By Linn Washington, Jr.
America’s corporate news media love highlighting David-besting-Goliath stories…except apparently, when the fallen Goliath is major media mogul Rupert Murdoch – the billionaire owner of America’s caustic FOX News and other entities.
Arguably the biggest Goliath slaying story in the world during the past two years involved the unraveling of Murdoch’s news empire in England, where he exerted extraordinary influence over top British governmental officials from police to Parliament and even into that nation’s Prime Minister’s Office.
But disturbing documentation of wrongdoing by Murdoch minions, such as illegal hacking into telephones, arrests of top Murdoch executives and a scathing report from Parliament, elicited little sustained interest from America’s mainstream media into what is known variously as the ‘Murdoch Scandal’ and ‘England’s Watergate.”
This lack of ‘news’ coverage interest existed despite the fact that Murdoch’s News Corp is also a huge enterprise in the US where Murdoch’s FOX News routinely injects its highly partisan self in politics and public policy.
Even when one of the journalists who exposed America’s 1970s-era Watergate Scandal – Bob Woodward – broke a story in early December 2012 about a scheme by Murdoch to insert himself into the US presidency, America’s news media continued focusing on celebrity fluff and the looming ‘Fiscal Cliff.’
Woodward exposed a covert effort by Murdoch and his FOX News head, Roger Ailes, to recruit General David Petraeus as a 2012 presidential candidate, complete with pledges from Murdoch/Ailes to bankroll a Petraeus campaign personally run by Ailes, with FOX News providing avid on-air support fof this candidacy.
Petraeus declined the candidacy offer according to that Woodward report, which was curiously placed byWashington Post editors in its Style section, not on that newspaper’s front page -- despite the fact that it was a huge story , and Woodward is the paper's star reporter and holds the title of associate editor, with the job of overseeing its investigative reporting. (The Style section is where the Post has traditionally buried some of its most important but politically delicate exposes over the years.)
“The Murdoch story –- his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic –- is one of the most important and far reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30-years,” wrote Woodward’s Watergate reporting partner Carl Bernstein in a December commentary published in London’s Guardian newspaper. Bernstein blasted the U.S. media for ignoring Woodward’s exposé...
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