Monday, July 25, 2011


On the internet, if you wait long enough, the truth will drift by you.

The first thing I thought when I read about News of the World begin busted for phone hacking was "if this was a movie, people would cheer the crusading reporter" then I thought "like they're the only news organization in England that has done it, let alone the world."

And now, we find that they weren't. First from Jack McElroy a reminder of an Ohio story where the Cincinnati Enquirer was busted for doing the same thing in 1998; they withdrew the story despite it being true. Next is the CNN story that indicates other newspapers than Murdoch-owned the News of the World are being investigated as part of the same story:
A British police investigation into illegal activity by journalists appears to have expanded beyond Rupert Murdoch's disgraced and now defunct News of the World tabloid.

The Metropolitan Police have asked the British Information Commissioner's Office for its files from a probe into the work of a private investigator who sold illegally obtained information to a number of newspapers, the data-protection office told CNN Thursday.
Oh that Cincinnati story? No congressional investigation, no big blowup over ownership being evil.

I can't help but think of all the faux outrage in football over the Patriots using binoculars and radios to figure out the other team's plays. They got caught doing it, they were hardly the first or only team to do so.

Here's the thing: I don't want to defend Murdoch, he makes lousy news companies. They focus on sensationalism and sales and generally are poor products. I don't like Fox news much, not because of any political bias but because they are all about celebrity trials, rumors, and missing little white girls. Besides, he's rich and married to an apparently wonderful woman. He doesn't need my defense.

Tabloid journalism annoys me, it exemplifies the worst of the business. Reporters digging through trash, attacking people, combative interviews, sneaking cameras around, hacking computers, breaking and entering, all the stuff people love in books and movies but is just sleazy and underhanded in real life.

These aren't crusaders for justice and truth, they're scumbags who'll do anything to get a story, no matter who gets hurt, who they have to betray, and what morals they have to abandon. There's nothing likable about that. So yeah, I'm not surprised this happened, and has been happening, all over the place.

No comments: