Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Quote of the Day
"Forgot my Blackberry at home today -- does any News Corp staffer know my schedule for this afternoon?"
-- Arianna Huffington, via Twitter
A while back I threw out one of those endlessly ponderable questions having to do with the modern media. It basically went like this: "What do you do when a media outlet willfully refuses to do the right thing, when it flat-out ignores calls for it to behave in a respectable and scrupulous manner and laughs in the face of those making the demands?" Not surprisingly, the impetus for this debate was some kind of irresponsible horseshit or other that Fox News had pulled. For years Fox has operated above the rules that govern other news outlets; it's operated this way because it's owned by Rupert Murdoch, and Rupert Murdoch operates this way.
What's happening right now with Murdoch has been years in the making. It was always inevitable. The entire corporate culture of News Corp has been one of imperiousness since the very beginning, the belief that it and its people simply aren't required to adhere to the exhaustingly restrictive laws all those other poor suckers inexplicably submit to. They can do whatever they want and the awesome might of Murdoch and News Corp will protect them at all times. This kind of mad hubris, taken to its logical conclusion, will eventually result in your biting off a lot more than you can chew. Which is what Murdoch's people did -- in spades. They did it because the Murdoch ethos gave them tacit permission to.
What do you do when a media outlet refuses to play by the rules? Apparently, you wait for it to inevitably take the privilege it believes it's entitled to one step too far -- and then you bust it like a piñata.