The Guardian has an epic editorial on the end of the planet’s phone-hackingest newspaper, which is owned by Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch. A longish snip:
So what kind of an organisation provides a home for such a culture? Over 40 years, Murdoch convinced the establishment that he can make or break political reputations and grant or take away electoral success. In doing so, he has come close to gelding parliament, damaging the rights of citizens and undermining democracy. It is legitimate to ask how a naturalised American, domiciled in New York, born in Australia, and who pays next to no UK tax, holds so much sway. What right exactly did this man have to exert such influence over our political life? Freedom of information requests reveal that he spoke to prime minister Tony Blair three times in the 10 days that led up to the Iraq invasion in 2003. This was a perversion of our politics, orchestrated by a man whose power the establishment failed to check. Then they had to live with the demeaning consequences.
And what did Britain get in return for gifting this man the back keys to political power? (Literally in Murdoch’s case, as he swept into Downing Street days after last year’s election and then left by the back door). In return, a swaggering, bullying, crassly ineffective News International treated British citizens with contempt by hacking their phones and treated the media, police and politicians investigating the affair with wilful disdain and barely concealed threats. Let this never happen again on our watch.
No kidding. This is a textbook example of what’s wrong with media concentration–media monoliths put citizen interest after its owners’ profits and ego. (On a much smaller scale, it’s why Regina needs a well-supported prairie dog as well as the Leader-Post. One print media voice is not enough.)
Anyway. Please go and read the whole thing.