Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Fox – goose or gander

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-06

Murdoch’s Limited News Corporation has, shall we say, a fair and balanced attitude to hacking.

The principles they operate by when deciding whether an act is good or evil becomes apparent after a little thought.

On the one hand, the Murdoch empire defends itself when its agents hack the phones of politicians, royalty, and even murdered girls – aiming at profit by gaining unlawful access to information that is obviously private.

On the other hand, hackers who hijacked the F*x News twitter feed, posting untrue news reports, are totally reprehensible, and get the US Secret Service involved to chase down what could be termed incompetent and untruthful journalistic volunteers.

It is not as if it’s the first time F*x has reported counterfactuals, it’s not as if it is the first time the Murdoch authors, even in broadsheets, deliberately cause people to believe falsehoods.

So there can be no damage to journalistic credibility of Murdoch’s propagandists – which among the well-informed is zero or even lower.

In fact, the erroneous tweets could even increase metrics for journalistic integrity, raising the number of times Limited News makes prominent statements about errors in information through its outlets – their retractions normally provided buried on page 23, in 2pt italic, with white ink on a white background.

So, what is the principle that absolves the repeated transnational hacking actions of Murdoch’s minions but condemns mere twitter hijackers?

The diagnostic difference Murdoch’s co-conspirators aimed at profit, while the twitter hijackers were out on a lark and sought no private gain.

The principle separating the two even explains why Limited News Corporation publishes the counterfactuals it does:

The rule seems to be that anything, absolutely anything, committed with the intent of financial reward deserves absolution, while anything without such a motivation is a hanging offence.

That hypothetical principle is simple, and has much explanatory power beyond the hacking incidents.


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