Monday, July 18, 2011

The Death Of Fox News??

Never let a crisis go to waste, especially somebody else’s crisis. That seems to be the motto of this administration. The latest example involves the implosion of News Corp.’s News of the World. Indeed, the Democrats are pulling out all the stops to use this to remove Rupert Murdoch from the helm of News Corp. and thereby, they hope, get FOX News under liberal control. Here’s what you need to know.

The scandal began when it was revealed that reporters at the 168 year old British tabloid News of the World had been hacking into phone accounts of famous celebrities and politicians to find dirt. This violates multiple British laws.

Things recently hit fever pitch when it was learned that the News of the World had bribed police for information AND had hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims and into the phone of a murdered British teenager (Milly Dowler). The outrage that followed forced the paper to close and led to the resignation of the latest editor, Rebekah Brooks, and of Les Hinton, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, who was an editor of the News of the World during part of the period in question -- there is no evidence of wrongdoing at the Journal. This weekend, Brooks was arrested and London's police chief resigned.

The scandal reaches Rupert Murdoch because Murdoch acquired the News of the World in 1969 and made it part of his News Corp. empire. That empire includes the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and Fox News, among others. These are largely conservative organizations and, thus, the Democrats hate them with the passion of a 1,000 low-carbon suns. And with this scandal, the Democrats see a chance to attack their favorite bogeymen. Indeed, they are hoping to parlay the News of the World scandal into an attack on Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Murdoch himself, who they hope to dislodge from the ownership of these organizations.

To that end, Eric Holder has announced that the Obama-controlled Department of Justice intends to investigate whether the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post were engaged in similar hacking. Can you say... fishing expedition? He also claims he will investigate whether 9/11 victims’ phones were hacked. Keep in mind, by the way, this is the same Justice Department that routinely turns a blind eye to any and all crimes committed by leftist groups or this administration.

Other Democrats are jumping in as well. The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has launched an online petition to demand that “Murdoch come clear.” A group of leftist “journalists” has launched a similar effort. John Podesta, the president of the Centre for American Progress, a leftist crackhouse, claims: “This is not one rogue editor. This is an empire that was built on a set of journalistic ethics that’s beginning to explode and unravel. They were routinely bribing public officials.” Of course, he has no evidence. But then, if anyone should know about bribery and a lack of ethics it would be Podesta, who helped Obama transition to the White House.

This is standard liberal crappola, and mainly it’s just liberals playing with themselves. But there is reason for concern.

The SEC (also under Obama’s control) could attack News Corp. for its subsidiary engaging in bribery of the British police, which would violate foreign bribery laws, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A violation of the FCPA might require Murdoch to resign or even give up his ownership.

Also, under federal law, holders of television and radio licenses have to undergo character tests to show that they are fit to be media owners. If the SEC (or the Justice Department) finds a violation of the FCPA, the FCC (also under Obama’s control) could deny Murdoch his television and radio licenses, which would again result in him surrendering control.

At this point there is no evidence that Murdoch did anything wrong and he is doing all the right things. They closed the paper that had clearly spun out of control. The editors directly responsible, whether they had knowledge or not, have resigned. And his papers have issued a public apology. The committee that monitors The Wall Street Journal has already said they have no evidence of wrongdoing at the Journal or at Dow Jones, the Journal’s parent company (which is owned by News Corp.). And it’s unlikely Fox was involved because, frankly, they’ve never reported anything that didn’t come over the wire.

But doing the right thing does not insulate you from an aggressively partisan government. So expect Team Obama to pull out all the stops to use the power of government to shut down the one part of the MSM that isn’t in the tank for them.

This could get interesting.


Tennessee Jed said...

I don't know if interesting is really the right word. Too many times I have seen play out the "liberals get there way" scenario. We end up with our mouths agape at the incredible inequities of it all, and they still get their way.

I am amazed to look at the lame stream spin their fabric into gold cloth as they paint cost cutting measures as the rich not sharing the pain or the non-existant coverage of fast and furious scandal.

In the meantime, not only will this be fed every news cycle, but the MSNBC folks will engage in constant speculation: :It is not a stretch to assume that Murdoch and his Fox News cronies engaged in criminal activity on the basis of their fascist views alone, blah, blah, blah . . . off with his head. Lets give Fox News to the unions, blah, blah, blah."

T-Rav said...

I wonder if Obama and Holder will launch a special operation that'll pay reporters to hack victims' phones and stuff, and then when it becomes public, use that as a reason to get Fox and the newspapers under control. It's worked out well for guns, so far, so they can't lose, right?

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Don't give them any ideas... Operation PaperBoy. Ug.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, There is real danger here that the Democrats will be able to pull this off and take down Murdoch. The laws in question are not you standard criminal laws that require proof that you did something personally. They are corporate crime laws, which often attribute crimes all the way up the ladder to whoever was in charge. And the FCC thing, for example, doesn't require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So I don't doubt that this will unseat Murdoch eventually.

In terms of the spin, it is shameless. But that's what you get with propagandists. And the MSM has become propagandists. They've long ago stopped calling taxes taxes, now they are "revenues" and "equalizers" and "fees." And it just gets worse from there. They are utterly shameless.

That's one reason they want to break Fox. They think if they can undermine Fox, people will be forced back to the propagandists and it will all go well again.

I don't think that happens either way though. The public has escaped the information plantation and they aren't going back.

CrispyRice said...

I'm appalled that a media organization would do this sort of thing, and I'm embarrassed that it's a conservative one. I'm glad they are being shut down.

And yet, I just know that if it were NPR that had done this (maybe to some oil industry execs) no one would on the left would be batting an eye. It would be the whole "the end justifies the means" junk they like to spew. And I'm just annoyed at the hypocrisy.

I completely agree with Jed about "We end up with our mouths agape at the incredible inequities of it all, and they still get their way." This whole thing has me really worried at what the Dear Leader is going to have done to any media that doesn't agree with him.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Sadly, the only way to fight the left on this is to go after them just as fiercely. The problem is that most Republicans aren't willing to use government against their enemies, so the left can attack our side and then gets a pass from the Republicans. That needs to change.

When Bush used the Dept. of Ed to force conservative ideas on schools, the Democrats suddenly discovered a love for states rights. It would be the same thing. Use the politicized Justice Department and they will do their best to depoliticize it. Fight fire with fire.

On what the NOTW did, I agree. It's absolutely despicable and they deserve to be shut down. But without proof that other organizations (eg. Fox News or WSJ) did anything, this is nothing but a witch hunt by the left to go after their enemies.

CrispyRice said...

Absolutely this will turn into a witch hunt. And when embarking on a witch hunt, surprise surprise, the hunters tend to find witches.

Do you have any ideas about what WE can do about it, Andrew? Would writing our Congresspeople even help? What would we say?

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Isn't it funny how witch hunts always turn up witches?

There isn't much we can do about it yet. Right now this will be done by investigators and attorneys. The best thing we can do is vote Republican and maybe just spread the word as you've done that (1) the left would never sacrifice their own friends for something like this and (2) that this is a witch hunt.

At some point, this may result in Congressional hearings, then you could call Congress. But right now, there isn't really anyone to contact.

AndrewPrice said...

It's about time.... the Wall Street Journal is starting to fight back, pointing out that liberals are trying to use this scandal to attack News Corp. and that the whole thing is politically motivated.

Here are two choice quotes:

It is also worth noting the irony of so much moral outrage devoted to a single media company, when British tabloids have been known for decades for buying scoops and digging up dirt on the famous.


We also trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.

Here's the article: WSJ LINK

CrispyRice said...

Thanks for the links. Go WSJ! I trust you to keep us posted, Andrew! :D

T-Rav said...

In regard to what Crispy said, I think I read the other day that, just like almost every other media organization, members of News Corp (the overall group) contribute substantially to Democrats than to Republicans. So I don't know if I would describe them as conservative, necessarily.

Unknown said...

Andrew: George Soros is getting his money's-worth at Media Matters. But Murdoch isn't exactly poor himself. I think this will be an attempt at a political lynching that will have some affect on the upcoming elections. But given the time, the expense, and Murdoch's lawyers versus the gummint lawyers, I don't think they'll be able to get very far with this.

This will make a good diversion from Project Gunrunner and Fast and Furious for Obama and Holder, though. I'd hate to see that scandal get buried over this.

Maybe The New York Times can re-hire Jayson Blair and The New Republic can re-hire Stephen Glass to cover this.

I really don't think the FCC will be able to unseat Murdoch over this, though they will try mightily. Unless and until they do Fox News in, Fox will be covering this as heavily as the MSM. And we need to remember that Fox has more viewers than any of the others by far. Glad to see the Wall Street Journal is fighting back.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, You're welcome. I'll update you as the situation warrants! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Both Fox News and the WSJ present an establishment center-right view of the news. That makes them unique compared to the others sites line ABC/NBC/CNN (center left) and CBS/MSNBC (far left). So in that regard, they are very valuable to the right.

But I wouldn't call them "conservative" either. And I think it really tells you something about the left that they go insane over something just right of center. They have no tolerance for even the slightest hint of dissent. Imagine how insane they would go if Fox was the mirror image of MSNBC spewing right wing propaganda! I think you would see leftist suicide bombers, quite frankly.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm not sure how it will go -- the Obama people are utterly shameless, so I could see them denying him a license and making him sue to get it back. But we'll see. I just hope Republicans don't get tricked into fighting Fox on this.

And you're right, this is a great distraction from both Fast and Furious and from the debt ceiling debate. Hopefully people will not stop paying attention to those.

I love your slap at the NYT and the New Republic. But of course, those were just rogue journalists... (and blind editors... and a culture of corruption and lies). Yep, just single bad actors. Nothing to see here. Hey, look at Murdoch -- he's evil!!!!


Unknown said...

Andrew: I think you're right about the FCC and the shameless Obama administration. What could be interesting would be Murdoch's fight to regain his license if they yanked it. We already have lots of proof that the administration has been "out to get" Fox News. But that has all been reportage. Now the legal machinery would go into high gear. This could be the case that proves that this administration is a mortal enemy of the First Amendment, and will use any means necessary to crush its opponents. Just thinkin' out loud.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, That's why litigation is a double-edged sword because the other side is also allowed to conduct discovery and to fight as hard as they want. I would expect Fox's lawyers to plow into the Obama Administration and who knows what they might uncover? It could be a huge mistake.

I'd make them pay if I was trying the case, that's for sure.

But we'll see.

DUQ said...

I love Fox News! This would piss me off more than anything Obama has done if they end up destroying Fox!

Unknown said...

Andrew: And I have a little more to say about the discovery process in my afternoon article on the SEIU manual. As we both know, sometimes poorly thought-out legal action occasionally turns into "be careful what you wish for." This could easily turn out to be Obama's Achilles heel. This time he's not picking on the little kid on the block.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think that would anger a lot of people.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I look forward to reading it! Your right that lawsuits often end up "be careful what you wish for." Let's hope that's the case with Obama and friends!

AndrewPrice said...


My article is scheduled for some time tomorrow. I can't say exactly when, just tomorrow.


AndrewPrice said...

Update on NOTW Scandal:

The guy who blew the whistle on the NOTW (reporter Sean Hoare) apparently was found dead this morning. The police are saying it's not suspicious, but with the popularity of conspiracy theories, you know what that's worth

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I noticed that. (The dead whistleblower, not the article tomorrow, which is cool.) Well, this should make things even more "interesting." Even if it's not foul play, it'll be extremely difficult to convince a lot of people of that. Right now, I'm a little guarded myself.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think it will be impossible to prove to people that this wasn't foul play because people want to believe things like that. Plus, you know that leftists will exploit this make the whole NOTW thing sound sinister, so they will work hard to feed the idea that this had to be murder.

Sadly, there's no way to counter that except to tell these people, "you're idiots and if you want to jerk yourselves off mentally, then don't do it on my time." Basically, condescending contempt is your best weapon or ridicule if they leave themselves open to it. Don't try to fight back with logic.

Ed said...

Andrew, This would be very bad. Fox is the only news I watch. I will not watch the others and I will not stick with Fox if they go all lefty on us.

BevfromNYC said...

I heard a rumor that the editors of NOTW knew in advance that they would be caught and tried to destroy hardrives and paper proof of the pay offs to the coppers. They were trying to buy the silence of many people. That's why the head of Scotland Yard resigned among other higher ups.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I've said before that I'm not a Fox fan, but I recognize their value and so do the Democrats. And that is why they want to tear it down.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I haven't heard that one yet, but it doesn't surprise me. For reasons that no one can explain, people always seem compelled to document their crimes. I don't get it.

And if they were destroying computers, that's bad. That usually carries as big of a penalty as the underlying crime and is easier to prove.

Apparently, 10 people are already in jail with more coming. The question for us is how far this will blow back into the US?

Notawonk said...

hooooly smokes. just. one. more. fight.

AndrewPrice said...

Tell me about it! Obama is like an evil octopus, reaching out all over the place, trying to destroy everything good in this country.

Ed said...

Andrew, I don't know if you've been watching the hearings, but this is nothing but a witch hunt.

And now some leftist protester has thrown a pie in Murdoch's face. It's disgraceful.

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