The Emmys: Why You Shouldn't Trust News Corp. -- Reason #589

Fox television's Emmy broadcast offers prima-facie evidence of News Corp.'s inherent dishonesty.

A few days before the ceremony, 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin tweeted, “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line.”

The as-yet unknown joke, it turns out, involved the phone-hacking scandal that has enveloped the company. Apparently Fox believed it would be “in poor taste to make light of the serious allegations surrounding the phone-hacking scandal.”

Of course, Fox News and other News Corp. properties have been minimizing the scandal for months. Bill O'Reilly dismissed scandal as a witch hunt, telling his audience: “You have the New York Times absolutely running wild with the story, front page, front page, front page, column, column, column, vicious stuff and it's all ideological!”

And the Wall Street Journal editorial board responded to the scandal by attacking critics of its parent company, “The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur.”

Even chairman Rupert Murdoch, before being humbled by Parliament, told the Wall Street Journal his company had handled the scandal “extremely well in every way possible,” making just “minor mistakes.”

So a joke that surely would have shone a negative light on News Corp. is in “poor taste” because it “makes light” of the seriousness of phone hacking, even though numerous branches of the company have been doing just that for months.

News Corp. also used the Emmy broadcast to get in some environmental doublespeak. Through Fox News, the company has been responsible for deceitful anti-environmental broadcasts. Now in an attempt to win PR points, the company dishonestly attempted to green-wash its horrendous statements on environmental policy by releasing the following statement before the telecast:

FOX, in partnership with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, will bring clean energy to the 63RD PRIMETIME EMMY(R) AWARDS airing live Sunday, Sept. 18 (8:00-11:00 PM ET live/5:00-8:00 PM PT live) on FOX. Solar panels will provide power to the Primetime Emmys red carpet and, for the first time ever, FOX will donate the solar panels and the red carpet to local charities after the event. In addition, the 390-foot red carpet is the largest ever to be lit entirely by low-energy LED and fluorescent lighting.

It's ironic to see Fox is bragging about using solar power, considering that earlier this month viewers of Fox Business were told: “Half the time solar panels don't even work. Half the time they do work they produce expensive electricity. This is just lose, lose, lose, for America. We can't do it here”.

And those light bulbs used on the red carpet? Fox is opposed to those as well: “Now these new light bulbs are being made, I believe, in China, and so you might wonder about whether or not we should save the old light bulb just to save some jobs here in this country.”

Whether censoring comics or covering its horrendous environmental record, the Emmy awards are yet another example of why News Corp. should never be trusted.