I know–I promised I would post daily and I haven’t done a blessed thing for weeks. Why? I don’t know, which really means that I probably don’t know. Which really means that I do know: I don’t like writing anything in public, like this, unless I feel at least somewhat strongly, albeit weakly, about it.
But I just wrote something not-uninteresting on a friend’s Facebook wall, or slate, or Twit, or whatever it’s called, so I might as well see if I can leverage it into an actual blog post.
It’s this: One satisfying aspect of this News of the World/Murdoch scandal is that the sins being revealed and reviled are journalistic sins–line hacking, theft of private messages, snooping, etc., all from the vile tabloid repertoire of practices supposedly dedicated to “getting the story.”
Of course one wants these bottom-feeding excrescences to suffer embarrassment and ruin in any way that Fate finds convenient. But how much more pleasing, when the cause of the downfall resides in the nature and actions of the institution itself, rather than in personal peccadilloes, assuming “peccadilloes” aren’t some kind of southwestern reptile penises, or thin cigar-type items.
So yes, it’s all v. gratifying. But it’s not enough. What I want–and what you want, if you know what’s good for you–is a similar catastrophe to befall Fox News. One wants Chris “Can’t You See What You’re Doing Is Killing Your Father” Wallace, the inexpressibly idiotic Steve Doocy, Sean “Li’l Sparky” Hannity, and the other dutiful apparatchiks to be exposed in the same way–as professionally corrupt, and not merely personally so.
Can it happen? I somehow doubt it. Fox News isn’t, like News of the World, a scandal sheet. Its form of corruption is intellectual, as may be witnessed in its very coverage of the NOTW furor. To Fox, the Murdoch tabloid is the victim of hacking. Cf. James Fallows’ touchingly disbelieving account here: http://tinyurl.com/3oh7rrx .
The News of the World scandal is far-reaching and volcanic because the people wronged by the paper’s scandalous behavior include innocents above reproach: crime victims, 9/11 victims, etc. The victims of Fox News are just the fools, malcontents, shut-ins, ignoramuses, and forever-aggrieved farbissenehs that watch it and believe it. They get what they deserve (speaking of karma). It’s hard to imagine what it would take for those people, after a decade of exposure to unfiltered Bill O’Reilly and Fox and Friends, to feel betrayed.