Media Matters is currently engaged in a massive effort to make the News of the World phone hacking scandal the biggest thing since Watergate. The goal, of course, is to tarnish anything associated with Rupert Murdoch so that it eventually impacts Fox News. It has gotten the attention of lawmakers here in the US on both sides of the aisle, but that’s really just a fringe benefit for the smear factory. They don’t actually care if News Corp executives get hauled in front of Congress here in the US. Since it is obvious this scandal isn’t big enough to bring down the entire News Corp conglomerate and both it and Fox News will be around for years to come, this has the marks of an effort to link Rupert Murdoch with the term “scandal” so anyone running a search on either term will see it and reinforce Media Matters’ narrative.
If it were really about uncovering unethical behavior, or whatever pretense Media Matters is operating under, there wouldn’t be a complete lack of coverage regarding other British tabloids suspected of similar activities. Case in point: Piers Morgan. (via Politico)
Adweek’s D.M. Levine reports that, despite the heavy coverage CNN has given to the phone-hacking scandal, it has yet to cover the calls from some members of British parliament that Piers Morgan answer questions about phone-hacking at the Daily Mirror when he was editor there.
It’s also interesting to note that Morgan was also the editor of News of the World at one point. Surely the crack researchers at Media Matters came across that little nugget and for some inexplicable reason have never written about it. In fact, if you run as search for “Daily Mirror” at the 501(c)(3) and you’ll find nothing. Search for Piers Morgan and you’ll just get a couple of hits where his name appears in a quote from some other source. Basically nothing. Why the blackout? Answer: The Daily Mirror is a reliably Lefty tabloid – and Piers Morgan is a reliably Lefty host – therefore, they can do whatever they like. It doesn’t provide any further texture to the “Murdoch-owned newspapers in the UK” narrative. Or does it?
Couldn’t a case be made that British tabloids, not just Murdoch-owned ones, have a history of seriously unethical behavior? Parliament seems to think this is something worth looking into:
It is also clear that we need to extend the scope beyond News International. Operation Motorman highlighted that the Daily Mail was trading most prolifically in illicit personal information, while the Daily Mirror, when under the auspices of Piers Morgan, is suspected of using voicemail interception to reveal Sven-Goran Eriksson’s affair with Ulrika Jonsson. Given that there are questions over Scotland Yard’s handling of the current case, it is essential that its actions are reviewed independently and that future action against suspected phone hackers does not remain solely the domain of the Met.
You see, if it is learned that other tabloids also engaged in phone hacking, it will wind up being an indictment on British tabloids and not Media Matters’ public enemy #1, Rupert Murdoch. Chances are hacking into voicemail will wind up being a “trick of the trade” over in the UK and something, naturally, reporters and editors would keep to themselves. It wouldn’t be something the business executives would be informed of because that would obviously deter them from investing in the newspapers.
It is impossible to think that the researchers at the self-described “Ministry of Truth” don’t know there are other publications suspected of doing this stuff. They’re following this case too closely to miss it. The only possible conclusion is they know about it and since it doesn’t fit their endgame, they’re ignoring it. They have to in order to push the idea that Murdoch was sitting in his office telling people to do it. That’s the perception they’re trying to create. You know what that’s called?
Taxpayer subsidized propaganda, to be precise.