Keller @ Large: Media’s Listening Instead Of Talking

BOSTON (CBS) – I’d be a wealthy man if I had five bucks for every time I’ve heard this complaint:

The news media has too much power. They can and do ignore your right to privacy, and if they turn their spotlight on you, you can be unfairly smeared. And there’s nothing we can do about it without the rest of the media screaming about freedom of the press.

That sentiment has become widespread because there’s some truth to it.

But even for the news media, there are limits, and Rupert Murdoch, the richest, most powerful media mogul of them all, has just bumped up against them.

Actually, crashed into them might be a better description.

Murdoch’s incredibly popular British tabloid The News of the World will fold this weekend after 168 years of publication because they got caught going overboard with their news-gathering techniques – way, way overboard.

Bad enough that top reporters at the News of the World were caught illegally hacking into cell phones to snoop on celebrities. That scandal had been unfolding for several years.

But just last week, it came out that Murdoch’s corporate culture had enabled grotesque efforts to manipulate the news, deleting voice mails on the cell phone of a murdered girl to juice up the story, and siphoning useful info from the cell phones of the relatives of British soldiers killed in action.

The outcry has been overwhelming enough to bring down the newspaper, and if the trail leads into the corporate hierarchy, the Murdoch empire could be at risk too.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Most people, I think, recognize the need for great freedom to be granted to the media in what it prints and broadcasts, and how it gathers information and with that freedom comes great power.

But with power comes responsibility, and Murdoch’s British rag failed to act responsibly by any standard.

So it’s others speaking truth to power now, and the media’s doing the listening instead of the talking.

Will wonders never cease?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • Willow

    Am I to understand that the Murdoch empire has been brought down, but there has been no arrest for the illegal issues involved?

  • Chris

    It’s the corporate media that has too much power. Like everything else nowadays, honest news reporting is corrupted by the big money power.

  • tsal

    This is the ultimate misuse of power and I would hope there will be arrests. I will take exception to your statement regarding “need for great freedom to be granted to the media in what it prints and broadcasts” The problem is that the news media does believe it is entitled to GREAT freedom. It does not have to go to the length that Murdoch took to create bias and spread half truths. The news media in this country is out of control. Each source tries to outdo the other in the name of ratings. Sooner or later I am hoping that someone in the position to do something will understand that the average American is turning the news off because he/she no longer has faith in it.

  • Willow

    Out of control? You better believe it. I can’t even count how many news clips I saw of the verdicts being read in the Casey Anthonly case. Give me a break. It’s like that with every story, and some shouldn’t even be news worthy.

  • Willow

    Speaking of news and corruption, I’m still wondering why one of the Keller topics about Whitey Bulger was pulled this past week. I’m sure not many people even got to see it.

    • mikey

      If you do a websearch for Jon Keller and click on Jon Keller CBS Boston the whole blog appears including Whitey Bulger but the Keller@Large blog is missing articles(or maybe I just need a new computer). Hope this helps.

  • Tsal

    Keller changed his URL. Your computer is fine:)

    • mikey

      Thanks, I wasn’t looking forward to increasing my debt-ceiling.

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