The international media organization known as News Corporation is in very hot water right now and Rupert Murdoch and crew are having their feet held to the flame. The corporation stands accused of hacking cell phones of murder and terrorism victims, celebrities, and various other people in an attempt to get the news story first. They also stand accused of bribing law enforcement officials and could be charged with standing in the way of kidnapping and murder investigations.
The investigation is now heating up here in the United States as allegations of hacking into the phones of 9/11 victims stack up. Could we find evidence of bribery here as well? Evidence of impeding investigations? If so, the authorities in the United States, and abroad for that matter, should use corporate personhood to their advantage.
By definition, corporate personhood practically grants corporations the same rights that human beings enjoy. So that should also mean that corporations should face the exact same consequences when a crime is committed. And I’m not just talking about a person within the corporation. I’m talking about the entire corporation. If all of these allegations prove to be true, the entire corporation should be arrested. From the top executives, to the journalists, the anchors, and all the way down to those who work in the mail room. Fair is fair, right? If a corporation wants to be a person, it needs to be treated like one in every way.
Old school common sense would require us to only punish those individuals within a corporation that carried out the violation and/or crime. But times have changed. Now that corporations are people, if an arm of that corporation commits crimes, the entire corporation should go down too. When a person commits a murder, they aren’t able to just blame their hand for pulling the trigger. The entire body and mind is charged with the crime. The same should also apply to corporations.
Hacking cell phones is a serious offense and bribing law enforcement officials is a more serious one. But News Corporation may also be an accessory of kidnapping and murder as well. By hacking the cell phone of a kidnapping victim, News Corporation had access to information that it destroyed when it erased voice mails and text messages. News Corporation impeded the search for the victim, therefore allowing the kidnapper to evade police. It may also have resulted in the murder of the young victim. In addition to the bribery and hacking, being an accessory to kidnapping, and perhaps murder, also carries prison sentences. And now that News Corporation whistle blowers are turning up dead, I’d say that the organization has A LOT more crimes to answer for.
The way I see it, News Corporation needs to be arrested as a whole. Is it unfair to thousands of innocent employees? Perhaps. But that is the price people must pay when they work in the corporate world. When a corporation is deemed to be a person, all individuals in that corporation become one and the same. Instead of Roger, or Bill, or Rupert, or James, you become News Corporation. You are merely a finger or toe nail of a huge person that spans the globe. Nevertheless, when a person gets arrested, the toe nail and finger also get arrested. And that’s the point. The only two options that News Corporation should have is to either be arrested as a whole, or disband entirely (which is basically the equivalent of suicide).
Corporations could try to escape this, but it would require them to challenge and thus reject corporate personhood and therefore the rights that people enjoy. It is certainly a compelling thought and it would certainly turn the tables on corporate entities that have longed to be treated as flesh and blood people. When people commit crimes, they are referred to as criminals or felons. Personally, I would enjoy seeing Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the Fox News and News Corporation crew behind bars. A fitting end to a criminal organization that dared proclaim itself a person.