Earlier today after reading an article by Jeff Jarvis on Google+ and a few other articles on the subject of Rupert Murdoch and the ever enlarging phone hacking scandal, which now includes phone hacks on Americans, victims of 9/11 or their families, or some such, I went running.
During that run, I began to think about the implications of the article, about the corporate culture created underneath Mr. Murdoch’s feet, with his tacit permission. I thought that maybe the problem is one which is born and bred into all humans. I was putting pieces of the article by Mr. Jarvis, which was about the corporate culture within News Corp, with thoughts that had danced around my head for a while.
It created wonderful patterns of thought, or maybe the jack-hammer pounding I gave the ground under my feet did.
I do not remember all of them, to be honest. Here’s a few of them, in no particular order.
People act in ways that they perceive others will like, we being a social species, because we want to be liked. We pick our friends, create our personal surroundings, from our choices of music and clothes and even people we prefer to socialize with based on how we want to be seen, based in not just on our earlier experiences in life but by how we understand the world. People in authority, those with real authority in our lives, have the capacity to alter the way we think and act, alter the way we interact with the world, alter that understanding on a very real level.
Mr. Murdoch is very much, from what I hear, the gung-ho type, a very take charge type of character. That in turn is impressed into those directly beneath him(existing in them before they get to him, but amplified by his example) and everyone he interacts with. Normally a very good thing, aggressiveness in business is always a good thing. It has imbued News Corp with an incredibly large amount of successful undertakings. They make more money than God, but with that success comes a price.
Over-aggressiveness that is so unthinking as to step on the wants, the needs and the rights of the people who they should be looking after is what this is about. Deeds have an impact. When you go after the story so hard that you begin to step on the lives of the people who you are writing about, you have crossed a line that should never be crossed.
Over-aggressiveness they learned in part from Rupert Murdoch.
Viddy of the day: “The Man Who Was Thursday” by the Mercury Theatre, 1 of 6
Perhaps we are both doing what we think right. But what we think right is so damned different that there can be nothing between us in the way of concession. There is nothing possible between us but honour and death.
G.K. Chesterton, The Man who was Thursday
Journalism is rarely fair. It is after all about stories, and stories are rarely fair because the world is rarely fair. They show the world for what it is, and this latest issue with phone hacking is, they showed just what happens when people take that “world isn’t fair” thought to it’s logical conclusion by proving it with a stunning lack of fairness in action towards the people they wrote about.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
When writing, you are trying to reach people with words to have an impact, but when Murdoch’s people were overstepping their bounds, they were just taking after their boss, following his lead. Doing his bidding. Acting in his name, as his willing proxies. Making him as much responsible for the actions of his underlings as if he had done the deed himself. They were all guilty, and the only way real justice can be done is if all the guilty are punished.
Which is kind of sad, as Rupert will be untouched by this in all likelihood, nothing will happen to the man.
Except no one with any brains in their heads will be able to trust his stories, or anything that comes from his News Corp. How can you trust him and his organization after a breech of trust so extreme and utter as this? How can you watch or read anything from anything Murdoch now, knowing what his people are capable of, in the search for a story?
I can’t, and if you have any scruples you would have real trouble watching and reading his stuff too.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
That’s it from here, America.