Sly as a FOX, Clear as a Bell

Ideas and Issues

fox_20news_20logoNew Orleans There is no easy way to get the whole story any more, if there ever was.  The news from the FOX lair is titillating though and worth the search, just in the wild hopes that current scandals might force a different corporate culture or, even better, bring the whole mess down.

Unfortunately that is probably past the pale of hope.  The Wall Street Journal, the flagship US-Murdoch paper controlled by News Corporation, whip snapper behind FOX, continues to be a case in point.  Monday’s paper finally seem to concede that since the UK phone hacking, police bribing scandal was front page news around the world, they finally had to acknowledge that it existed with their own front page coverage.  Of course the editorial page then blamed everyone and their brother-in-law for the mess, except themselves, and essentially tried to cop a plea by saying, “we just did what everyone else did.”  Who knew that anyone thought that was a defense anymore?  Essentially, they are apologizing for their own distorted and corrupt culture by saying that that was the neighborhood they lived in, so stealing, bribing, and bullying was the only way.  Ugh!

Regardless, even if they are pretending that was a mea culpa, it was only a one-day-wonder.  Today’s paper omits any news of the scandal.  Even though today Rupert and son are appearing before Parliament, while the British Prime Minister Cameron, swinging in the wind of the storm himself, cut short his diplomatic mission to Africa, and more cops resigned.  It was more important for the Wall Street Journal to have a story about business predictably being unhappy with new rules proposed by the NLRB, as if that were news at all.

Watching from afar, it’s important to remember that the expression is “sly as a fox,” not smart as a fox.  In the FOX corporate culture the specialty skills are the dogpile, the sneak attack, the unfounded, sweeping allegation, the payoff, and the pimp-out, in other words exactly what they have been caught doing in Britain.   Smart has nothing to do with any of that.  Same for transparency.   Clear as a bell, is how the sound seems, but whether or not one can see well, and the New Corps pretend apologies are simply crises management, not culture change.

What goes around comes around.  Now that it’s happening and the U.S. Congress has even taken notice, perhaps it’s time for some backbone finally.  I’m not calling for the messenger to be killed, but at least make sure the messenger knows that it matters how you get and tell the story.  Truth for example might should be a guide, even if ethics is way past a possibility.