News Corp in the Hot Seat

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Felix Salmonfinance blogger for Reuters, sticks around to talk about the continuing News Corp scandal.


Felix Salmon

Comments [24]

leo from chicago from Lakeview

"il pesce puzza dalla testa".

This may be Turkish as well (countries and cultures oftentimes share similar sayings) but you hear it all the time in Italy.

Jul. 21 2011 12:51 AM
David in Manhattan from Manhattan

Somebody should closely investigate the Pie Thrower.

There is quite a good chance he was hired by Murdoch or his crisis management firm.

Consider that the event was very possibly staged...

Especially since Rupert was not really very humble on his "humblest day"...

Jul. 20 2011 10:06 PM

John Weldon, are You serious: "But you know damn well that the ONLY reason this is a story here in the states is because Murdoch's News Corp owns and operates an entity that's anathema to the left: Fox News Channel." The channel is world infamous, a prime example of not so objective journalism.

So Berlusconi is unheard of in USA? And he is waging a minor legal war against The Economist because this very highly esteemed publication, not so left wing, is harassing him becuase he is ... berlusconian? Its not about ideology, its about defending democracy.

And thank God for communist media like New York Times and The Guardian. Wall Street Journal is not a very, very, very, very highly esteemed publication. It lost quite a lot of its esteem when Murdoch bought it. Berlusconi also tried to buy himself some esteem, but wherever those moguls go such things as as esteem, morality and integrity evaporate.

Jul. 20 2011 04:05 PM
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Jul. 20 2011 03:08 PM
John from Glendale, Queens

In response to a question about what's being done to improve voice mail security, your guest said the question was moot because "no one uses voice mail anymore". This is a typical media elitist attitude and indicates the narrowness of the circles he exist in. Everyone I communicate with uses voice mail regularly, as does the vast majority of the population, as evidenced by regular cell phones outselling "smart" phones" by several times.

Jul. 20 2011 02:38 PM
Tony Davis from Alto, NM

So, what are the ramifications for the Murdoch empire in the US? If bribery is proven in the UK,
what does this lead to here?

Jul. 20 2011 12:28 PM
mrs. robinson from manhattan

the WSJ a "very, very highly esteemed publication"? in what circles? oh right--yours, john weldon!

ask yourself why this, and other "esteemed" murdoch properties are not reporting much of anything on this subject. no doubt any news org would do anything to get a scoop, but murdoch isn't worth holding up as some gleaming exception.

if lehrer and WNYC are so "intellectually dishonest", why do you bother listening? to psych yourself up for a good rant? there are better things to do with one's time.

Jul. 20 2011 11:10 AM
John Weldon from Bayside

Hey Lehrer,

I'm listening to this hit-piece on Murdoch by both you and your "unbiased" guest, and it's pretty sickening.

How about some intellectual honesty on your part, Brian? A caller just asked you whether if this were any other major media owner whether this would be the "story" that it is here. You came back with your snarky little comments about hacking, buying off police, blah blah blah.

But you know damn well that the ONLY reason this is a story here in the states is because Murdoch's News Corp owns and operates an entity that's anathema to the left: Fox News Channel. No one outside of NY cares about the NY Post, so that's no national story. And the Wall Street Journal is --last I checked-- still a very, very highly esteemed publication.

So what's "left", so to speak? Fox News Channel. People like you and your schadenfreudish accolytes only care that somehow this might, just might have some impact on Murdoch where it would affect Fox News Channel. That's what's so wholly disingenuous about all of this from a U.S. media coverage approach. But you and others like you will never be intellectually honest enough to admit as much. Pretty pathetic, but typical.

What happened at News of the World was abhorrent, and I'm shedding no tears about its demise (save for the working fortunes of its recent employees). But if anyone with an ounce of integrity would look at the British tabloid culture AS A WHOLE, and not the microcosm of Murdoch, they would have to admit (grudgingly, I'm sure) that the entire tabloid culture there is tainted. Last I checked, Murdoch doesn't own every "Red Top" in the UK.

But hey, let's just convict the Murdochs here because WE KNOW that THEY KNEW! Sure. That's the luxury of the court of public opinion, particularly when such public opinion is largely coming from those who can't stand the fact that Fox News Channel is the success that it is.

The public radio emperor has no clothes, Lehrer. I, for one, see you for what you are here -- just another leftist who is foaming at the mouth in some hope that financial and corporate ruin is foisted upon News Corp. Hey; you can't beat them competitively. Might as well hope for some external event to do your work for you.

You're the one who has to look in the mirror for that reality.

Jul. 20 2011 11:03 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

There is another legal saying 'False in one, false in all.' which generally is used to let juries discount all the testimony from a witness that is shown to have lied.

In NewsCorps case, it makes me nothing but nervous to think that the same or similar mindset that ran News of the World now publishes the Wall Street Journal.

Jul. 20 2011 10:54 AM
David H.

If the prouerbe be true,‥that a fishe beginneth first to smell at the head,‥the faultes of our seruantes will be layed vppon vs.
[1581 G. Pettie tr. S. Guazzo's Civil Conversation iii. 51]
s.v. Teste, Fish euer begins to taint at the head; the first thing that's deprau'd in man's his wit.
[1611 R. Cotgrave Dict. French & English]

Read more:

Jul. 20 2011 10:50 AM
Not So Free Press from Manhattan

I don't have much respect for any news organization, including WNYC. This is one bias news organization pushing an agenda covering another bias news organization pushing an agenda. Brian, your doing a decent job of trying to reign it in, but your guest is quite off. He flat out said James was in charge of covering up the scandal - is that a fact? Where's the objective journalism? His comments are patently anti-Murdoch - he seems more concerned with getting Murdoch unseated than the truth.

Jul. 20 2011 10:49 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Chriss

Well his answers may have been "consistent"...but so what? You can be lying your butt off and be consistent in your lies.

Like the guest said, many of the details of his answers just don't hold up to scrutiny.

Jul. 20 2011 10:48 AM
jim from manhattan

There is a link between the two subjects of your show - the inflexible republican house members holding up the debt negotiations in the u.s. are an expression of the toxic political culture promoted by fox news.

Jul. 20 2011 10:46 AM
Chriss from Montclair

Putting aside feelings about FOX.

Murdoch was humbled because he was embarrassed by the actions of some of his employees and his reputation.

He runs a vast empire- News of World is 1% of it- he certainly cannot be expected to know everything that a few of his 53,000 employees are doing.

I found his answers consistent.

Jul. 20 2011 10:45 AM
Aline Fader from Bushwick

This may be symptomatic of the larger trend of dissolution of privacy. As privacy erodes, transgressions that were taboo seem more and more acceptable.

Jul. 20 2011 10:45 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

was murdoch (or anyone) ever implicated as the tapping source in "squidgygate", when princess diana and james gilby's pillow talk was somehow recorded and revealed in the sun newspaper?

Jul. 20 2011 10:42 AM

More follow-up is needed to address the caller from Italy's point - how did the Murdoch empire collude with the Bush cabal to decide the 2000 Florida results and the lead up to the wars.

Jul. 20 2011 10:40 AM
Smokey from LES

What do you think Rupert Murdoch really talks about with his editors if not huge payouts?

Jul. 20 2011 10:38 AM

In Britian, Murdoch is accurately being described as a latter day J. Edgar Hoover, having dirt on every politician and civil servant in or near power. The Select Committee asked pathetically weak questions yesterday from both the left and the right. and I think that's a reflection of how scared they still are of this guy, and it's very hard to find anyone in the Establishment, including those heading the various inquiries, who don't have connections with News International/ News Corp. I don't see that any real changes will occur, unless the public keep up the pressure. Unforthunately the British public have less of an attention span than we do here. We'll see.

Jul. 20 2011 10:38 AM

Brian, how is Fox News covering the Murdock scandal?

Jul. 20 2011 10:35 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!


I could never ever bring myself to read the Post but I did see the cover this morning and saw that the Murdoch hearing was not the lead and thought that was hilarious. I assumed there would probably be little to no mention of it inside the paper.

Jul. 20 2011 10:33 AM
Kate Herskovitz from New York City

As I listen to avarious top government officials resign or fluster their excuses because of complicity with Murdoch's hacking policies, I cannot help but think of that old book, THE POWER ELITE by C.. Wright Mills . Mills argues that because people in government, finance, the news, and other powerful classes go to the same parties, send their kids to the same schools, invest in the same companies, live in similar neighborhoods, and want access to one another, they are blind to the needs, values and insights of us more ordinary folks. The world view of the power elite is limited by the blinders and normative ideologies of the people they hang out with. Whether or not World News stops hacking personal phones will not change this larger, systemic, problem. The hacking scandal merely reveals the dimensions of the blind collusion.

Jul. 20 2011 10:32 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Yes, it's delicious to see what's happening to the Murdochs and the minions who carried these ugly things out.

BUT. How many US journalists show up at the National Correspondents' dinner to preserve their "access"? Access, access, access. Anyone remember Judith Miller? Seems printing war-related lies from "secret sources" is at least as bad as hacking a murdered girl's voicemails.

The US media has a lot to account for as well. And not just, as in the Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass cases, more navel gazing and then back to normal. But I have little faith that either the Murdoch (and other) tabloids--or the "regular"--media will change.

There is at least one reason the tabloids do well: people buy them. Has journalism *really* debated with itself how substantive journalism can compete with feeding people's lowest car-crash-watching impulses?

Jul. 20 2011 10:28 AM
John from NYC

I can't find any mention of the Murdoch i today's NY Post. I wonder why?

Jul. 20 2011 10:26 AM

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