Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fox News circles the wagons

This is Steve Doocy on Fox and Friends going all out to defend his boss in that News of the World hacking scandal. But it's really hilarious how he does it, don't you think? Could anyone but a regular Fox "News" viewer buy any of this?

First, he and his guest, Robert Dilenschneider, argue that we should move on. Nothing to see here, right? "We know it's a hacking scandal. Shouldn't we get beyond it and really deal with the issue of hacking? Citicorp has been hacked into. Bank of America has been hacked into. American Express has been hacked into."

(Note that all of the quotes here are from Dilenschneider, unless I specifically note otherwise.)

You see what they're doing? These companies were all the victims of hacking. Rupert Murdoch's News of the World was the perpetrator of this hacking scandal, not the victim. Fox is deliberately trying to confuse their viewers in this matter.

And yeah, everyone gets hacked, right? So what's the big problem? This tabloid was hacking into the phones of family members of 9/11 victims. They were hacking into the phones of the families of soldiers killed in Iraq, to prey on their grief.

They not only hacked into the phone of a missing girl, so they could publish the anguished appeals of her parents, they also deleted messages when the phone's voicemail got full, giving the parents (and the police) false hope that their child was still alive!

And yeah, they were bribing police officials, too.

"So we have to figure out a way to deal with this hacking problem. That's what we have to do." Um, maybe arresting the people who commit this crime is a good start?

And Rupert Murdoch has apologized. My God, why isn't that enough? Heh, heh. It's funny how quickly that right-wing "get tough on crime" meme disappears when it's one of their own, isn't it? Hey, we committed a crime. Oops, my bad. But now that I've apologized, can't we just move on?

"For some reason the public, the media, keeps going over this, again and again." Gee, you think media outlets grab a scandal like a dog grabs a bone? Wow, that's unusual isn't it? Imagine not wanting to give a scandal a rest! These two guys must not actually watch Fox, themselves.

But he's still trying to make Rupert Murdoch the victim in this. And at the same time, he's reinforcing the Fox "News" message that conservatives are under constant attack by the liberal media. The right-wing has this victim mentality anyway. Even when they're at fault - maybe even especially when they're at fault - they imagine themselves as the victims, battling valiantly against oppression.

"But I think the bigger issue is really hacking, and how we as a public are going to protect ourselves and our privacy, and deal with it."  Er, by arresting those responsible, perhaps? That would be a nice start, don't you think? And by making a BIG DEAL out of a serious matter like this?

"And I would also say, by the way, Citigroup - great bank - Bank of America - great bank. Are they getting the same kind of attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago that News Corp. is getting today? (Doocy says, "Right.")

Heh, heh. Again, these "great banks" were the victims of hacking, not the perpetrators of it. We really do tend to focus our attention on finding and catching criminals, not their victims.

But note that Doocy's guest is a PR executive. He knows exactly what he's doing, and so does Doocy. They're trying to confuse Fox "News" viewers - not a difficult problem, I'm sure - by equating News Corp. with the victims of hacking, rather than as the organization responsible for it.

Doocy randomly throws out China and government secrets and debt, in a desperate attempt to change the subject. "Where is that as a big story?" he asks. Heh, heh. Well, you know, Fox does claim to be a news network, so why is Doocy wasting his time defending his boss when he could be covering something important?

Dilenschneider again: "It's really very, very scary. And I think that we should be very concerned as a public about our privacy and about people getting access to what we have, and we have to find ways to defend ourselves." Right, which is exactly why this hacking scandal is big news.

But what Fox "News" viewers will pick up from this is that Fox is being picked on (again) by the "lamestream media." Doocy presents Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. as the victims here. Yeah, it's insane, but his viewers are conditioned to believe that kind of thing.

Doocy complains again about the media "piling on." Heck, you'd think that Martians had landed or something! Yeah, Fox "News" never does that, does it? Whoever heard of the media piling on to a juicy scandal? (And Fox is always one of the worst perpetrators, provided only that it's not a right-wing scandal.)

Doocy: "We've got some serious problems in this country right now. We are teetering on default. And what do they do? They talk about this." Yeah, they talk about a serious crime - ten people have been arrested already - and a horrible scandal that preyed upon grieving people (and also bribed the police). How foolish of "them," huh?

More from Doocy: "And Mr. Murdoch himself has said that he's going to cooperate, he's going to show up at Parliament next week, and now news this morning that Rebekah Brooks, who headed up that unit, is calling it quits."

But what Doocy doesn't tell his viewers is that Murdoch initially refused to testify before Parliament, until the scandal just got so serious for him that he was forced to change his mind. And Rebekah Brooks isn't just "calling it quits." She was actually arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting phone calls and bribing the police.

Should a simple apology and resignation be enough restitution for that? As I say, whatever happened to getting tough on crime?

"It really should get put behind us. Investigators, the courts, should deal with this, and we should move on and deal with the important topics of the day." Heh, heh. That's certainly a change of attitude for Fox, don't you think? What's next? Will Fox "News" join MoveOn.org, then?

How do these people sleep at night? More to the point, why isn't Fox "News" the biggest laughing-stock in the world, instead of making money hand over fist?

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