Jon Stewart and Hugh Grant Take on News Corp. Scandal
Although I’ve personally enjoyed seeing Rupert Murdoch at past D conferences and have admired his aggressive intelligence and his interest in newspapers in general (Lord knows someone needs to help that industry), I’ve been worried about his impact on the Wall Street Journal, since he added that publication to his empire. As a former journalist and a watcher of all things communications, I've been following the current scandal swirling around News Corp. due to the egregious actions of the now-shuttered News of the World British tabloid. I've also been watching the way Murdoch holdings, such as the WSJ, have been covering the scandal. It's been factual, but minimal, which does seem to indicate that he has a lot of influence on what can and cannot be covered. That, ladies and gentlemen, suggests controlling the media, which is a scary thought.
Lest I start your blog-reading day with too somber a thought, let me share the best assessment of the News Corp. scandal I've seen so far, from our own U.S. journalistic jewel, Jon Stewart. And I will note that the video clip I'm using was on AllThingsD, a blog site owned by the WSJ and, therefore, owned by Murdoch himself. There isn't a lot of coverage of the scandal per se on that site, which shows either respect, restraint or a gag order, but at least they shared a funny, but pointed assessment of the News of the World's offenses in an exchange of Stewart and British correspondent John Oliver, who amusingly cites actor Hugh Grant -- a victim of the News of the World who is actively speaking out -- as the new moral compass of the British empire. Give it a viewing. It's hilarious.
That tells the whole story of controling the media – the first thing dictators do when they take over a nation.