Every guest on MSNBC is asked the same question: Is it possible to believe that Murdoch was unaware of what some reporters at News of the World were doing? How can a network that employs Chris Matthews be unfamiliar with the concept of a "rogue employee"?
In fact, it's quite easy to believe Murdoch was unaware of what News of the World reporters were doing -- particularly considering the striking absence of any evidence to the contrary.
Murdoch is an American who owns television networks, satellite operations and newspapers all over the world. As he said in his testimony this week, News Corp. has 53,000 employees and, until its recent demise, News of the World amounted to a grand total of 1 percent of News Corp.'s operations.
Why wasn't Les Moonves responsible for CBS anchor Dan Rather trying to throw the 2004 presidential election with phony National Guard documents one month before the election? Moonves was president, CEO and director of CBS, a company with half as many employees as News Corp. And his rogue employee constituted a much bigger part of CBS' business than News of the World did of the Murdoch empire.
And yet no one asked if Moonves was aware that his network was about to accuse a sitting president of shirking his National Guard duty. Moonves wasn't dragged before multiple congressional panels. Nor was MSNBC tracking his every bowel movement on live TV. No one remembers the biggest media scandal of the last 30 years as "The Les Moonves Scandal."
What about all the illegally obtained information regularly printed in the Times? Was Pinch Sulzberger unaware his newspaper was publishing classified government documents illegally obtained by Julian Assange?
Did he know that in 2006 the Times published illegally leaked classified documents concerning a government program following terrorists' financial transactions; that in 2005 it revealed illegally obtained information about a top-secret government program tracking phone calls connected to numbers found in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's cell phone; and, that, in 1997, the paper published an illegally obtained phone call between Newt Gingrich and Republican leaders?
If only Murdoch's minions had hacked into the phones of George Bush, Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, liberals would be submitting his name to the pope for sainthood.
But now the rest of us have to watch while the mainstream media pursue their personal grudge against Rupert Murdoch for allowing Fox News to exist. They demand his head for owning a British tabloid where some reporters used illegally obtained information, something The New York Times does defiantly on a regular basis.