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Topic ClosedFreedom of the Press, Where does it End?

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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Freedom of the Press, Where does it End?
    Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 04:42
Hello to you all
 
Most of you might have by now heard about the News of the World scandal, for those of you who didn't the paper is the highest circulating weekly paper in the UK and it has been involved in hijacking the phones of nearly 3000 people over the last 11 years from victims of ordinary crimes to 7/11 families to politicians and finally the very soldiers who keep its cover on their walls in Afghanistan (which the paper staunchly supports). For more info check this:
 
The scandal lead to the eventual closing of the 168 year old successful paper and a criminal investigation that will put two very important questions forward in an unescapable way, where does freedom of the press end? The other question that this scandal will raise is the relationship between power and the press. Rupert Murdoch owns this and other right wing newspapers and the former editor of the NoW during the scandal was the PR guy (or spin doctor as the Brits call them) for the PM.
 
One might argue that without actually breaking the law you will never have real journalism since the goal of journalism is to expose scandals and as everyone knows most people don't go about broadcasting their scandals.
 
One must not forget that without illegal methods such scoops as the Pentagon papers, Watergate, Iran-Contra and of course wikileaks would have never happened and we would have still been fooled by corrupt governments.
 
So what do you think?
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 07:05
 
...this story is understandably all over the media reports in the UK right now, with almost minute by minutes updates... the Prime Minister's connection to the previous editor of the NOTW paper (Cameron employed him) has piqued most political watchers appetites...and the Labour party are now licking their lips and have already begun to deliver the kicks..there also seems to be some Police officer involvement as well with the allegation that information has been sold by officers to NOTW journalists....once again, no real suprise there...it is pretty much accepted that there have always been (and will always be) such elements in the police force....
 
....no one is shocked at the depths the individuals involved have plumbed..in fact, it is almost expected from a 'newspaper' such as the NOTW (and others)...but what has disturbed most people (who care) is that a mobile phone was hacked which at the time, belonged to a young girl who was reported as 'a missing person' to the authorities, and then subsequently found murdered....it may have been that the phone was hacked when she was dead?...apparently, the hackers deleted messages on the girl's phone to make 'space' for any incoming messages, and this traffic was picked up by the Police and passed onto the girl's family, giving the impression that she was possibly alive and giving false hope to the family concerned..it is this episode that has been viewed as particularly dispicable....
 
...still, it will all blow over, the NOTW is to cease, another trash paper will take it place, some minor heads will be sacrificed (maybe?), Cameron will endure and Murdoch will, as you well know, get all that he wanted in the first place...as for the young girl's family...?????..a selection of 'apologies' will trotted out and probably nothing more....cynical old me..??...absolutely..!!
 
...all the best....AoO...


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Kaveh ye Ahangar

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 08:59
Simply put.  It ends when they break the law outside the public interest.  A tried and tested precedent.  Outside the public interest is bribing police, politicians and hacking the phones of crime victims and the bereaved families of our servicemen.

This goes right to the top.  Believe it. Murdoch should be lynched.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 09:41
I love how all the editorials, all of the 'public intellectuals', and all of the people whose opinions are considered relevant love to avoid the core issue at work here. The taboid/gutter press was/is so extreme in the UK because millions of Britons pay good money to find out what celebrity shagged who. This then extended into other figures of public interest, such as the parents of rape/murder victims, the families of dead soldiers etc. etc.

You can yap on about the rule of law and regulation all you want, but there is a profound deviancy and stupidity in British and Irish society. Many people actively seek out this muck and then proceed to poison their minds with its drivel. Its pathetic and sad, but at some stage the people will have to start taking responsibility for their collective voyeurism.


Edited by Parnell - 09 Jul 2011 at 09:42
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 10:06
That snotty tired old argument.  Urrr... what's it got to do with a journalist bribing a policeman and the policeman accepting it?  The public didn't make the decision for them and if you're implying that they did then you need to take a step back.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 11:12
I'm looking at the bigger picture Zagros. I've read and heard a lot of talk about a 'new era' in British journalism, about how the ball park has been completely changed, how valuable lessons have been learned and about how ordinary people have been repelled. Utter f**king hogwash. Idiots will still buy the Star and read about how a gust of wind blew up Kate Middletons skirt to reveal her thighs. This invasive intrusiveness is endemic in British society, a product of the big brother generation where the most intimate personal details are somehow issues of 'public interest'. Some like to absolve ordinary people of blame for this culture, in fact I would wager that most would prefer to have this paternalistic attitude that a few rotten apples in a few major tabloid papers have poisened a generation. The press and its conduct is a product of the people and its readership.

In short, the people will always get what the people deserve.


Edited by Parnell - 09 Jul 2011 at 11:15
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 12:11
That's an old, separate and nebulous argument since not all papers are bad and it's mostly air heads who read tabloids with any commonality.  The regulation I am talking about already exists, it's generally referred to as "The Law".   This is a criminal matter not just involving journalists, their trashy newspapers and their victims but also senior media figures very close to the heart of the government and worst of all, the police and organised crime figures.  That's the bigger picture.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 16:21
While I have no problem with prosecuting the newspaper for the crimes it committed (and it did committ crimes) my real problem is that certain people will take this opportunity to attack the freedom of the press even more.
 
A simple comparison between the state of the media during Vietnam and the media now and the way how society and the government deals with them tells alot. The release of irrelevant combat documents (Iraq-Afghan war leaks) caused a s**t storm of accusations of treason and when the diplomatic cables came out all hell broke loose on Wikileaks and the newspapers that published those documents despite the fact that these organisations didn't committ any crimes.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 21:28
I think there will be more freedom of the press if Murdoch is castrated.  The man clearly has his own political leanings and notions and allies himself to political parties with the promise of immense propaganda clout based on how much they bend to his will.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2011 at 23:17
Murdoch is way too powerful for anyone's good. Media should never be a part of mega corporations. Never really surprising what seedy things can happen when it is.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2011 at 04:28
Absolutely Es Bih. It's only now, after the escalation of this scandal so compromising Murdoch's empire that politicians have the balls to speak out.  Representatives from all of the major parties have explicitly admitted as much.  Even so, some within the Labour party, for example, are fearful of Murdoch's wrath given that Ed Miliband has dared question the legitimacy of his proposed controlling buy-out of B-Sky-B given recent developments.  The deal was not even going to go to the Competition Commission previously, as a measure of appeasement from the Tories.  However, this scandal has put the deal on hold until its sordid extent comes to light pending ongoing criminal investigations.

Edited by Zagros - 11 Jul 2011 at 04:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 02:27
Goods news today from the UK.  Full judge-led inquiry headed by Lord Leveson into the scandal including police corruption as well as criminality in the press amongst other things. 

Additionally Murdoch has abandoned his bid to take full ownership of BSkyB. The best news though, his iron grip on British politics is being prised loose.  As part of this all future meetings between politicicians and media figures to be on public record.  It means that political success is much less contingent on appeasing Murdoch.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2011 at 04:20
That is good news in withdrawing the takeover bid. Now for us Americans I wonder why this important stuff is hardly reported on Faux News - the self proclaimed Fair an Balanced arm of Mr. Murdoch. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 08:50
..to be honest, i have not been keeping up with all the twists and turns of this episode in detail since the news story  broke and this thread was started..but i did note that events have become increasingly intriguing..not least this latest headline....
 
 
 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 19:29
Yeah but the guy was also a chronic alcoholic and drug user and didn't exactly look the picture of health when interviewed.  Although, having said that, I do hope the police are not dismissive because of that and actually conduct a proper investigation and bring to light any suspicious circumstances around his death without any fear or favour of the Murdochs.

Edited by Zagros - 19 Jul 2011 at 19:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 20:49
Hah, murdered he was.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 23:39
All this talk about Murdoch's empire and hardly a peep about the power of the BBC? 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 01:40
And what power does the BBC have may I ask? If anything all studies showed that the BBC is far to the right than even Murdoch's own papers especially when it comes to foreign wars and American foreign policy.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 02:23
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

And what power does the BBC have may I ask? If anything all studies showed that the BBC is far to the right than even Murdoch's own papers especially when it comes to foreign wars and American foreign policy.
 
Al-Jassas
 
It is so far to the "Right" when it comes to Foreign Policy assessments that it is actually on the "Left". Sorry, Al, but if one can say anything about the BBC officially, it is it's love of catering to the elite even in its programming of "pop" items. Of course, I do really wonder why society and law in the UK is brought up in this discussion other than to note that if there is one individual in the UK that is probably having a very satisfactory chortle, it is a certain Charles of Wales.
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 20 Jul 2011 at 02:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 02:53
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Yeah but the guy was also a chronic alcoholic and drug user and didn't exactly look the picture of health when interviewed.  Although, having said that, I do hope the police are not dismissive because of that and actually conduct a proper investigation and bring to light any suspicious circumstances around his death without any fear or favour of the Murdochs.
 
...ah, fair enough..i was not aware of the man's personal circumstances, not that i put too much weight on the idea of 'conspiracy' in such matters anyway..but it did appear to be rather coincidental...just adds to the whole mess that pervades this 'hacking' story i suppose.....it will be interesting to see who actually falls...if anyone...


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 05:11
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

And what power does the BBC have may I ask? If anything all studies showed that the BBC is far to the right than even Murdoch's own papers especially when it comes to foreign wars and American foreign policy.
 
Al-Jassas
 
It is so far to the "Right" when it comes to Foreign Policy assessments that it is actually on the "Left". Sorry, Al, but if one can say anything about the BBC officially, it is it's love of catering to the elite even in its programming of "pop" items. Of course, I do really wonder why society and law in the UK is brought up in this discussion other than to note that if there is one individual in the UK that is probably having a very satisfactory chortle, it is a certain Charles of Wales.
 
 
 
Sorry Doc but I am afraid that even you can be influenced by the right wing propaganda machine. The problem of the BBC is that because it is a public institution it can't take sides nor defend its journalistic integrity especially if it reports facts (which are made into bias by the right wing propagandists) which Stephen Colbert once said "have a well known liberal bias". Here are but two proofs, the Iraq war coverage:
 
 
And the coverage of the Palestinian crisis, former correspondent Tim Llewellyn proves how much biased the coverage towards Israel is on the BBC:
 
While Ciar Byrne quotes other sources that say that the balen report suggested a pro-Israel coverage:
 
And in any case I have been following the BBC for the past 12 years and I can clearly see a right wing bias when it comes to news. When it comes to TV dramas/films then we might talk but if we take the news side alone there is no doubt in my mind where the BBC is.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 08:17
No matter how angelic my pose, I am afraid Al Jassas that I do not have wings attached to my dorsal scapulas, either on the right or my left. Nor is the utterance of Israel a barometer on political inclinations or "leanings". Right wingers embrace Israel as solidly as the traditional "socialist" Left within the American milieu. Anyway, I do believe the issue here is "freedom of the press" an actually meaningless term outside American parameters.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 18:50
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

All this talk about Murdoch's empire and hardly a peep about the power of the BBC? 


If you have allegations of criminality at the publicly funded and state controlled BBC, then please do put them forward.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 19:01
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

And what power does the BBC have may I ask? If anything all studies showed that the BBC is far to the right than even Murdoch's own papers especially when it comes to foreign wars and American foreign policy.
 
Al-Jassas


The BBC tows the government line.  Subtly, but it does.  There was a marked change in its tone and coverage after the 2010 elections.  On its foreign services it takes its guidance from the FCO.  For example, who decides that it's a good idea to have BBC Persian and Arabic but not Mongolian?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 19:46
The BBC Arabic servic service is 73 years old and was there to promote the British empire and then the capitalist west view of the world.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 20:13
So obviously there is a benefit in its continuation in the face of scale backs elsewhere in the world service.  The BBC is reviewed by the government on a regular basis to see where value for license payers' money is.


Edited by Zagros - 20 Jul 2011 at 20:14
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 20:34
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

All this talk about Murdoch's empire and hardly a peep about the power of the BBC? 


If you have allegations of criminality at the publicly funded and state controlled BBC, then please do put them forward.


Am i noting a little bit of cynicism there? Maybe not...

Funded by the public but state controlled and my question is, are British citizens really happy with this set up? Taxation without representation is a great evil i thought the British government had learned some time ago. Then again, maybe the state has gotten to be more clever about it. At least Murdoch is going down in flames, but state controlled info, well... that will still be around at taxpayer expense whether you like the finished product or not.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2011 at 21:39
The BBC is accountable on everything it does, it is also well run and the general public hold it dear in their hearts.   The licensing cost is being reduced by 20% and the organisation is divesting accordingly.  Is it little coincidence that News Corp backed the Conservatives and had been lobbying for just that so that it can fill the void on a commercial basis?


Edited by Zagros - 20 Jul 2011 at 21:40
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2011 at 00:49
This is just the early unraveling of the secret Murdoch empire. His megalomania is evident through the twisted lies to the British Parliament yesterday. But I'm biased...anything to bring down Faux News is a bonus. The American people have been duped long enough by the blatant lies and deception of said channel.

In other news, we can't even get an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, but the Gang of Six, and such is embarking a pathetic power play that has serious repercussions. Let's see...agree to a ceiling or go broke! Duh! Is there any other sane answer to this mess? Yet, the Murdoch channel makes heroes out of the obstinate GOP. Instead, they should listen to their deceased idol, Ronald Reagan, and raise the ceiling. See you all on the flip side of this storm.


Edited by Seko - 21 Jul 2011 at 00:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2011 at 02:14
Yes, this whole scandal has been overshadowing many other important issues on the news here... such as America going bankrupt, the Eurozone crisis, famine in the horn of Africa, Libya, Afghanistan...
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