The News Corp. handbook has some unintentional irony

Anarchy in the U.S.A.!

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. seems to be thumbing its nose at its critics, UK Parliament and perhaps the very idea of the rule of law, according to a certain interpretation of the tainted media organization’s ethics guidebook, released to employees of the New York Post last month in response to the PR nightmare that is the still-ongoing hacking scandal.

A close look at the 56-page “Standards of Business Conduct” — available online in pdf form at News Corp’s website — reveals one particularly suspect set of facing pages — 38-39, the left half of which proclaims the company’s  “commitment to the Global Community” and to “The Integrity of the Law,” explaining that: “Compliance with the law is crucial to the reputation of News Corporation …”

On the right side, a sneering outlaw biker from the TV show “Sons of Anarchy” (broadcast by News Corp. subsidary FX).

This is probably just a harmless juxtaposition, some page designer’s careless mistake. But if so, it’s an absurdly ill-considered gaffe, considering the company’s legal and social standings at present. Allow us to explain.

(For those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching “Sons,” spoilers follow:)

The character at right, Jackson “Jax” Teller, is a member of the titular TV biker gang, a rugged — albeit downright loveable — criminal, a professional gun smuggler and unrepentant murderer. Jax and his merry gang — a bonefied institution in the fictional town of Charming, Calif. — run their criminal enterprise with authority: Prominent  local businessmen and bureaucrats, even the town’s chief of police, are in their employ; through leverage over law enforcement and well timed tips, the Sons are able to avoid detection and escape major punishment.

Murdoch’s global news organization has been similarly dogged by allegations of police corruption: At least two upper-level British police officials have resigned in response to claims of bribery, complicity and obstruction of justice (cover-up, failure to investigate) that have surfaced following news of the scandal.

Even disregarding the salient plot details of the FX drama, the evocative image of the lone rider, exuding even at a glance a casual disrespect and indifference to authority, may not have been the best choice for News Corp.’s “Integrity of the Law” page.

So what do you think? Is the Murdoch company’s contrast of its “commitment” to “the rule of law” with a disdainful-looking criminal a purposeful snub? Or just characteristically negligent?



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.