Opinion Brief

Is Fox News ignoring Rupert Murdoch's hacking scandal?

Murdoch's U.K. papers have been plagued by phone-hacking allegations, and most U.S. news outlets are all over the story — with a few notable exceptions

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire is in the midst of its biggest scandal ever, involving illegal phone-hacking in the U.K., alleged police bribery, potentially endangering the royal family, and other morsels irresistible to most media organizations. News Corp.'s stock has tanked, and Murdoch has given up his bid to take over British cash-cow broadcaster BSkyB. And yet, the scandal is not headline news at some of News Corp.'s prominent media outlets, including the New York Post and Fox News. (Watch a CNN story below.) Is Fox intentionally downplaying the bad news about its boss?

Yes. And Fox News is embarrassing itself: The network's almost non-existent coverage of this "Watergate-scale" scandal is a real challenge for "anyone who denies that Fox is a propaganda operation rather than news," says James Fallows at The Atlantic. It's not that Fox News and its website are entirely ignoring the bad news, they're just treating it "the way the Soviet press covered Chernobyl: 'Small problem in the Ukraine.'""Like Pravda covering Chernobyl: Fox News on the Murdoch problems"

We shouldn't expect Fox to be all over this story: The media obsession over Fox's lack of enthusiasm for this scandal is "total garbage," says Eric Wemple at The Washington Post. "It’s unfair, unnatural, and stupid to insist that News Corp. cover News Corp.," or that any news outlet give full-press coverage to a scandal at its parent company. And that's fine, because despite Murdoch's huge stable of media companies, there are still plenty of competitors thrilled to cover his dirty laundry."Why expect Fox to cover News Corp.?"

Fox News should be loving this scandal: This "metastasizing phone-hacking scandal" could be the best thing that ever happened to Fox News and its chief, Roger Ailes, says Gabriel Sherman at New York. As long as Fox and Ailes can avoid being implicated in the mess, they become "all the more central to News Corp.'s business," especially after the fall of the BSkyB deal. And since Ailes has a rocky relationship with Murdoch's inner circle, any pain for them is gain for Ailes."In the Murdoch hacking scandal, Roger Ailes stands to gain"

Recommended

China declares cryptocurrency transactions illegal
Bitcoin
'panic in the air'

China declares cryptocurrency transactions illegal

The daily business briefing: September 24, 2021
Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Janet Yellen
Business briefing

The daily business briefing: September 24, 2021

Memphis-area Kroger shooting leaves 1 victim dead, 12 wounded
Shooting at Memphis-area grocery store
Mass shootings

Memphis-area Kroger shooting leaves 1 victim dead, 12 wounded

EU proposes mandating 1 charger for all smartphones
Mobile chargers next to European flag
taking charge

EU proposes mandating 1 charger for all smartphones

Most Popular

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness
Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman
Last Night on Late Night

Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman almost make it through interview without awkwardness

Democrats are governing like Republicans
A donkey.
Picture of W. James Antle IIIW. James Antle III

Democrats are governing like Republicans

After Biden huddles, Democrats moderately optimistic about passing progressive agenda
Joe Biden
Dems in Disarray

After Biden huddles, Democrats moderately optimistic about passing progressive agenda