The fast-moving microblogging technology has become a household name. It is the technology that aided the recent Iranian uprising, that gave the global supporters of freedom and justice a way to communicate with the people on the ground in Iran – those poor, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.
Like much of the Internet, it is also sometimes a hive-mind of absurdity.
Case in point: MSNBC’s David Shuster. At approximately 4 p.m., July 7, Shuster graced the Twitterverse with this nugget:
By the way, for all of you watching on DirectTV and wondering why MSNBC is not in HD, ask mr. Murdoch/newscorps, the owner of DirectTV.
Ah yes, the wonderful figurehead of evil corporate moneymongers – the poster-child for all that is wrong (right?) with capitalism, Rupert Murdoch. Surely the mighty Murdoch has decreed that MSNBC be broadcast only in low-resolution on his company’s satellites.
This is the stuff on which conspiracy theorists thrive. The only problem is, neither Murdoch nor News Corporation (the parent company of Fox News) owns DirecTV. That company was bought out by a subsidiary of the Liberty Media conglomerate, which gained a controlling share of DirecTV over a period of time between late 2006 and May 9 of this year.
It’s not as if this news was difficult to find. NewsCorp’s Web site confirms it and major media outlets such as the New York Times, Reuters and USA Today have covered it. Even a local paper in Denver, Colorado, covered the sale of NewsCorp’s stake in DirecTV.
How hard could it be to get the facts straight on this?