Friday, July 15, 2011

Duck and Cover


It should surprise no one that Fox News isn't devoting a whole lot of time or resources to covering the seismic phone hacking scandal that's threatening to rip its parent company apart and put its owner on the receiving end of criminal charges. True, if Fox were an actual news outlet it'd have a responsibility to report on the mess, and in fact there'd be at least a few journalists within its newsroom chomping at the bit to use their privilege as insiders to get the story that maybe no one outside the four walls of the castle could. But of course, Fox News isn't an actual news outlet. Feel free to argue with that, but you're an idiot if you do.

Still, it's one thing to ignore the story as best as possible -- it's another thing entirely to do what perpetual company cheerleader Doocy the Clown did this morning on Fox and Friends. You really need to see this to believe it. Doocy brought on a guy no one's ever heard of, who has nothing at all to do with anything going on at News Corp, to basically agree with him that the rest of the media is "piling on" poor Rupert Murdoch and that since, well, we already know that this is a hacking scandal, we really should just "get beyond" that obviously trifling little part of it. Nothing to see here, folks. Doocy and guest say that the bigger story here is the ease with which the victims' phones were hacked, and they likened the whole thing to the hacking of Citicorp and Bank of America -- which would be a worthwhile comparison were it not for the fact that News Corp employees are the ones who did the hacking in all of this.

The argument is basically like saying, "Okay, so I shot a guy, and that's terrible -- but what's done is done. The real issue here is how easy it was for me to shoot him. Oh, and by the way, people get shot all the time. Why is the fact that I shot somebody such a big deal?"

It's such a hysterical and nakedly shameless bit of misdirection that it actually kind of surprised me. And I didn't think anything Fox did could surprise me anymore.

You've gotta hand it to them -- they've got chootspa.

12 comments:

Steve said...

I don't watch enough Fox News to know, but I've got to wonder if the small distraction of your leadership in full shit their pants mode has thrown them off their A game at precisely the time that Republicans need their dark magic the most? I just feel like in normal times the Republicans would have more full throated Fox back up when they argue that tax breaks for private jet owners are all that stand between us and slavery. Just a theory, but wouldn't it be delicious?

Nathan said...

You're gonna be digging on Choot-spa for a long time, aren't you?

:)

Amy B. said...

CHOOTSPA!

/I got nothin'.

Riles said...

This is just surreal. Seriously. They are saying that it isn't a big deal, while also being worried about being hacked by China, while also complaining that the media isn't covering the Pentagon story enough. I didn't think it was possible to have that many contradictory things said in one segment.

And Jesus, if "piling on" is off limits these days, what the fuck is Fox News going to do with 23 hours of their news day cycle?

Amy B. said...

Did he seriously say people are acting as if aliens landed in NJ? The sick thing is that Fox-watching mouth-breathers are going to start parroting this, and I might have to use your example up there as a defense at my trial. I love living in MO.

Chez said...

The irony that Fox is so adept at creating, elevating or perpetuating non-stories -- they do it constantly -- and now they're poo-pooing a very real story as being not worth covering is just staggering.

Anonymous said...

How much time was devoted to the "Ground Zero Mosque" on Fox and Friends? Or Acorn. Or the New Black Panthers...

Anonymous said...

This won't affect them in the least. Their audience does not care. They don't even need to worry about splash over from coverage of the story by other networks as thanks to the modern media system, if you want to only hear from people that believe the world is flat, its easy to do so.

I honestly believe however, that even the most jaded member of the Fox News family in the US has a different set of values than what is the norm for tabloids in England. There are extreme differences between the media systems in the US and England. For one, their libel laws are retarded, where scientists can get sued and silenced for printing up studies showing that chiropractors are basically snake oil salesmen. Or look just how insane the coverage of WAGS (wives and girlfriends) during the World Cup.

Anyone that thinks that only NewsCorp was doing this crap over in England...well a simple trip over to England will show that they are not unique. One has to remember that England's privacy laws are just as messy as their free speech laws. The National Enquirer is freaking Pulitzer material compared to their rags. This is not to say that there should not be an investigation if their is evidence of this occurring over here. I just have a hard time assuming that News Corp operates the same in every single country. No global news agency does so.

Chez said...

If Fox didn't engage in the same sort of behavior that NoW did -- and if the crisis for News Corp doesn't become so epochal that it puts its owner in jail or forces the break-up of the company, something along those lines -- then Fox will undoubtedly be fine. From a PR perspective, you're right -- Fox's audience very likely doesn't even know that any of this is going on because it only watches Fox and subsists on 24/7 diet of its Kool-Aid. But if the law really does come down on Murdoch -- if this goes beyond simply a public black eye and it actually turns into a series of charges that turn News Corp upside down -- then that's something that will affect Fox. It'll have to, because it will likely affect all News Corp entities.

abbienormal said...

Joe Nocera has a great editorial in the NYT this morning (Sat) on the WSJ's piss poor reporting of the story.

Steven D Skelton said...

Special Report ran a segment on the story every day this week with full acknowledgment of Fox News relationship with NOTW.

janon28 said...

Anonymous @ 6.26
Of course it wasn't just the News of World doing the hacking. Most people I've spoken to seem to think it was widespread. And I think it's why most UK papers at first barely covered it, with only the Guardian and Independent doggedly following the story.
But limited to the UK? No way.
All it takes is one reporter to move to another paper and take it's dodgy practices with it. It does make me wonder what major news stories of the past few years stem from hacking and which ones from genuine legwork.