What is surprising in this clip is not that Fox News’s Steve Doocy and his guest (the head of a P.R. firm) defend Rupert Murdoch and attack “the media” for “piling on.” That’s standard. What is truly brilliant about this segment is that Doocy and gruff Fox Resident Expert Bob Dilenschneider try to turn this into a story about “hacking scandals” and the problem of hacking. They’re not merely portraying News International as a victim in all this, but framing the story as another one of the Scary New Internet World stories a cable news network must specialize in. Doocy brings it all home when he says this:
You’ve got the news about this thing at the Pentagon – I mean, it sounds like the country of China, who we owe a whole bunch of debt to, it sounds like they got into our Pentagon supercomputers and sucked out 24,000 files. Where’s that as a big story?
In one line(!) he manages to hit the points of government incompetence, the looming threat of China, the booming national debt, and the idea that the computer age has made our private information less safe – all while deflecting attention from the News International scandal. The people Roger Ailes hires are good at what they do, and what they do is bring everything back to a few themes, no matter what the topic.