Saturday, July 9, 2011

Phreaking out, man!

From Al-Jazeera: Murdoch goes to UK amid scandal

Amidst strides to freshly acquire the British satellite broadcast company BSkyB, the CEO of NewsCorp is refusing to comment in the whipping scandal surrounding his recently dismantled News of the World Sunday tabloid.

An interesting enough story already for those of us who support a free and open media, and thus oppose every delayed death rattle that lingers in this skeleton's voice box. There was already scandal enough surrounding the possible NewsCorp acquisition as an affront to the objectivity of news media. But now that News of the World is being charged with phone hacking (or phreaking for the internet savvy, get the title now?) and interfering with criminal investigations in the name of electrifying the news. Employees of Murdoch have been accused of phone hacking into the voicemail accounts of everyone from aides to the royal family to missing persons, and The Guardian is even reporting evidence of hacking in to private e-mail accounts and tampering with and deleting messages. While Murdoch has yet to issue an official personal statement, the stringent denials of NewsCorp and his decision to shut down the tabloid should speak for itself.

Imagine! A news organization stooping to unscrupulous methods of obtaining information, all in the vein of sensationalizing a story and increasing readership! It's unthinkable! A veritable tragedy! Who could imagine a news company with such a blatant lack of integrity! Thank our lucky stars that such a travesty couldn't possibly be occurring here in the States, where Murdoch has an even tighter death grip on the media circus...

A lawyer representing the family of a young girl who's disappearance led to one of the instances of phone hacking that has brought this whirlwind around Murdoch's head perhaps put it best:
It’s not about that [retribution], it’s about the truth. And that’s what the News of the World and other newspapers were meant to be – beacons of truth.

"They were meant to the fourth estate, holding as a check to the third estate. This is a watershed moment for the press … that they have entered into the corruption that they were seeking to expose of others.

Of course, none of this would be going on if they weren't turning a profit on it. Who should you really be upset at, here?

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