Fox News announced this morning that President Obama had been assassinated. At least that is what appeared on the Fox News political Twitter feed, @Foxnewspolitics.
As I wrote yesterday in a comment on a different topic, “I don’t trust Fox News”. In fact I don’t trust any news outlet, although the BBC is generally better than most. But one reason why I am especially wary of Fox News is that, as confirmed by Wikipedia, it is owned by News Corporation.
It is not just that News Corporation is pushing a particular conservative agenda worldwide – indeed they would probably be pleased to have Obama if not dead at least out of the way. But this corporation, or at least its subsidiaries, seem to have scant regard for ordinary morality or decency, or for the law, in the way that it pursues its goals.
This has been seen most clearly in the News of the World telephone tapping scandal here in the UK. Journalists at this News Corporation newspaper have been found guilty of illegal tapping, and investigations into wider scandals are continuing.
In the latest development reported today by the BBC (but not linked by them to the Obama tweet hacking), it has been alleged that the News of the World hacked into the mobile phone of a missing 13-year-old girl, who was later found murdered. They even deleted some voicemail messages, it is said, giving her family false hope that she was alive. Not only would this be a gross intrusion into a family’s grief, it would also seem to have interfered with the police investigation.
The editor of the News of the World at the time, Rebekah Brooks, is now chief executive of News International, “the main UK subsidiary of News Corporation” which owns the News of the World and three other newspapers, and is bidding for full control of the TV news channel Sky News.
The corporation which hacks other people’s telephone records can hardly complain when it falls victim to hackers itself.