On Wednesday's episode of Morning Joe, MSNBC's Martin Bashir reportedly suggested that the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, and, Rupert Murdoch's "power" in general, proves why government should regulate privately owned media enterprises. NewsBusters brings us the video and transcript, where Bashir says:
All of this reveals the fact that people like Michele Bachmann, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, talk about government getting out of the way, well this is what happened in this country. In 1968, Rupert Murdoch bought one newspaper, and government got out of the way. Then he bought a second, then he bought a third. Within 25 years he owned four national newspapers. Then he established a satellite television company, and eventually people began to wake up to the fact that his power base in the country was bigger than anybody else's.
Bashir went on to warn against allowing "close ties" between media and government like those he asserts exist between Rupert Murdoch and British politicians.
NB points out, however, that it is strange for an MSNBC anchor to denounce media conglomerations as Bashir's own network is actually owned by General Electric and Comcast, and is but one small branch of the larger NBC-Universal company, which also includes CNBC and Telemundo.
NB also notes Bashir's hypocrisy in criticizing close ties between the press and politicians:
Joe Scarborough, on whose show Bashir was saying all of this, is a former politico who has now ventured into media, as are former political staffers and current MSNBC hosts Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Matthews. It would thus also be interesting if Bashir would opine on his network's yanking of Mark Halperin after a phone call from the White House press office.
You can watch the video below: