On Sunday, the scandal-plagued UK newspaper News of the World issued its last edition. News Corp., which owns Fox News, published the paper. The shutdown follows numerous controversies about the paper, including allegations that it hacked the voicemails of a murdered 13-year old girl, family members of slain soldiers and victims of the 2005 London bombings.
The row over News Corp. has gained wide notice in the UK and here in the United States. But on Fox News Watch - Fox News' purported media criticism show - the big media scandal wasn't covered at all, fitting a pattern of the show avoiding Fox-connected scandals.
FoxNews.com posts "Behind the breaks" videos featuring panelists' discussions during Fox News Watch's commercial breaks. During one video for its July 9 program, Fox News contributor Cal Thomas asks, "Anybody want to bring up the subject we're not talking about today for the -- for the streamers?"
James Pinkerton replies, "Sure. Go ahead, Cal!" Thomas answers, "No, go ahead, Jim ... I'm not going to touch it." From the video:
CAL THOMAS: Anybody want to bring up the subject we're not talking about today for the -- for the [online] streamers?
JAMES PINKERTON: Sure. Go ahead, Cal!
THOMAS: No, go ahead, Jim.
THOMAS: I'm not going to touch it.
JUDY MILLER (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): With a ten foot [inaudible].
Host Jon Scott responds but it's not clear what he's saying because FoxNews.com's video cuts him off in mid-sentence. Scott states: "I don't know, I just -- I wasn't all that -" before the video ends.
Media Matters' Joe Strupp contacted panelist Judy Miller, who was on the program, to ask if they were talking about the phone-hacking scandal. Miller said: "I have no idea what Cal meant. Cal says a lot of things. Whatever it is, whenever he says he doesn't want to talk about it, I usually say, 'Not with a ...'. It's just a little routine."
When asked if she had any comment about how the show handled the topic, Miller declined to comment.
Media Matters was unable to ask Thomas about the conversation. Reached by phone, Thomas said he wasn't available to talk because he was getting ready to board a train.
Watch the "Behind the Break" video of the discussion below (the remarks discussed appear roughly 1:52m into the video):
UPDATE: Media Matters' Strupp contacted Thomas again, but he declined to comment.