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Fox & Friends' Jaw-Dropping Whitewash Of News Corp Phone Hacking Scandal

Reported by Ellen - July 15, 2011 -

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy thinks it’s time for everyone to just move along from that News Corp. phone hacking scandal. You know, the one that is rocking Great Britain, has caused the arrest of a former top aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, ended the publication of Britain's long-running newspaper News of the World, threatens to take down the entire Murdoch empire and resulted in a bipartisan push for investigations in the U.S. after it was revealed the same outfit tried the same tactics here with 9/11 victims. THAT scandal that the FBI is now investigating is really no big deal – just another example of media overhype, Doocy would have you believe, and I’m sure his opinion has nothing to do with the fact that his employer is owned by said News Corp. And to make sure viewers know it's not just his opinion, Doocy had a chat with Ed Dillenschneider “who used to run one of the biggest PR firms in the country.” Has Dillenschneider ever done any PR work for News Corp. or Fox News? Doocy didn’t say.

Doocy began by trying to shift the focus. "This morning we’re finding out that the Pentagon suffered one of its largest hacking events ever, a cybertheft of more than 24,000 files. The Pentagon says they were stolen by a foreign government."

Dillenschneider quickly got with the program. "The issue really is, why are so many people piling on (News Corp.) at this point? We know it’s a hacking scandal. Shouldn’t we get beyond it and really deal with the issue of hacking? ...We’ve got a serious hacking problem in this country… so we’ve got to figure out a way to deal with this hacking problem.”

Yes, and never mind that a major media conglomerate might be doing it, too – and into the voice mails of private citizens who were victims of a terrorist attack!

Doocy jumped in with some more News Corp. spin put forth as his personal opinion. “You know, and the company (News Corp.) has come forward and they’ve said, ‘Look, this happened a long time ago, at a tabloid, in LONDON (his emphasis), somebody did something really bad.”

Actually, it wasn’t just “somebody” but somebodies. And those somebodies were overseen by somebodies like:

Andy Coulson who went on to become a top aide to Prime Minister Cameron, arrested last week.

Les Hinton, the chief executive of Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal in New York. Before that, he was chairman of News Corp.’s UK publishing umbrella, News International. The phone hacking didn’t just happen under Hinton’s watch, there’s new evidence he may have helped cover it up. Hinton told a British parliamentary committee that the paper in question, Britain’s now-defunct News of the World, had conducted a “full, rigorous internal inquiry” and concluded that the hacking had been the work of a rogue reporter. That statement has been proven utterly false, of course, and now there are questions about whether Hinton saw beforehand internal News International reports of more widespread hacking.

Doocy continued, “The company reacted. They closed that newspaper (he forgot to mention that it may well have been in name only). All those people got fired – even though 99% of them absolutely had nothing to do with it”

Once again, “we report, you decide” Fox’s Doocy overlooked some important facts. The people at the top like Rebekah Brooks kept her job and was given the full support of News Corp. titan Rupert Murdoch until she finally resigned today. Hinton, as I previously mentioned, got transferred to the U.S. where he remains the head of Dow Jones.

Dillenschneider didn’t bring that up, either. He said, “If I’m not mistaken, Murdoch, who owns it, has apologized.”

Yes, he plans to apologizenine years after it was discovered that murder victim Milly Dowling's voice mail had been hacked and nearly two weeks since the public uproar began.

Dillenschneider continued, “For some reason, the public, the media, keeps going over this again and again and again.”

“The piling on,” Doocy interjected.

Dillenschneider got the “media victim” cue. “Citigroup… Bank of America… are they getting the same kind of attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago that News Corp. is getting today?”

In a moment of unintentional hilarity, Doocy brought up the Pentagon hacking again, said “it sounds like the country of China” did the hacking and then asked - in all seriousness, “Where’s that as a big story?”

Well, you tell us, Mr. News Host! Did I miss it during the “controversy” over the invitation of rapper Common to the White House?

Doocy continued, "We’ve got some serious problems in this country right now. We are teetering on default. And what do they do? They talk about this!"

Dillenschneider, not surprisingly, agreed. "We’ve got major problems in this country… and we’re dealing with this issue in London that took place more than a decade ago…All the right things have been done, from the crisis point of view, in terms of this News of the World issue. It really should get put behind us. Investigators, the courts should deal with this and we should move on and deal with the important topics of the day."

Like Casey Anthony or President Obama’s non-existent birth certificate “controversy” or attacking Media Matters or what President Obama puts on his hamburger?

(H/T to Aunty Em who watches Fox & Friends in the A.M. so I don't have to!)

NOTE: I erroneously called Steve Doocy "Peter Doocy" in the original version of this post.

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