With the exception of a single chucklehead armed with a pie, no one laid a glove on News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch in his appearance Tuesday before a Parliamentary committee.
Before going any further, let me state, for the record, that I have written pieces for the Fox News opinion site, I have been a guest on a number of Fox News Channel programs, and I even have several Fox channels on my cable system. To the best of my recollection, however, I have never been compensated for any of it.
Nevertheless, it was with considerable interest that I watched Murdoch, along with his son James, answer questions posed by members of Parliament concerning what they might have known about the activities of reporters at the now-shuttered News of the World—something I cannot ever envision happening here in the United States, where the scandal is big news. [Vote now: Should U.K. police have arrested Rebekah Brooks?]
Both Murdochs deserve credit, in my judgment, for their candor and for the forthright way they have tried to shed light on what actually happened. Even though we do not yet have the full story about who knew what and when as pertains to unauthorized and apparently illegal intercepts—and I say apparently because I do not know for certain the terms of the British laws governing such things—of voice mails belonging to public figures and private citizens. The management appears to be doing all it can to both set things right and to rebuild trust with its readers.
This will be of no comfort to the “Fox Haters” out there who won't be happy until, to borrow a phrase from former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, Murdoch is frog-marched out of the News Corp. building in Manhattan under guard and in handcuffs. [Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.]
While not exactly “much ado about nothing,” it seems to come close. This does not excuse anyone's breaking of the law, but it seems to be a bit hypocritical for some U.S. news outlets to complain about what might have gone on at one of the many Murdoch-owned news organizations around the globe when they themselves have been quite eager to sometimes pay for and often publish information stolen or otherwise illegally obtained by others. I'm thinking specifically of the Pentagon Papers, the disclosures made to Woodward and Bernstein by what we now know to have been a senior official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of information taken from confidential FBI reports, and, more recently, of the classified documents obtained by WikiLeaks.
The liberal political media complex has seized on the scandal as a way to try and topple Murdoch and, in the process, sideline his Fox News Channel—which they regard as unabashedly conservative and, therefore, a threat to its political agenda. That's what this is really about—and no one should forget that.