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Rupert Murdoch's Foxification Of The Wall Street Journal

Reported by Ellen - July 17, 2011 -

In the New York Times Friday (7/15/11), Joe Nocera has an excellent column in which he outlines the Foxification of The Wall Street Journal once it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, especially with regard to its coverage (or mostly lack thereof) to the phone hacking scandal. Nocera notes that half the Foxification is promoting Murdoch's conservative political views while the other half is promoting his business interests.

After giving a few examples of political bias, Nocera notes how the paper's coverage of the phone-hacking scandal threw journalistic integrity out the window in service to Murdoch:

On Friday, however, the coverage (of the phone-hacking scandal) went all the way to craven. The paper published an interview with Murdoch that might as well have been dictated by the News Corporation public relations department. He was going to testify before Parliament next week, he told the Journal reporter, because “it’s important to absolutely establish our integrity.” Some of the accusations made in Parliament were “total lies.” The News Corporation had handled the scandal “extremely well in every way possible.” So had his son James, a top company executive. “When I hear something going wrong, I insist on it being put right,” he said. He was “getting annoyed” by the scandal. And “tired.” And so on.

In the article containing the interview, there was no pushback against any of these statements, even though several of them bordered on the delusional. The two most obvious questions — When did Murdoch first learn of the phone hacking at The News of the World? And when did he learn that reporters were bribing police officers for information? — went unasked. The Journal reporter had either been told not to ask those questions, or instinctively knew that he shouldn’t. It is hard to know which is worse. The dwindling handful of great journalists who remain at the paper — Mark Maremont, Alan Murray and Alix Freedman among them — must be hanging their heads in shame.

The entire article is well worth a read.

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