18 July 2011

The dominoes are falling...

On Friday it was Rebekah Brooks.

Shortly afterward, down went Les Hinton.

Over the weekend, the head of Scotland Yard, Paul Stephenson resigned.

This morning, Scotland Yard's John Yates resigned.

And if you parse Paul Stephenson's resignation statement, we're talking about issues that could touch the Prime Minister.

However, in the US, the Murdoch-controlled media refuses to acknowledge that anything important has happened or is happening.

We're beyond talking about Murdoch's minions resigning from their media perches. We're talking about top law officials in a relatively respected foreign country having to relinquish their posts. Although analogies always limp, Stephenson's resignation would be akin to the head of the FBI stepping down in the U.S.

Still, the Murdoch lie machine churns on Stateside, with the Wall Street Journal, a relatively recent Murdoch acquisition trying to deflect attention from their owner's criminal activity and instead arguing that this event -- the event that has caused two top law officials to step down, been the subject of hearings in Parliament, and has even caused an ostensibly contrite Murdoch to apologize to some of his victims -- is really about circulation numbers and ideological distaste for Murdoch's right wing media conglomerate.

Americans by and large will probably pay little attention to this mess. Fox News is hardly covering it, and when they do, it's mainly to dismiss it as overblown media hype, a minor incident that isn't really important, which is much how they would likely have reported on Watergate had they been around then: a minor burglary, committed by a few rogue operatives, who are being punished...what's the fuss?

NewsCorp's most damaging problem in the US will most likely be the bribing of foreign officials. It's not good enough for the WSJ, whose editorial team has always been ideological hacks whose ethical brain zones either never developed properly or were killed off years ago, to argue that "everyone pays for stories...so who cares" when that argument won't even get you out of a speeding ticket. Besides, we aren't talking about paying some celebrity for a scoop (or better yet paying a friend of the celebrity for a scoop); we're talking about paying bribes to the police. We're talking about official corruption.

We're talking, in short, of criminal activities and criminals.

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