If you’re not writing a dissertation or taking care of twins, you might have heard that News of the World, a tabloid newspaper in the U.K., has been gathering news by illegally listening to people’s voicemail messages. News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s firm News Corporation, the second largest media company in the world. News Corporation also owns Fox. This is a great natural experiment testing the potential problems with media consolidation, the fact that more and more media outlets are owned by fewer and fewer companies.

So how does Fox report on this scandal? Rob Beschizza, writing for BoingBoing, highlighted a segment on Fox News in which the host and guest agree that “hacking scandals” are a “serious… problem” and imply that, in this instance, News of the World was the victim, not the perpetrator.  More, the guest “expert” is not a politician, scholar, or even a pundit, he’s actually a public relations professional who specializes in spinning scandals to obviate the negative consequences for corporations. Says James Fallows at The Atlantic:

He is Robert Dilenschneider, former head of Hill and Knowlton and now head of the Dilenschneider Group, who recently was featured in an interview, “How to Manage a PR Disaster.”

So Fox is having an expert on spin as a guest, who just so happens to spin the scandal about their parent corporation:

Partial transcript:

The NOTW is a hacking scandal, it can’t be denied. But the real issue is, why are so many people piling on at this point? We know it’s a hacking scandal, shouldn’t we get beyond it and deal with the issue of hacking? Citicorp has been hacked into, Bank of America has been hacked into, American Express has been hacked into, insurance companies have been hacked into, we’ve got a serious hacking problem in this country, and the government’s obviously been hacked into, 24,000 files.

The bigger issue is really hacking and how we as the public going to protect our privacy and deal with it. I would also say, by the way, Citigroup, great bank. Bank of America, great bank. Are they getting the same attention for hacking that took place less than a year ago, that News Corp is getting today?

Of course, as Beschizza at BoingBoing points out, Citigroup and Bank of America were hacked into, whereas News of the World did the hacking.  It’s also an interesting use of the word “hacking.”  Beschizza continues:

Though we all use the term “hacking” broadly, punching in a default PIN number isn’t quite the same thing as the skills required to hack into banks and governments. You can’t pretend these are the same class of problem, unless you’re happy being ignorant of the crisis management issues on which you are being presented as an expert.

Use of the term, then, makes the illegal activity seem more like the mischief of a techy teenager or the nefarious work of anti-establishmentarians, not the plain ol’ straightforwardly criminal behavior it is.

See also: Shameless promotion of the movie, Tinkerbell, at Good Morning America.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.