Murdoch v. Assange

Bret Stephens has a very interesting take on the News of the World hacking scandal that has absolutely consumed the media in recent days:

How does this year’s phone hacking scandal at the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World—owned, I hardly need add, by News Corp., the Journal’s parent company—compare with last year’s contretemps over the release of classified information by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks and his partners at the New York Times, the Guardian and other newspapers?

At bottom, they’re largely the same story.

* * *

Both, in short, are despicable instances of journalistic malpractice, for which some kind of price ought to be paid. So why is one a scandal, replete with arrests, resignations and parliamentary inquests, while the other is merely a controversy, with Mr. Assange’s name mooted in some quarters for a Nobel Peace Prize?

The answer is fairly obvious. 

Although he is mostly just a narcissistic jerk with anarchist tendencies who gets off on revealing government secrets, Julian Assange and his leftist media enablers believe that they — and only they — are capable of deciding what is right.  And by “right,” I mean the advancement of leftist causes, opinions, and goals.  Murdoch, on the other hand is viewed as a vile creature of the right who is responsible for that most vile of creations, FoxNews. 

As a result, the media see no contradiction in containing its otherwise perpetual outrage when it comes to WikiLeaks and the publishing of sensitive state secrets of western democracies while settling for nothing less than Murdoch’s head over the hacking of voicemails by his News of the World minions.  It has nothing to do with right and wrong — News of the World and WikiLeaks were both very much in the wrong — but the politics of the media that controls their narratives.

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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