From Pine View Farm

It Can’t Happen Here 0

At least, that’s what Scott Herhold thinks, even though he says he’s not saying that. A snippet:

A colleague of mine, when asked if a U.K. phone-hacking scandal could break out in America, likes to reply: “We’re not organized enough to organize a three-car funeral, much less a sophisticated phone surveillance scam.”

There’s truth in her take. At most mainstream news media outlets, particularly at newspapers, the order of the day is survival. And phone hacking is both expensive and illegal, two major threats to longevity.

I’m not saying it could not happen here, particularly at tabloids like the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a variety of the escapades erupt at an online celebrity gossip site.

The reasons he cites later on in the article are actually quite persuasive and worth a look for anyone who expects it to happen here.

There’s another one he missed (or maybe he ran out of room).

Great Britain is a small country, less than 90,000 square miles. That’s roughly between the sizes of Minnesota and Michigan. Any significant newspaper there is necessarily a national paper, not just in influence (as the New York Times may be considered a national paper), but also in distribution. Even the Guardian long ago dropper the “Manchester” from its masthead.

That’s a lot of hungry cats in one cage.

A scandal at a British paper is therefore ipso facto a national scandal.

So I think it is unlikely to have happened here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that or some other scurvy practice at a regional rag.

Frankly, I think the cesspool of lies known as “Fox News” has done and does far more damage to the polity in its short life than the News of the World has done to Britain throughout the paper’s existence.


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