Murdoch paper rails against phone-hacking critics

Wall Street Journal: 'The schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw.'
Wall Street Journal: 'The schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw.'

By Ian Dunt

The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal has dismissed the phone-hacking scandal as a row perpetuated by its business competitors, in a controversial editorial.

The approach is sure to anger those who feel that News Corp is not genuinely apologetic for the scandal.

The paper wrote that its competitors are using the row "to assail the Journal and perhaps injure press freedom in general".


It goes on: "We trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw."

The article even goes on to attack the Guardian and the BBC for their coverage of the scandal.

The Guardian was responsible for the lion's share of the revelations in the phone-hacking scandal. It was accused of misleading the public by News International during that period, but its coverage has been largely vindicated by recent events.

"The British politicians now bemoaning media influence over politics are also the same statesmen who have long coveted media support," the editorial reads.

"The idea that the BBC and the Guardian newspaper aren't attempting to influence public affairs, and don't skew their coverage to do so, can't stand a day's scrutiny."

It adds: "It is also worth noting the irony of so much moral outrage devoted to a single media company, when British tabloids have been known for decades for buying scoops and digging up dirt on the famous.

"Fleet Street in general has long had a well-earned global reputation for the blind-quote, single-sourced story that may or may not be true."

Critics are likely to point to the editorial as proof of the Murdoch empire's continued failure to grasp the sense of public anger around phone-hacking.

Media commentators have been extremely critical of the media mogul's tactics in trying to calm down the crisis, with his attempt to save the BSkyB deal, protect Rebekah Brooks and close the News of the World all coming in for attack.

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