The News on the News

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guardian reporter Nick Davies to talk about the Rupert Murdoch News of the World story, much of which he broke for the Guardian.


Nick Davies

Comments [22]


This is such an important issue and you spend time asking him how he pronounces his name? Davies was annoyed and rightfully so. What a waste.

Jul. 23 2011 04:52 AM
Mike from New York

Most important issue is concentration of media power in few hands.
Mr. Murdock is the most powerful person in USA. For example, every Mayor of the city of New York (except David Dinkins) was virtually elected by Mr. Murdock. (starting from election of Mr. Koch). Every President since President Regan, (except President Obama) has been elected by massive propaganda in favor of the candidates by Mr. Murdock. Right now it is almost impossible to be elected to the Congress if the candidate is opposed by Mr. Murdock (although I guess some congressmen were able to beat Mr. Murdock’s pre-election attacks.

Jul. 21 2011 11:00 PM
Elmorefleet from Manhattan

Total coup! I wish he Nick could have been on longer. You can find him on The Guardian pages and on it's video coverage. He is the MAN. He broke the story that started the landslide that hasn't stopped, and likely won't until it takes down the the now thinkable, much deserved, David Cameron. (and maybe even Rupert!)

Hat's off to Brian for a job well done. Thanks!

Jul. 21 2011 10:06 PM
SAME from Northern NJ Suburb

I really enjoyed today's discussion and it highlighted for me what is great about Brian and his show.

Frankly, my favorite part was the end when Brian asked Nick Davies how his last name was pronounced. I, too, had been saying Ray Davees (of the Kinks) and not Davis. I learn so much from listening to Brian!

Jul. 21 2011 05:59 PM
Lsfrank from Queens, NY

I am a daily subscriber for many years to the NYT which I am quite aware has a slant as do all papers. I believe that NYT makes some attempt to take the "editorial" out of their news coverage although not always successfully. I also read many other papers (not daily), check into, (global news coverage of Israeli issues) when I believe I smell a rat.
I was really quite appalled to hear Nick Graves this a.m. talk about how Murdoch's slant is unethical not only in the stories they choose, but in the false coverage, leaving out of facts etc. Mr. Graves writes for a paper that systematically over many years covers the Israeli/Palestinian issue from a relentless delegitimization and demonization of Israel point of view. They have been called on the carpet many times for leaving out details, exaggerating, photo editing to no avail as I understand Murdoch's papers have also. The Guardians reporting of Israel would leave one to believe that the entire country is teeming with murderers, racists and blood libelers. The Guardian has an air of legitimacy that it doesn't deserve while Murdoch's papers do not. The Guardian has made a silk purse out of a cows ear...while Murdoch has made no attempt to appear to be anything but what they are.
They are both the same thing.

Jul. 21 2011 02:21 PM
Geoffrey from NYC

What a missed opportunity to get a first-hand account from an investigative reporter on a high profile story! I'd have to second one of his questions toward the end of the interview, 'is that really the most important question you have for me?'

Jul. 21 2011 12:25 PM
Gary from queens

Dear Hazel

Corporations make things we want and provide jobs. Why is that evil.

The constitution guarrantees freedom of expression, speech and assembly for everyone. Even corporation executives and media mogules are allowed to have their say.

the supreme court recently agreed with me on that

Jul. 21 2011 11:10 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

My jaw dropped when the last caller compared Murdoch's tabloids to the New York Times. Granted, all news sources have a bias, and the New York Times is far from perfect. However, to see the vitriol plastered on every page of the New York Post and compare it to the calm tone of the Times is flabbergasting. This tendency to attach even weight to all infractions is seriously hampering most debates in this country. Our laws recognize that some crimes are more serious than others, but our citizens seem to miss this point. Can we please begin calling people out on these false equivalencies?

Jul. 21 2011 10:53 AM

The major problem is that people buy these papers en masse. When the Sun was first published it caused a huge public outcry by its lack of journalistic standards, selling trash journalism by printing pictures of naked women, yet people bought it in droves and made it what it is today. I judge the British and American public who support these papers and TV channels in their millions without asking how their information is obtained or analysing the veracity of the content. I cancelled cable rather than have any of my money go to that vile pig who should never have been allowed out of Australia.

Jul. 21 2011 10:52 AM

The caller commenting on The New York Times is precisely right: Judith Miller, critiqued for YEARS but coddled by the Times until she finally wpnt nuts. John Burns and Bill Keller on Wikileaks -- another of many examples (all of Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Michael Gordon, etc.)

As for the guest saying he lives in London, so doesn't read the NYT.... I live in New York and read The Guardian, Haaretz, Le Monde, and so on.... How can a journalist not be reading many papers from around the world?

Jul. 21 2011 10:51 AM

The problem is one of anti-trust & corporate concentration of power.

De-regulating & non-regulating of broadcast, satellite, cable, & web media has led to across the board narrowing of the political discourse.

Coupled with Murdoch's quick U.S. citizenship move to get his O & O stations & his fight to de-claw the 1934 FCA.

More to come in the U.S.A.

It's time to start enforcing Sherman Anti-trust law & putting the public good into the mix.

We can start by charging station owners annual license fees & additional fees on selling station licenses.

Some of those fees could go to support CPB/PBS/NPR and some to support the station's local PBS/NPR/APM stations.

That could increase their independence & remove them & CPB from budget threats and political influence.

Jul. 21 2011 10:51 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"News" is just the processing of "facts" in the same way that most of the food we eat is processed these days. The purpose of the news processing industry is to make the most money by garnering the largest audience and thereby being able to get the most advertising dollars.

Jul. 21 2011 10:51 AM

Brian doesn't know how far he wants to take the argument that New Corp is basically a lobbying arm for the business and conservative politics.

I would like it to be taken as far as it can go. I would like an exhaustive - everyday, all day - investigation into this. Let's talk about something like this from the Guardian: [the pro-business lobby they mention is the US Chamber of Commerce]

"Rupert Murdoch donated $1m to a pro-business lobby in the US months before the group launched a high-profile campaign to alter the anti-bribery law – the same law that could potentially be brought to bear against News Corporation over the phone-hacking scandal."

Jul. 21 2011 10:49 AM
Kate from New York City

This caller is unconvincing about the New York Times, and her grunts at very legitimate things the guest was saying indicated to me that she wasn't really listening, but itching for a fight. I have read the NYT my whole life. Yes, of course, it has a point of view. But as the guest says, you can have a point of view and conduct yourself respectably and with an effort at journalistic integrity, which the NYT has mostly done admirably over the course of many, many years - or you can do what Fox and Murdoch papers do, which is HIDE your point of view behind unethical twisting of facts. Big difference. It is a false equivalency that the caller is trying to make.

Jul. 21 2011 10:49 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I learned LONG ago to believe only half of what I see, and virtually nothing of what I read. In my nearly 65 years, I have personally witnessed so many blatant newspaper lies and distortions, I just accept "news" as merely a form of entertainment, not much above in credibility from reading fiction like Harry Potter. The purpose of the news industry is to manufacture "news" or otherwise bend facts to whatever gets them the widest audience and most advertizing.

Jul. 21 2011 10:46 AM

How is it that newspapers can call themselves journalistic when they publicly choose a political candidate in the first place?? How can we as news consumers then trust their reporting with such an obvious conflict of interest??

Jul. 21 2011 10:46 AM
bob from huntington


please discuss the important role of FOX news in the rise of the tea party.

Jul. 21 2011 10:44 AM
Kate from New York City

Thanks for covering this important story, Brian!

Jul. 21 2011 10:42 AM

@Gary from Queens

You are misinformed. There is nothing remotely "left" about Fox, not in slightest most minute increment, and James Murdoch is most definitely not "super liberal."

Jul. 21 2011 10:29 AM
Gary from queens

BTW, I haven't watched Fox or any of the dumbed-down cable news stations since i stopped getting cable in 2007. but I understand that Fox is ever so slightly moved to the left on many issues it covers, ever since the Saudis bought up a large share of Fox News, and the anticipation of super liberal James Murdoch soon to be taking over operational control of Fox news.

Jul. 21 2011 10:09 AM
Gary from queens

Why is this story so important Brian?! How many shows did you devote to WAPO's Dana Priest publishing classified information on the location of CIA prisons abroad in 2006, and why she deserved a Pulitzer for that? Do you think she got the secret info free of charge? And even if not, what is the significance of that?

Hypocritical glee over Murdoch's troubles
By: Cal Thomas | Examiner Columnist | 07/20/11
PORTSTEWART, Northern Ireland --


The response to this by the British and American mainstream media reeks of hypocrisy. Whatever one thinks of the morality of paying for news stories, the British press, under Labour and Tory governments, has been doing it for years. Fleet Street was built on cash for gossip. American media are slightly more sophisticated in pursuing "exclusive" stories.

There are other forms of "payment" U.S. media make to politicians -- mostly liberals -- with whom they agree. They repeat the talking points of Democrats or refuse to challenge statements that are factually incorrect. They frequently fawn over people they like and challenge those they don't like. Call it a political version of an "in-kind" contribution.

People who broke the law by hacking into phones should be punished, but this is more about liberal attempts to destroy Fox News, which liberals hate because it communicates ideas, issues and opinions that were mostly unavailable, or ignored, until the network launched in 1996.


The faux "virgins" in big media like to portray themselves as "above" the standards and practices of media owned by Murdoch, but past behavior exposes them as two-faced.

Examples: In 2003, the New York Times reported that, "Michael Jackson struck a deal with CBS to be paid in effect an additional $1 million for both an entertainment special ... and his interview on '60 Minutes' ... part of yearlong negotiations." The news magazine denied paying Jackson for the interview, but an associate of Jackson's said at the time the deal included the "60 Minutes" appearance.

According to one of Casey Anthony's attorneys, ABC News paid $200,000 for photos of her dead daughter, Caylee. CBS News got off with a mere $20,000 "licensing fee" paid to Caylee's grandparents.

When hero passenger Jasper Schuringa helped subdue the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on a flight to Detroit and later snapped cell phone photos of the suspect being escorted off the plane in wrist restraints, CNN paid Schuringa a "licensing fee" for the images.

CBS and ABC reportedly bid for the photos, according to, ultimately earning Schuringa $18,000.

If tabloids paid British police for information, then that would be a violation of journalistic ethics, if they still exist. American journalists had better look to their own motivations before casting stones at Rupert Murdoch.

Jul. 21 2011 10:04 AM

Thanks to Mr. Davies & The Guardian for their work over the years & especially on this story.

Jul. 21 2011 07:45 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.