Britain's tabloid-worthy media scandal

  • Article by: JOHN RASH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2011 - 8:21 PM

The News Corp. newspaper scandal may soon cross the pond, but Britain's journalism culture won't.

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davehougJul. 15, 11 9:46 PM

A totally independent press is the best check on Government and best for the people.

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botheredJul. 16, 11 5:25 AM

While it is true the UK Parliament could pass draconian laws to curtail freedom of the press, I find this situation to be similar to many others in the UK such as freedom of religion and democracy. In actual practice, draconian laws curtailing these freedoms haven't and won't be enacted. I find the UK does separation of church and state far better than the US (no copies of the Ten Commandments or a cross hanging in the entryway of government buildings), even though separation is enshrined in the US Constitution and in the UK the Queen is both head of state and the Church of England. In addition, the Queen would think twice about exercising any of the rights that come with that because the royal family's position would become unstable and would probably end (continuation of the family business and all). Finally, the article provides one reason why Parliament will not actually enact laws to curtail freedom of the press. Which is worse, a country where freedoms are enshrined in law, but aren't always practiced or enforced (US), or a country where freedoms are actually practiced and are neither enshrined or nor curtailed in law (UK)? I lived in Minnesota for the first 26 years of my life and have now lived in the UK for the past 15. I'm not sure I know the answer to my own question.

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barefootpaulJul. 16, 11 6:56 AM

"A totally independent press is the best check on Government". Right -- Only Murdoch's Fox News (the launching pad for Republican presidential candidates) is anything but independent.

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david999Jul. 16, 11 6:34 PM

CBS, NBC, ABC news along with the newspapers we have in this country take sides but lie to us when their spokesman say they do not. With the rise of the internet the networks and newspapers are losing their audience because of the blatant lying and covering up for those that they support.

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crystalbayJul. 16, 11 9:13 PM

FOX is but one small part of the Murdoch empire and is very clearly the primary propaganda arm for the right wing conservatives. That his tactics are finally transparent to the world at large is predictable and overdue. That FOX's propaganda has poisoned so many with extremely biased "reporting" and fed the low-information folks lies & distortions makes the implosion of the Murdoch reign timely and welcomed by reasonable people.

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patrickjdJul. 17, 11 7:25 AM

The main catalyst for the rivals to go after the Family Murdoch was due to British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). The Murdoch's halted their bid to gain majority ownership of BSkyB with its $1.6 Billion annual operating profit. This was the goal of their competition, so news of this "scandal" will dissipate after the Murdoch's public testimony next week.

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johneramone4Jul. 17, 11 4:12 PM

Fox News always has been and always will be not only the highest rated cable news station but also the most trusted name in news. That is why Fox'es rating make an absolute mockery of the ratings of CNN and MSNBC.

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magnumforceJul. 17, 11 7:04 PM

Having read a number of op-eds written by Mr. Rash in the Star Tribune, I began perusing this current piece with a glimmering hope that he had an understanding where the state of journalism was in our country. I'm afraid he has no clue. American exceptionalism apparently rules, again. We are better than the Brits. The hacking and corruption won't happen here. We have our famous First Amendment. But, of course, this is after our press negated its oversight responsibilities (excepting McClatchy News) in the lead up to the Iraq War. This is after the New York Times gave in to the government on warrantless monitoring and refused to publish its findings to the Anerican people for over a year. This is after the Obama Administration has gone after James Risen of the NY Times trying to force him to reveal his sources. This is after the Obama Administration reportedly explained its war in Libya as a "humanitarian gesture". And, of course, if that is the standard, then by definition, the US couldn't be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or Libya.

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e72521Jul. 18, 11 7:56 AM

Over the last 300 years or so, Continental European laws have evolved around the concept of personal dignity and honor. Indeed it is written in the Constitutions of France, Germany and elsewhere, specifically spelling out the rights of privacy of the individual. This is not just a purview of the wealthy and ennobled classes as is the case here in the US. With the growth of the internet and search engine technologies like Google and Facebook, there has been an erosion of people’s personal boundaries. This is not healthy. Good boundaries make for good neighbors as the saying goes, and good neighbors make for a strong and stable democracy and economy. Consider the consequences of a kind of 'Scarlet Letter Effect'. Ref Nathanial Hawthorne's classic "The Scarlet Letter". One of its key themes very presciently deals with the modern day re: things pertaining to the internet and privacy. These types of scandals are actually helpful in pointing out the weakness of our current culture with respect to the personhood of the individual. I own my personhood, and this includes the image I choose to present myself to the world. It’s time to approach our legislators on this issue and start putting pressure on Google and others to allow people to control their content on the internet.

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