Thursday, July 14, 2011


Do you want a sign of how rotten our political culture is? Please note that this -- from the wingnuts at Judicial Watch -- may actually garner sympathy for Rupert Murdoch at this moment in time:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has uncovered documents from the Obama Department of Treasury showing that the Obama administration, contrary to its repeated denials, attempted to exclude the Fox News Channel (FNC) from a round of interviews with Treasury’s “Executive Pay Czar” Kenneth Feinberg. The documents, which include email exchanges within the Department of the Treasury and between Treasury and White House staff, also provide colorful evidence of an anti-Fox News bias within the Obama White House....

Think about this for a second. Right now, News Corporation is accused of absolutely loathsome behavior, centered in but apparently not limited to the U.K. Furthermore, News Corp's American cable news operation effectively functioned as one of the top independent groups devoted to the election of precisely the tea party Republicans who have come within days of driving this country to the brink of financial collapse. Now, I know this is meant as pushback -- no, I don't believe for a second that Judicial Watch just so happened to release this material at this time, coincidentally -- but can you imagine this working in an analogous situation in the world of non-political crime?

Let's say a guy has just been arrested who kept a woman in a dungeon for eighteen years. Hoping to garner sympathy, his lawyers release information indicating that another woman met this guy, but gave him a fake phone number so he'd leave her alone and not call her. Would the fact that he was deceived and mistreated in this way make you feel inclined to forgive whar he did to this imprisoned woman? Wouldn't you imagine that the woman who gave him the fake number might have been creeped out by him and actually did a very smart thing?

I mean, shouldn't it be considered praiseworthy that the Obama administration tried to stiff-arm these scumbags? Shouldn't the other news organizations that stuck up for Fox -- as pretty much all the major news organizations did -- be as appalled at their own behavior as someone who actually urged a woman to date Dungeon Boy?

Instead, the wingnut blogosphere is crowing about this, and even New York magazine's blogger on the subject says, "You can bet Fox is going to dine out on this for the rest of the week, and they should."

Our failure to recognize that Fox News is a cancer on the body politic is a sign of our decline as a nation. The attempt to stiff-arm Fox, however brief and unsuccessful, should be regarded as admirable.

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