Well, all this is interesting to me, anyway, and that's what matters here. The Internet is a terrible thing for someone like me, who finds almost everything interesting.
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?
I'm a skeptic. I think it makes sense to have reasons for what I believe, so I apportion my belief to the evidence. You're welcome to disagree. Please, tell me I'm wrong. I probably don't agree with anyone about everything. Why should disagreement be a problem? Check the Pages section below for series posts and links to book reviews and game posts, as well as contact info. Unfortunately, I rarely blog at all, anymore. So don't expect new posts. - Bill
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. - Robert Wilensky
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
No matter how many times a theory meets its tests successfully, there can be no certainty that it will not be overthrown by the next observation. This, then, is a cornerstone of modern natural philosophy. It makes no claim of attaining ultimate truth. In fact, the phrase "ultimate truth" becomes meaningless, because there is no way in which enough observations can be made to make truth certain and, therefore, "ultimate". - Isaac Asimov
The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. - Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.
This is not about proof. Science does not use proof. We favor evidence, and the work consists largely of the slow accumulation of evidence in support of ideas, not magically potent proofs that establish an idea as unassailable. - PZ Myers
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. - President Barack Obama
The formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat. - Shekhar Gupta
We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small, persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs. - Carl Sagan
We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer. - Sam Harris
To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man. - Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553
Democracy is not about majority rule; it is about minority rights. If there is no culture of not simply tolerating minorities, but actually treating them with equal rights, real democracy can't take root. - Thomas L. Friedman
We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. - Thomas Macauley, 1830
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men. - Edward R. Murrow
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best - that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. - Thomas Huxley
There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. - Arthur Schopenhauer
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. ... Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. - President Thomas Jefferson
To be elected in America, no matter from what party, the candidates have no choice but to year after year pledge to lower taxes further and further. We have become the nation of Ken and Barbie, looking good but very poor at the math. - Rack Jite
Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. - Steve Eley
We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle. - Molly Ivins
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H. L. Mencken
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill