and friends and sells the info to commercial info businesses.
    While the FBI to directly pry into a persons information needs a warrant, it does not need to get one to pay for such information from the commercial vendors. Nice loop hole eh wot?
    By the way if you are going to hack cell phones you might as well hack the competitors
    cell phone to see what they are up to.

  • Jim_C

    Well, I think you're right about the Murdoch angle. It's a cracking good story, probably make a good book or movie someday–but newsworthy in the US? nah.

    Here this is more like Sarah Palin's emails, Barack Obama's birth certificate, and Bush's national guard service. Pretty much embarrassing for those who think there's some meat, there.

  • Texasron

    The UK is being taken over by Muslims and the Brits are concerned about phone taps. Someday when all the religious symbols are removed from their flag and they're left with a white rag, maybe they might notice.

  • BOB PASCARELLA

    No ocean will ever interfere with the left wings hatred and pathological extremism. Liberals felt their world was slowly slipping away. But then a ray of hope, like a lighthouse beacon signaling a lost ship on an angry sea, a scandal erupts illuminating the way to salvation. Rupert Murdoch, media giant, industry titan and his holdings, so feared and deeply detested by the left wing in this country, is the object of their retribution. And like a pack of hungry wolves surrounding their prey, they take the opportunity to strike and devour the one constant, irritating, exasperating, opinionated news source, Fox News. This entire episode reveals the euphoric sickness of the left in America, who have come to realize if they can’t beat them, destroy them.

  • Tziona

    This thing might bring down the British government, PM David Cameron seems to be in this up to at least his navel and it could yet be deeper. If Cameron falls and Britain goes to elections right now a Labour government will be returned, and that can only be good for Obama. So the story does have some relevence in the USA, but how relevent it is remains to be seen.

  • nina

    It makes no sense. Why would a Labor government in the UK be good for Obama.

    • Tziona

      Because right now he is isolated. He might be the President of the USA, but he doesn't have majority backing in the US House of Representatives. He has tried to make nice with the Arabs but by pulling the rug from under Mubarak he lost the confidence of his Arab monarch/dictator friends, by killing Bin Laden he lost his Islamist friends and by blundering into Libya and causing a civil war while simultaneously staying quiet on Syria he lost the Arab street. The nearest thing he has to a friend right now is Sarkozy of France, but Sarkozy is centre-right and their main reason for friendship is they both hate Cameron and have common cause in Libya. A labour government in Britain with a "spend your way out of trouble" economic policy similar to Obama's would give him a buddy he could rely on, and would break his isolation.

  • guest

    Pathetic attempt to spin this major story. We can see there are clearly no journalistic ethics on this site. No shame, like the Murdoch regime…

  • crackerjack

    The lesson from Britian is that Murdoch's company infiltrates administration and police and uses its media muscle to enthrone goverments and prime ministers and intimidate any form of opposition.
    Its not about Murdoch or Soros, it's about multi-national cooporations manipulating the course of democracy for their own ends.
    Britians are just wakeing to the harm that has been inflicted to their society. The USA is still in deep hibernation.

  • http://www.boycottscotland.com Edward

    Scotland Yard has been compromised by bribes.

    So much for the vaunted reputation of Scotland Yard.

    It now sounds like a typical corrupt third-world police force.

  • Asher

    This is all about trying to find a way to bring down Fox News so that the progressive Communists can control our information outlet of getting the truth to the people…This is the way Dictators take over Free Societies!

  • LindaRivera

    Our severe financial situation threatens to totally destroy America. Experts warn we are headed for a Depression greater than the Great Depression. The media should be warning about this every single day.

    Our government provided weapons to drug cartels in Mexico (and also to the violent MS13 gang in Honduras) that have been used to murder a large number of innocents in Mexico. Muslim terrorists work with these narco terrorists. It is known as Gunrunner; also Gunwalker. The government have the blood of innocents on their hands. The media should be reporting on this horrendous crime every single day

    Terrified black Africans of Nuba, Sudan, face genocide from the barbaric Islamic, Arabic government in Khartoum. The media should be reporting on this every single day.

    Shame on the mainstream media for not reporting on, and covering up these alarming issues.

  • LindaRivera

    Mainstream media must stop their cover up!

    BREAKING! ANOTHER SCANDAL THAT COULD TAKE OBAMA DOWN by Joseph Farah WND – (For http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoVv-CvnLzg

  • LindaRivera

    Mainstream media must stop their cover up!

    Obama Creates Army Hidden In Health Care Bill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTdstyXuTIQ&fe

    • crackerjack

      Murdoch's News Corps IS mainstream media. News Corps is the second largest media conglomerate worldwide. FOX news is America's most viewed station.

      You can't get more "Mainstream" than that. So let's stop pretending Murdoch's mulit billion dollar media enteprise is a backyard setup struggling against mighty foes.