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Murdoch Made Scapegoat For Ills of Fleet Street

It shows that the country is on a downward trajectory and confirms the fact that since the age of Diana, Princess of Wales, Britain has become emotive, reactive and possibly worse. We have lost our individualism and sense of fair play, replaced by a lemming-like hysterical group reality.

I am talking about what is now becoming known as Murdoch-gate, the all consuming news story about phone-hacking that has brought down one of this country's oldest and widest-circulated newspapers, The News of the World.
The fact that the scandal has not taken on the name of the newspaper, or phone-gate or hack-gate, but has been personalised to vilify Mr Murdoch is quite telling - and quite disturbing.

Let me be clear - other than an admiration for Murdoch as one of the great captains of industry of our time, a businessman and capitalist with few peers - I have no specific brief for him. I have had only tenuous links to Mr Murdoch (talkSPORT, for instance whose chief executive at the time was Kelvin McKenzie, the former Sun editor. News Corp, I believe, was an investor, but to what extent I do not know).

Let me also be clear that I am not defending the actions of individuals, or even a possible culture - that I'm sure was not limited to The News of the World or News International titles, but probably found itself endemic - especially in the highly competitive world of tabloid journalism and even possibly the broadsheets.

There is no way of defending the indefensible act of hacking into the phone of Milly Dowler. The pursuit of a story is one thing. But those that crossed that line should be held responsible to the full extent of the law.

But there is more at play here and this has progressed from news story to an all engulfing firestorm of around the clock 24-hour coverage, fuelled by a large dose of rank hypocrisy and blown up by a storm of emotional game-play that has created a lynch-mob mentality.

We now find ourselves at a point where a newspaper is closed down in a week.
Other newspapers - who either to a lesser or greater extent may have also used dubious methods to get a story - have weighed in solely out of commercial interest.

Those on the left - such as the Independent and the Guardian are foaming at the mouth over the destruction of Murdoch - his papers and his company, for ideological reasons.

Yes, credit must be given to the Guardian for uncovering and doggedly pursuing this story in fine journalistic traditions - it goes to the heart of government and the police. But personalising it around Murdoch, or the calls for the head of Rebekah Brooks, is purely ideological.

The liberal left hate Murdoch for several reasons: He is successful, he is pro-American, he stands up for Israel, he owns Fox News and is seen and perceived as a conservative.

It is a meme of the left that they - and only they - hold the truth. Any other view is not only wrong but evil, and has no place in society. Author Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about it entitled Liberal Fascism. It really is.
In this country, a lynch-mob mentality has developed. Preening actors such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan are allowed to rant and rave in the most fantastical way ("all NOTW journalists are scum"... "just in it for the money") without much challenge. Parliament, instead of addressing its own faults and the fact MPs cozied up to journalists, called for Murdoch to call off his bid for BSkyB ahead of his official bid withdrawal on Wednesday - as if a private business decision is any of their business.

The police, who corruptly passed information, are now trying to pass the blame on to Murdoch. By making Murdoch, the person, a hate figure, instead of uncovering the individuals at his papers that did wrong, we are entering a very dangerous area.

I say to the newspapers that are fomenting this campaign, be careful what you wish for as you may just get it. The free press that holds governments to account will be eroded.

I am not in favour of hacking the phones of tragic missing young girls, but I am for the vigorous pursuit of stories in the public interest, blowing the whistle on malfeasance and exposing corruption and waste in government as the News of the World did a very good job of for many years.

And those of us who, as a group, have been scapegoated in the past, should be wary when it happens again - even to Rupert Murdoch.

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I"ve been waiting to read an article like this. It is frightening to see the witch-hunt against Murdoch who, while not perfect, at least stands up for Western freedom. He stands up for America and Israel while papers like the Guardian and our Fairfax media white-wash and even support Arab extremism, are anti-Israel to the point of antisemitism, and atheistic to the point of being against the best Western values. Where is the investigation into their bias? What will we be left with? Even the Australian newspaper has been infiltrated by the money of a Saudi prince, and the anti-Israel articles are there to prove it. The only consolation is that many people these days get their news from the internet.

Posted by Ruth on 2011-08-08 08:44:21 GMT