Opinion: Give Murdoch Credit for Shuttering News of the World
Monday, July 11, 2011 - 10:16 AM
I have a confession to make: despite the common put-down of Republicans that we take our marching orders from Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, I don't watch Fox News. The reason isn't very complicated.
A story will break on Twitter or Drudge and we'll all collectively wait for the TV news stations to pick up on it a day or two later. TV news doesn't fit in with my need to know everything right this second. I get 100% of my news online.
Don't get me wrong, I love that Fox News exists. I once heard someone say about it: Fox News found a niche demographic - half the country. That's exactly it. For too long TV news was delivered from a left-liberal perspective and now there is a counterbalance to that. Hurrah!
So liberals shouldn't get too gleeful, "too late" that the recent awful, disgusting scandal involving the News of the World in the UK, will not have much of an effect on their most-hated TV station.
Yes, they're both owned by Rupert Murdoch, but there's nothing to imply that there is a top-down culture that condones disrupting police investigations.
In case you haven't heard, several reporters at News of the World hacked into a missing 13-year old girl's voicemail and then, in a gross violation of their profession and of human standards in general, proceeded to delete messages when her voicemail box became full. This led to police believing she was alive and simply deleting her own messages, when in fact she had been murdered thereby confusing their investigation.
The way the Murdoch family is handling the NOTW situation is more than admirable. They are closing down this 168 year old newspaper and admitting that "wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued."
The fact is, media credibility has taken a serious hit in the last decade. It isn't simply the bias, although that doesn't help, it's the lack of credibility. The New York Times didn't shut down when Jayson Blair turned out to be a fabricator.
CBS didn't go off the air when they and Dan Rather fell for the most obvious forged document of all time. The fact that the Murdoch family is responding to this scandal by completely shutting down operations is admirable. The News of the World has violated the public's trust and unlike other violators it won't be given the opportunity to do so again.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.