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tv   [untitled]    July 13, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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burma's and that's going to do it for now from all the stories we cover go to our t.v. dot com slash usa and check out our you tube page it's youtube dot com slash r.t.m. america check in there for longer versions of the interviews you saw on this show tonight follow me on twitter lauren lyster and have a great evening. which was that some of you argue that you love her the more so because we're trying to get him fired in december rupert murdoch is even speedier sits right reinvestigation in what is being called voice mail is this true. the a mission. critical patients three. four charges three. arrangement three. three. three the. old free blanquita cullum video for your media project
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a free media dog hearty dot com. a charming here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture. at. the a. leg. length. of. me he.
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says. the end. lead. the lead. a low in welcome across talk i'm peter lavelle an empire in disarray rupert. murdoch and his immense media assets are under investigation in what is being called voicemail gate is this scandal all about murdoch and his sleazy business practices or a media that no longer serves the public good. crosstalk
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media today i'm joined by tony pedersen and dallas he's a professor and bell distinguished chair in journalism at southern methodist university in los angeles we cross that audience russell he's a historian and the author of a renegade history of the united states and in oxford we go to shawn powers he's an assistant professor at georgia state university all right gentlemen this is crosstalk that means you can jump in anytime you want i always go to the person has to go earliest for this program so i'm going to go to you thaddeus here in looking at what's happening to them the murdoch media empire and every hour that passes more revelations are coming out and it looks very very ugly is any of this surprise you and do you think it's going to be this is just the tip of the iceberg because murdoch and his people have a really sleazy reputation now we're getting evidence of it. all murdoch has always been hyper aggressive he distinguished himself that way in australia and in britain and here in the united states so you know i see no end to it but i would like to say i think this is very much politically motivated the attacks on murdoch and i
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would like to talk about that during the show i think there's a there's a problem with many of the left wing critics attacking him for our politics and i think that's a business we don't want to be and that's very interesting john if i go to you in oxford this any of these allegations and they're very very serious surrounding murdoch and his media assets do any of these things surprise you and are you bothered by the fact that this investigation started two years ago and it's only now that it's getting the light of day that people actually seriously talking about it because these allegations have been out there and the police have known about it . they have and they conducted their own investigation several years ago and they found no evidence of wrongdoing obviously there's plenty of wrongdoing i have to say that i'm not surprised with the finding that murdoch's media empire has been conducting itself likely to be a legal way this especially as the news industry is not under the financial pressure as it has been in recent years news organizations struggling to keep
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audiences are really grasping at straws to get information that would entice readers to continue to read their newspapers and hacking into voice mails is actually probably the beginning of what is a long list of things that news organizations especially under the tutelage of rupert murdoch have been undergoing in recent history you know tony it seems to me when you look at all of this it seems like everybody got what they wanted the politicians got that they curry favor with murdoch and he's very powerful specially in the u.k. he can call an election one way or another newspapers and television they've got stories they like because well even though he's through the legal means entertain their audiences and the audiences liked it to the police might have been involved in bribery but then again they might have gotten tips of information that might have led to a person prosecution so it's a very kind of. arrangement everybody seemed to have gotten something out of it but nonetheless it was quite a few legal i mean how do you look at that i mean is that why it went on for so
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long if the allegations are true well you just have to. well you just have to look at the relationship involving the media and government and law enforcement in london it is a very unusual relationship and the environment in london for the tabloids especially is very aggressive viciously competitive and unfortunately in this case it crossed over into line of illegality so none of this is a real surprise it's been a long time coming and it's going to be some time before we can sort out all the details ok fattiest i'm going to go back to a point that you brought up because i think it's quite fascinating what's the political angle you think is here because you seem to the left wing is going after murdoch now because of his politics not necessarily because the guy's a sleaze bag. there's no question about it to me first of all it means to say that my politics are virtually the opposite of rupert murdoch's so i'm not here to defend his politics but you know when he came onto the scene in the sixty's and seventy's and eighty's he really broke open
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a monopoly and media this was especially in this country in the united states this is a place where there were three networks there was the discourse was very very limited politically he came in with a stridently partisan message he made his newspapers and his t.v. stations pushed forward a particular political line which i think actually was very useful and opened political discourse in this country and elsewhere and now he's being attacked for political for his politics because they are not a stablish knit liberal politics which is truly still in many ways the dominant politics in american media and western media generally and i think that we might want to think twice about going after him for his politics now if he committed if he broke the laws in violating privacy laws. i would love to see him in jail for that if someone hacked my voicemail i would love to see them in jail but if you look at the criticisms that are being leveled at murdoch it goes far beyond that people are using this as an opportunity to attack him for his politics and for his stridency and first partisanship do we want to media that is openly partisan and
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straighten out what i think we do or do we want to continue to try to adhere to this myth of objectivity which murdoch of course never has been and i think that was actually a very healthy thing in western media when you think about that shot i mean i was going to go right ahead. sure i had said yes i think we agree to a large extent on what you said but i would say i think the attacks are not entirely based on his politics but rather the business model that news corporation has brought to the news industry the the profits at no cost to you know there's the only goal here is to build audiences and profit shares that he can leverage those audiences against politicians to curry regulatory favors i for me it's not about the politics of rupert murdoch it's rather an extreme business model that is breaking down the news industry country by country and tell me fine go to you isn't it extraordinary business model or is it turning into the norm and i think that's one of the worrying aspects of all this is that murdoch was just very good or is
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very good at what he does but i mean he's changing the industry is changing the nature of magistri go ahead. well he has changed the nature of the industry and remember a bet when he first bought the times of london and the sunday times there were all of these predictions that he was going to turn them both into a scandal sheet and i think by any measure both the times and the sunday times are still very good newspapers i don't think he's run those newspapers there was the same protection when he bought the wall street journal serval years ago i think the wall street journal is still a very good newspaper people have been underestimating rupert murdoch for forty years and i think we underestimate him at some peril if we continue to do so in this case there are predictions that the deal for scott broadcasting may fall through i won't be so quick to make that pronouncement we'll see how this shakes out i do admire rupert murdoch because he's a risk taker when he bought the times and sunday times of london the newspaper business was absolutely in peril in the u.k. mostly because of the unions and because of some other economic factors he turned
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that around. basically there are people who will say that he saved the newspaper industry and london because of the whopping revolution in one thousand nine hundred six so here's a guy who's not afraid to take risks and he's been well rewarded for doing so fabulous i mean let's be more said i like your cynical take on this even more cynical this is just an opportunity to go after some of them are docs assets he's weak you know really hit him hard down and start taking some of his assets away from her making him sell them or are or become less competitive because one of the things that nazis politics because he's just all pervasive the murdoch empire is so pervasive in the western world this is an opportunity to take a real montana. yeah murdoch has always been hyper competitive that's what's marked him is that a good thing or a bad thing and b i think it's of wonderful thing actually media western media used to be a gentlemen's club publishing television newspapers it was taken on by patricians who sort of knew felt that they knew the objective truth and what people should
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know murdoch broke through that and said you know what there's a whole stratum of people lower class mostly lower class working class people who actually have a different point of view than the new york or london elite he tapped directly into that and made a fortune not by pushing an agenda on them but actually understanding who they were i think it's actually highly elitist to suggest that murdoch has sort of planted ideas in people's minds he simply understood what they wanted and then not it's not just about politics but also about sort of non respectable things like sex the page three girls in the sun right this is been horrifying to the liberal elite who used to be for sexual freedom the fact that murdoch merge sexuality and news is people are a gasp of that i again i think that's not necessarily a bad thing and again if you look at his not just his news organizations but if you look at fox the network here and its programming what has been more subversive of traditional culture than fox christian conservative watchdog groups attack fox
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network here more than any other network for violating so-called indecency again something to be celebrated so if he's interested in getting customers which he is he's primarily shadows writing primarily interested in getting customers and i think he is truly an amoral businessman i think that's actually a good thing in media if you get a lot of people to watch your show as a rule it read your newspapers you are giving them what they want let's have more of that not less ok sean is that good for the public realm i mean give people what they want or maybe we should just step back and say what people need as well i mean if we look at what is going on in the united states i mean they go out following these ridiculous celebrities that is the united states introduce third war a third war in the arab world and nobody knew about it it just suddenly happened because people weren't really paying attention. you know this is this gets to the heart of the issue and probably at the heart of the larger question about the future of journalism in the journalism the financial sector who's going to pay for
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journalism which is to say to media organizations have a responsibility to produce news and information for the public good or is it news and information that the public wants and unfortunately the more we go down the road here in an era where there's a poor proliferation of media outlets we see the gap between what the public wants and what the public needs increase continues to increase and the question is who's going to pay for the news the information that is in the public interest but not in the public's immediate demand it doesn't include page three girls for example and i don't think we've got an answer to that i'm sorry go ahead. i'm sorry can i jump in first i just have one question how who defines what is the public good do you know what the public needs. the public good is a historical concept they could still dated back and forth among politicians and opinion leaders i'm not a representative able to say of the common good is written large i don't international media show right here but it's specific context i can say that
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particular bits of information that are in the public good so for instance before an election there are parts of information and news about the candidates that are in the public good we should know how each candidate stands on particular issues in an accurate way i can i can say i feel comfortable saying that's in the public good and there's a large questions about who's going to produce that news location going to jump in here we go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the phone hacking scandal state with our city.
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live live. download the official allocation i phone i pod touch from the i choose amps to. life on the go live. video on demand. comes and says feeds now in the palm of your. limitations three liquidations three. four charges three. arrangement three. three. free.
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live video for your media projects and free media don carty dot com. live. welcome back to cross talk and peter lavelle reminder we're discussing the world of rupert murdoch live. slim. tell me if i go to you i think we all agree good journalism is good for society but what is good journalism today because . if we look at the business model this will be discussed and during this entire program i mean it's profits that are most important and and traditional media has a very hard time in this environment i mean we all know poor journalists ok i mean
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is the public good being served by the business model in journalism today well peter it's interesting because the idea of responsibility and media is pretty much a twentieth century concept when our founder started the idea was a absolutely open robust stridently partisan press that was full of lies full of innuendo and full of all sorts of false information and in that sense it seems to me that we're just revolving back to that concept where we've got more stridently partisan media on both sides and we've got this robust communication and the whole idea of the enlightenment was that the founders was that the public would understand what's the truth and i kind of think that we're getting back to that point of view and you know when we look at regulation of the media when we look at what the media is doing i trust the people i've got great confidence in the democratic process and i've got great confidence in the people being able to tell
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what the truth is and what do you think about that because tony is going to point the at least feed the origins of the american republic i mean the journalism was really a nasty business and people said in an amazing things that you you would easily be taken to court to for today what do you think about that. yeah i think if tony was saying he wants to come back i'm with him he's absolutely right and you know this idea of objectivity is very much an american phenomenon and it's basically a fraud i think there is no such thing as objectivity i don't really think there's anything such thing as truth in the what objectivity has meant historically in this country and elsewhere is actually sort of whatever the establishment dominant ideology is that is what objectivity is that's what the new york times in the washington post strive to find and convey. it's i think it's far healthier in the rest of the world where they simply go at it hammer and tong and in the last ten to fifteen years beginning with fox and largely because of murdoch here we i think
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tony's right absolutely and we all know this we now have a much more partisan media there is now not just a fox but there's a liberal version of fox and that's n.b.c. and then if you look at the internet it is absolutely exploded there is no point of view that's not represented and easily accessed right now this is radically different terrain than in the one nine hundred sixty s. and seventy's in the united states when. political discourse in this country was this narrow was terrible this is a wonderful thing murdoch for because of his a more ality is actually very much responsible for that in a good way a healthy way ok maybe it is healthy maybe it's unhealthy shine a fine go to you know and then we go then we've gone down to a situation where it's just propaganda versus propaganda isn't it i mean is that healthy for society. right and that's i think you've even accurately described the situation we're dealing with the difference between the partisan press of the late nineteenth century and today though is that rather than having a different partisans have to duke it out in some kind of public sector or some
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kind of public sphere were deliberation takes place today we have the partisans grouping together on m s n b c fox news on the drudge reports and very near media as well which they communicate with each other and democratic deliberation as a result has declined in quality. i think you can see that in the quality of american politics over the last decade the quality and the intelligence the average american voter has has really declined as a result of the increased partisanship reflected in the american media ok tony you said you believe in the people i mean are the people getting enough information to make decent decisions about their lives i mean i go back to the last presidential election and obama is a socialist which you know i think was the wall street journal it started back is that healthy for any kind of a for a political environment when people are going to vote. well i it's debatable whether people are getting the right information or not but obviously it's not the media's responsibility to try and figure out what the right information is because basically we have
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a complete free flow of information and the internet has opened up extraordinary channels for blogging for all sorts of information that would never have been made public before and bob we're talking about this robust communication which is a great thing it somewhat overlooks the fact that in this particular case with news of the world it looks more and more like you had reporters and editors who were engaging in criminal conduct there is no concept of free press anywhere in the world that enables journalists to break the law when you think about that i mean so i mean this business model does it promote criminality in breaking the law and being a moral and and everything that you've said earlier i mean it's interesting you can admire murdoch because same time he's means how we how he employs the tool box to get what he wants well there are laws that protect our privacy if he violated them you know he should be punished for it there's no question i mean all of us agree on that and no one disagrees with that no one even murdoch supporters don't disagree with that so don't so i mean i don't know what we're arguing about i think there's
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a much more important concept here that we need to be discussing we are discussing and again i got to come back to sean i'm actually somewhat amazed at his position here first of all i'd like to know what the evidence is for his claim that the american public is less educated politically i see a american public is engaged in political discourse to a far far higher degree than ever before largely because of the internet but also partly because of people like fox and this and they see the tea party movement whatever you think about it all the evidence shows that it is largely made up of people who were never interested in politics never read the newspapers didn't really read books until two three or four years ago even glenn beck and self that he's like that he said he never was interested in politics at all until two or three years ago and now you have for better. you know whatever you think of their politics now you have perhaps millions of people who are newly political and their main vehicle has been the internet and fox news is not a good thing or
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a bad thing ok show you want to feel bad go ahead. obviously i think it's an awful thing and i'll leave it at that i think that the audiences are trustworthy audience is going to side with glenn beck as a productive person to put on television i mean it's clear on this i want to get back to a larger question about regulating the media we regulate all site all types of corporations for the for the public interest so if a coal companies polluting too much pollutants into the environment we regulate those pollutants to make sure they're not ruling the world around them governments have the responsibility to regulate use industries in the same context to avoid pollutants that are decreasing the quality of democratic citizenry that you see when i reply. we because sean is actually calling for the government to determine what good discourse is is this what he's asking if i think he is that there was a original point he said the public good used to be determined by politicians right
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the state government is that what he's calling for and it's a he is let's be really i did say that what we're doing what is regulation and what is regulation regulation of why do you regulate the regulation on the for the public regulation is protect you want to define it regulation is protecting the public from corporate practices that don't have their best interests in mind i specific regulation that in this context would be ownership regulations to ensure that particular organizations don't own so many media across countries to build influence public opinion on in a grand international scale like murdoch to us ok tony finder you can we have any form of regulation of the media with more regulation without going toward censorship. well peter a lot of governments around the world historically have tried regulation of media and just about all of them have got it wrong and i would just urge caution in the u.k. at this particular point clearly prime minister david cameron has called for a major investigation which there should be and is even call for some type of
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regulation i would urge absolute caution on that because regulation typically means self censorship and it typically means infringement on freedom of the press and i think there would be great peril there's a wonderful history of free press in the u.k. and for that to be tampered with i think would be disastrous the thirty's what do you think. it's going to show you go first to the question how do regulations on ownership of media result in self-censorship how do going back to the existing regulations we had ten years ago and ownership of the media result in censorship tony you want to be clear definite it is my ok now you go to a definition a restriction of. it is by definition a restriction of speech if i own x. y. or z. company i am not allowed to speak in public that is that's precisely the regulation you're calling for and tony's point is exactly right i'm so glad you brought that
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up that is precisely the problem i'm sorry that's precisely the problem we are facing with all the discourse about murdoch being attached to this criminality it is going it could very well lead to his likely to lead to increased regulation of speech which by definition is censorship i do not understand how how keeping certain people because of their business their ownership of certain things out of the public sphere that's the regulation you're talking about jon i do not understand how that is anything but regulation of speech of censorship ok i mean if we're going to show that i mean it looks to me i mean it's keeping the murdoch case here i mean the murdoch people are apparently are in bed with the politicians in bed with the police there's allegations of dealing with criminals ok i mean we can all talk about the principle of freedom of speech but i mean what do we do about that i mean how can you make sure through some kind of form regulation that we don't have a repeat of that again because all of those elements are very unhealthy i think
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we'd all agree to that go ahead john. broadly speaking i don't think i would call for a government regulations specifically in the case of the phone hacking scandal i think there needs to be a new professional organization that allows for self-regulation the existing self-regulation mechanism here in the u.k. is obviously broken but i do think in general the press is because i don't know its job of regulating the press and i will remind the audience that are my colleagues on the show here it was the guardian you know a terrific newspaper that pushed this scandal into the public sphere and onto this news program and so we have to believe in the press and its current capacity i just think that the business model that murdoch has encouraged across the industry is net counterproductive because it puts the power of the media into the hands of a few as opposed to into the hands of many. joe you want to give you the last word here what's the future of murdoch's empire got twenty seconds. well i think it will continue and i think news corp will continue to be
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a tremendously influential organization and i and again i look for more innovation it's a company that has innovated in the last twenty years ok we'll see what we'll see with this story goes many thanks so my guess is me in los angeles dallas and in oxford and thanks to our viewers for watching us here our team see you next time and remember the rules. which i'm having here broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
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