Last week, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine gave testimony to Britain’s Parliament regarding the still unfolding News Corporation Phone Hacking Scandal. Fraudulent journalists have suggested that the pie incident was the most newsworthy factoid to be extracted from the "most humble day" of Rupert Murdoch’s life.
Not me. You’re in good hands.
James and Rupert Murdoch's testimony reveals a profound lack of oversight at News Corporation. Run by the inept, if not nefarious, Murdochs, News Corporation has become a bureaucratic mess that actively works against the public good. This circumstance is particularly repugnant given News Corporation’s immense influence on journalism. Thankfully, we have the power to clean up this mess. We are consumers and private firms are responsive to our demands. James and Rupert Murdoch must resign.
Deposing the Murdochs would bring us one step closer to cleaning up News Corporation. More importantly, ousting the ineffective executives would send the following message to the heads of corporations everywhere: You can’t negatively affect the general public and get away with it.
Rather absurdly, during the parliamentary hearing, Rupert Murdoch blamed the delegates that he “trusted” for his company’s colossal failure. The phone hacking scandal has been brewing for close to six years. The fact that Rupert and his son have failed to take effective action to rectify their company’s initial mistakes is one problem. However, if a betrayal of trust is the central issue driving this scandal, then the most egregious problem with the Murdochs is their absolute inability to implement effective self-regulating mechanisms for their media conglomerate.
For all the naysayers that have faith in James and Rupert Murdoch’s abilities to clean up News Corporation, I present #blamethemuslims. Less than a week after the Murdochs' hearing, the aforementioned twitter hashtag exploded in popularity and began trending. The hashtag was a response to several irresponsible media outlets that blamed Islamic extremists for the 2011 Norway Attacks.
Amongst these outlets were The Wall Street Journal, which essentially blamed jihadists for the attacks, and the British newspaper The Sun which published the front-page headline "Al Qaeda’s Massacre, Norway’s 9/11." Both papers are owned by News Corporation. Of course the Norway attacks were carried out by an anti-multiculturalist extremist. Under the supervision of the Murdochs we find yet another case of borderline fear-mongering, haphazard journalism at its worst.
Again, where’s the prudence and self-policing at News Corporation?
To quote British MP Julie Mensch, “this terrible thing happened on your watch, Mr. Murdoch.”
It is time to resign. You have failed News Corporation, you have failed journalism, and, most importantly, you have failed the public.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons