Perhaps the most surprising thing about the British phone hacking scandal is the lack of coverage in the US press.
Among the US newspapers, the NY Times is the only one I can find which has done significant reporting on the story, though the best work on the story comes from (no surprise) the Guardian. As I type this, the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times both have a single story on the subject, and it’s about Rupert Murdoch’s appearance before Parliament. The Washington Post has a little more, along with an opinion piece by Richard Cohen, who is ecstatic that this scandal is about newspapers instead of, I suppose, television or blogs.
The cable news websites aren’t much better. The MSNBC site, in terms of content at least, looks a lot like that of the Tribune, the LA Times or the Washington Post. CNN has a little more, and offers a handy timeline as part of their coverage. And the Fox News website? Well, they’re including a link to a .pdf with the headline “Statement Rupert and James Murdoch Were Not Allowed to Read Before Parliamentary Hearing,” though it’s no surprise that Fox News is carrying water for its owner. (Of course, there’s carrying water, and then there’s pretending like the News of the World was the victim, but that’s Fox News for you.)
Perhaps this is why it’s difficult to get a sense of just what’s happened, and how it’s damaging a massive media empire and threatening British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. Here’s some more links to provide you with a sense of the scope of this story.
The Atlantic writer James Fallows likens this story to Watergate in terms of the way it keeps growing.
Having trouble keeping up with everyone in the story? The Guardian has an interactive Who’s Who which tells you who’s been arrested, who’s resigned, and how everyone involved is linked. Make sure to mouse over the “show all connections” part of the page.
David Carr, writing for the NY Times, walks us through the history of News Corp when it comes to their attempts to silence critics and make trouble disappear.
Sean Hoare, the first named journalist to allege that former News of the World editor Andy Coulson knew his staff was hacking phones, has been found dead in his home.
Joe Nocera takes to the NY Times Op-Ed pages to enjoy the show.