News of the World? Tick. Fox News…?

While we Brits have been enjoying this week’s takedown of the Murdoch imperium’s UK satrapy, yesterday’s edition of Popbitch offered up an even more tantalising prospect:

A US media insider has told us that top US Democrats already have a strategy to try and emasculate Fox News in time for the 2012 election. Every effort will be made to dredge up unsavoury News Corp phone hacking links to 9/11. Eliot Spitzer has just fired the first salvo in this war…

 The link points to an article by Spitzer on Slate.com, and he does indeed appear to be taking aim – here are a few excerpts:

…how does all this concern Americans? First, it is hard to believe that the misbehavior in Murdoch’s media empire stopped at the water’s edge. Given the frequency with which he shuttled his senior executives and editors across the various oceans—Pacific as well as Atlantic—it is unlikely that the shoddy ethics were limited to Great Britain.

Much more importantly, the facts already pretty well established in Britain indicate violations of American law, in particular … the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act … We do not want companies whose headquarters are here—as News Corp.’s is—or that are listed on our financial exchanges—as News Corp. is—polluting the waters of international commerce with illegal behavior. 

The other reason to investigate here is that there is serious doubt that this matter can be investigated properly in Great Britain. Scotland Yard is already implicated, as is Cameron’s government. DoJ can and should fill the void.

If DoJ does investigate and if a court were to find News Corp. liable, the penalties should extend beyond the traditional monetary fine. News Corp. should also have its FCC licenses revoked. Licensure and relicensure by the FCC require that the licensee abide by the law and serve the public interest. News Corp. appears to have blatantly violated this basic standard. Its licenses should be pulled.

As Gawker gratefully observes, “this scandal has become the Murdoch gift that keeps on giving”.

PS – while we’re on US angles on the story: if by some strange chance you missed Jon Stewart’s take on the scandal, go watch this