People who broke the law by hacking into phones should be punished, but this is more about liberal attempts to destroy Fox News, which liberals hate because it communicates ideas, issues and opinions that were mostly unavailable, or ignored, until the network launched in 1996. Fox News has not been implicated in the British phone hacking, but that won't stop its enemies from trying to make the connection. MSNBC's Martin Bashir compared Murdoch to Jack Abramoff and mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. There were similar over-the-top comments by other broadcast "journalists."
People can debate Fox's slogan "we report, you decide," but the liberal mantra might more accurately be stated, "we distort, we decide."
The faux "virgins" in big media like to portray themselves as "above" the standards and practices of media owned by Murdoch, but past behavior exposes them as two-faced. Examples: In 2003, the New York Times reported that, "Michael Jackson struck a deal with CBS to be paid in effect an additional $1 million for both an entertainment special ... and his interview on "60 Minutes" ... part of yearlong negotiations." The news magazine denied paying Jackson for the interview, but an associate of Jackson's said at the time the deal included the "60 Minutes" appearance.
According to one of Casey Anthony's attorneys, ABC News paid $200,000 for photos of her dead daughter, Caylee. CBS News got off with a mere $20,000 "licensing fee" paid to Caylee's grandparents.
When hero passenger Jasper Schuringa helped subdue the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on a flight to Detroit and later snapped cellphone photos of the suspect being escorted off the plane in wrist restraints, CNN paid Schuringa a "licensing fee" for the images. CBS and ABC reportedly bid for the photos, according to TVNewser.com, ultimately earning Schuringa $18,000.
If tabloids paid British police for information, then that would be a violation of journalistic ethics, if they still exist. American journalists had better look to their own motivations before casting stones at Rupert Murdoch.Whatever happens in Britain, Fox News will survive and prosper. And that will be a cause for glee to those who dislike reporting that comes from a single ideological worldview.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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