Rage Against The Machine

Submitted By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Has the Emperor of Gotcha' Been Got?

Britain’s largest weekly tabloid, News of the World,  closes today, but not from lack of advertisers or readers. Instead, the Rupert Murdoch led tabloid succumbed to its own excesses amid shocking allegations of  interceptions of cellphone voice mails of the families of a murdered 13-year-old girl, servicemen and women slain in Afghanistan, and victims of  the 2005 London terrorist bombings.  Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked for News of the World,  is accused of the electronic hacking.

One of the victims, Graham Foulkes, whose son, David, died in the 2005 London attack, said “Janet and I were obviously having very intimate personal phone calls with friends and family. To think that when you’re at the lowest time in life that somebody, for the sake of a cheap story, is maybe listening to you, it’s just beyond words.”

The outrage from the British public has been complete and has political overtones.  Perhaps not too surprisingly, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has been almost alone in not calling for the paper’s editor, Rebekah Brooks, to resign. Murdoch’s News International syndicate was a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of Cameron in last year’s British parliamentary elections. The cozy relationship between Brooks and the PM resulted in Cameron spending the Christmas holiday with Brooks and her family.

Criticism for the PM’s reluctance is growing and Cameron has moved to call for a complete investigation. Cameron is also dealing with the fact that his Director of Communications, Andy Coulson, is a former editor of NOW. Coulson  resigned in January citing another  scandal as a “distraction,” but the British public is all too aware that Coulson, while editor, was accused of  paying police tens of thousands of pounds from NOW funds.

James Murdoch, son of the undisputed guru of sensationalist journalism, said the scandal will result in punishments for the newspaper’s culpable employees. “Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.” He pledged that “those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences.” NOW has published for 168 years and is wildly profitable. The closing has real effects on the Murdoch  Empire and is the most serious challenge to the what some regard as the voice of conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. Murdoch’s Fox News is a vocal backer of conservative candidates in the U.S. as well, and has faced its own share of criticism in that enterprise.

As for Murdoch, Sr., he seems to realize the gravamen of the situation deciding to fly to London and axe the paper in an attempt to stem the wave of criticism. The mogul may be the victim of his own doing as well. Many newspaper scandals in the past have been ameliorated by the presence of strong and independent boards of directors who act immediately to discharge the offending editors and restore the paper’s image. Not so with Murdoch’s companies, whose boards show a disturbing lack of resistance to Murdoch’s will. Simon Duke, a financial writer for the UK’s “This is Your Money” website puts it this way, “All too often, Murdoch Sr has been able to bend the board to his will with embarrassing ease. The directors all appear to rub along very smoothly; so much so that the 80-year-old has been able to rail-road through a series of deals that, to the outside world, look a lot like pandering to the whim of the chief executive.”

Is this a “Rosebud” moment for the all-powerful tabloid mogul? Only time will tell, but what is beyond doubt is that the drive for sensationalism has shaken to the foundation the once unassailable House of Murdoch.

Sources: This Is Your Money;  Washington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

146 thoughts on “Rage Against The Machine

  1. “beyond doubt is that the drive for sensationalism has shaken to the foundation the once unassailable House of Murdoch”

    While the tradition of sleazy tabloid journalism has been around on both sides of the Atlantic for many, many years, Murdoch has taken it to uncharted heights. His pernicious power has negatively influenced world wide politics and he is the quintessence of the amoral businessman. We can only hope that this man will pay psychically/financially for his egomania and meanness.

  2. Will the House of Murdoch finally fall….I read that this was the Flagship for numerous of the family empire….

  3. If even one American is involved in phone tapping, things will be getting very ugly indeed. One hopes it ensnares fox news.

  4. “Is this a ‘Rosebud’ moment for the all-powerful tabloid mogul?”

    We should all be so lucky. It sure is a nice thought though. The real life personification of the character of an evil and soulless corporate hack, Rupert Murdoch is a villain. He is a combination of Ned Beatty’s and Robert Duvall’s characters in “Network” brought to life. He doesn’t care who suffers or dies or what lies he has to tell so long as it makes money. What is worse, he seems to enjoy being a villain. Even Charles Foster Kane would recoil in disgust from Murdoch.

  5. Considering how extensive the hacking was one has to wonder if the list of hacked persons includes those sitting on his own company boards and if the information therefrom is the grease that makes the boards so cooperative.

    Murdoch wants to buy British Sky Broadcasting Group too which is the largest pay cable company in Britain and Ireland. The question is still awaiting a vote in the British government. The (Labor) opposition has pledged to force a vote on the 13th to postpone the vote on the acquisition.

    From Wikipedia: “Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport.[12] Hunt elected not to refer to the deal to the Competition Commission, announcing on 3 March 2011 that he intended to accept a series of undertakings given by News Corporation, paving the way for the deal to be approved.”

    /Hunt was a Cameron favorite appointed to Cameron’s shadow government and later to the position he now holds in Cameron’s government. He gives Murdoch’s plan to acquire Sky a fast track and pass’ up the Competition Commission.\

    From Wikipedia: “The Competition Commission is a non-departmental public body responsible for investigating mergers, markets and other enquiries related to regulated industries under competition law in the United Kingdom. It is a competition regulator under the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).

    The Competition Commission replaced the Monopolies and Mergers Commission on 1 April 1999. It was created by the Competition Act of 1998, although the majority of its powers are governed by the Enterprise Act 2002.

    The Enterprise Act 2002 gave the Competition Commission wider powers and greater independence than the MMC had previously, so that it now makes decisions on inquiries rather than giving recommendations to Government and is also responsible for taking appropriate actions and measures (known as remedies) following inquiries which have identified competition problems.

    The Government can still intervene on mergers that involve a specified public interest criterion such as media plurality, national security and financial stability.”

    Getting rid of NOW and hoping the controversy will die down and not be more of an issue regarding the Sky News acquisition is a more likely reason for Murdock axing it than his social conscience. You’ve got to wonder if Cameron’s relationship with Murdoch is built on pure politics or if there’s some incriminating info, possibly garnered by illegal means, that Murdoch has on him. Or at least I do.

    I also wonder if/how many people his minions have hacked in the US?

    “Hunt gives green light to News Corp-Sky deal”


    “Miliband Calls for News Corp. to Drop BSkyB Bid”


  6. Eniobob, Interesting link.

    Perhaps Mr. Jenkins was not thinking big enough. Perhaps ‘trouble’ is relative and the benefit Murdoch got from the paper, or the papers more nefarious practices over the years, has been worth any trouble he currently has to deal with.

    The actual scandal has roots going all the way back to listening in on the royals phone messages in 2005. A NOW staffer and PI were doing that and got away with it.

    The police were being paid in the 2009 incarnation of the scandal, which was wrapped up quickly with no arrests or penalty forthcoming. The people being monitored included politicians and celebrities by all accounts but just which politicians are not named in any of the articles I have read.

    I suspect that a lot of info that didn’t make its way into the paper over the last 4 years was funneled upward and used as political capital. I say that because if the spying of 2005 was something Murdoch wasn’t aware of he sure had to be aware thereafter. He could have made it clear that he did not want his paper run that way in 2006 and again in 2009 and fired the folks that OKed the spying and phone tapping.

  7. This is another fine mess that people made up. Why, because they do not like successful business models? This is one of the finest people that I have ever known. Crapheads.

  8. kd

    call your boss and tell him/her to send someone else, preferably someone with an IQ over 80. I don’t believe me-me is going to work out.

  9. Pete,

    Go play with yourself some more. Do you have to clean your keyboard more than 5 times a day? Sticky fingers!

  10. Gene H.,

    Are there still letters on your keyboard that don’t work? I bet you are playing with Peter again.

  11. MeMe:

    This is one of the finest people that I have ever known. Crapheads.


    I assume “Crapheads” is the clarification of the first sentence and further defines “people that I have ever known.” If so, it makes perfect sense to me, and I assuredly believe it.

  12. MeMe,

    Actually my keyboard works just fine, but thanks for your concern. Thank you to for telling us who your boss is though . . . or do you just party with the Rupe? You seem like his standard low caliber of associate.

  13. MeMe is certainly not Bdaman, we would not want to confuse the two. One has a conscience and the other does not. But MeMe is for certain not AY. MeMe knows more about the weather than AY.

  14. Not MeMe,

    Let’s get this straight….I have been doing yard work all day…I just got through with dinner and cleaned up…It was and still is hotter than the 4th of July….I have not had time to play much today….I am watching Masterpiece Mystery on PBS….Maybe you should take the time to educate yourself…..and watch quality TV before the ilk of your party finishes off the remaining quality shows….Other than that, get a life…I am NOT posing as MeMe and certainly NOT MeMe….

  15. Murdoch’s hacking woes grow; 9/11 victims eyed?
    CBS News
    July 11, 2011

    AP) Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is under increasing pressure this week to repent in more glorious fashion for the misdeeds of his News of the World tabloid, even after sacrificing the century-and-a-half-old paper to try and sweep the mess away from his empire of newspapers and television networks.
    The phone-hacking scandal jumped across the Atlantic, meanwhile, with a report from rival tabloid the Mirror that journalists from the News of the World tried to pay a former New York City police officer for the personal information of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack.

    The Mirror quoted an unnamed source as saying the also-unnamed ex-cop, who currently works as a private investigator, was asked for phone numbers of victims who died in the World Trade Center.

    “His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK,” the Mirror quoted its source as saying.

    According to the report, which could not be corroborated, the PI turned down the alleged request from the British reporters, recognizing, “how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.”

    Murdoch backs UK exec amid hacking scandal
    Video: Britain’s “News of the World” comes to an end
    Tabloid’s hacking scandal: More dirt to come?

    Whether or not the Mirror’s claims are verified, the allegations may raise the volume on questions about the editorial judgment and ethics employed by Murdoch titles in the U.S.

    “The News of the World has lots of reporters at any given time on the ground in the US,” Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff tells CBS News. “Many of its stories, particularly many of its celebrity stories, are dateline here. So, I think that’s the next step.”

  16. A Top British Leader Urges Murdoch to Drop TV Deal
    New Yrk Times
    July 11, 2011

    LONDON — Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday became the most senior official to publicly urge Rupert Murdoch to drop a $12 billion bid by his embattled News Corporation for Britain’s most lucrative satellite broadcast company, British Sky Broadcasting, as the government sought advice on possible regulatory proceedings.

  17. Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB Bid: Government Lawyers Reportedly Moving To Block Buyout
    By Paul Sandle
    Huffington Post/Reuters
    July 10, 2011

    LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – British government lawyers are drawing up plans to block Rupert Murdoch’s bid to buy out the broadcaster BSkyB, the Independent newspaper said on Monday, a move that could spare Prime Minister David Cameron a potentially damaging parliamentary vote.

    Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband said on Sunday that he would force parliament to vote this week if Cameron did not take steps to halt the $14-billion bid by Murdoch’s News Corp for the 61 percent of the profitable pay-TV operator BSkyB that it does not already own.

  18. Selective Shaming — Mark Steyn


    … If one were so inclined, one might be heartened by the swift responsiveness to pressure of the allegedly all-powerful bogeyman Murdoch. But you can’t help but notice that this supposed public shaming is awfully selective. In the week of the News of the World revelations, it was reported that the Atlanta Public Schools system has spent the last decade systemically cheating on its tests. Not the students, but the superintendent, and the union, and 38 principals, and at least 178 teachers — whoops, pardon me, “educators” — and some 44 of the 56 school districts. Teachers held “changing parties” at their homes at which they sat around with extra supplies of erasers correcting their students’ test answers in order to improve overall scores and qualify for “No Child Left Behind” federal funding that could be sluiced into maintaining their lavish remuneration. Let’s face it, it’s easier than teaching, right?

    The APS Human Resources honcho Millicent Few illegally had an early report into test-tampering destroyed. So APS not only got the federal gravy but was also held up to the nation at large as a heartwarming, inspirational example of how large urban school districts can reform themselves and improve educational opportunities for their children. And its fake test scores got its leader, Beverly Hall, garlanded with the National Superintendent of the Year Award, the Administrator of the Year Award, the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Keystone Award for Leadership in Education, the Concerned Black Clergy Education Award, the American Association of School Administrators Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award, and a zillion other phony-baloney baubles with which the American edu-fraud cartel scratches its own back.

    In reality, Beverly Hall’s Atlanta Public Schools system was in the child-abuse business: It violated the education of its students in order to improve its employees’ cozy sinecures. The whole rotten, stinking school system is systemically corrupt from the superintendent down. But what are the chances of APS being closed down? How many of those fraudulent non-teachers will waft on within the system until their lucrative retirements?

    Or consider “Operation Fast and Furious,” about which nothing is happening terribly fast and over which Americans should be furious. The official explanation is that the federal government used stimulus funding to buy guns from Arizona gun shops for known criminals to funnel to Mexican drug cartels. As I said, that’s the official explanation: As soon as your head stops spinning, we’ll resume the narrative. Supposedly, United States taxpayers were picking up the tab for Mexican drug lords’ weaponry in order that the ATF could identify high-up gun-traffickers. But, as it turns out, these high-up gun-traffickers were already known to other agencies — FBI, DEA, and other big-spending acronyms in the great fetid ooze of federal alphabet soup in which this republic is drowning. And, indeed, some of those high-ups are said to have been paid informants for those various federal agencies. So, in case you’re wondering why Obama’s second annual Recovery Summer is a wee bit sluggish at your end, relax: Stimulus dollars went to fund one federal agency to buy guns for the paid informants of another federal agency to funnel to foreign criminals in order that the first federal agency might identify the paid informants of the second federal agency.

    Meanwhile, what did the drug cartels, the recipients of the guns, do with them? Well, they used them to kill at least one member of a third federal agency: Brian Terry of the United States Border Patrol.

    We’re not talking about hacking a schoolgirl’s cellphone here. Real people are dead. Yet nobody’s going to close down any wing of the vast spendaholic DEATFBI hydra-headed security-state turf-war. And while Eric Holder, the buccaneering attorney general at the center of this wilderness of mirrors, doesn’t yet have as many Distinguished Public Servant of the Year awards as Beverly Hall, judging from his cheerfully upfront obstruction of the congressional investigation, he’s not planning on going anywhere soon.

    So, at the News of the World, every single employee is clearing out his desk. But, at the Atlantic Public Schools, at the DEATFBI, life goes on. A curious contrast. The striking feature of Big Government, from Athens to Sacramento, is its imperviousness to any kind of accountability — legal, fiscal, electoral, popular. A media mogul, a bank chairman, an oil executive, a corporate-jet depreciation-claimant are easily demonizable: As President Obama cautioned CEOs a couple of years back, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    More fool us. Our pitchforks are misdirected.

  19. “In the week of the News of the World revelations, it was reported that the Atlanta Public Schools system has spent the last decade systemically cheating on its tests”

    This is just silly as an argument. Really it’s a shallow smoke and mirrors ploy to distract from the topic being discussed. In the same week, by that line of reasoning, another “Family Values” Republican’s licentious behavior was disclosed. This is not argument, nor is it discussion, it is fit for the debates of ten year old’s.

  20. News Corp. Shareholders File Amended Complaint Amid Phone Hacking Scandal
    10:35 AM 7/11/2011
    by Georg Szalai
    The Hollywood Reporter

    They had already alleged nepotism and failed corporate governance at the Rupert Murdoch-led conglomerate when it announced a deal to acquire Shine Group from his daughter Elisabeth.

    NEW YORK – A group of institutional investors of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., led by Amalgamated Bank and several municipal and union pension funds, said Monday it has filed an amended complaint alleging nepotism and failed corporate governance at the conglomerate amid the phone hacking scandal.

    The updated allegations supplement a lawsuit originally filed earlier this year in Delaware Court of Chancery when shareholders challenged News Corp.’s $615 million acquisition of production firm Shine Group, which was run and majority-owned by Murdoch daughter Elisabeth Murdoch.

    The recent escalation of the phone hacking issue is adding to their concern, they said. “These revelations should not have taken years to uncover and stop,” the shareholders argue in their complaint. “[They] show a culture run amuck within News Corp. and a board that provides no effective review or oversight.”

  21. News Corp withdraws pledge on BSkyB takeover
    The Associated Press

    LONDON — News Corp. has withdrawn a promise to spin off Sky News as a condition of its takeover of satellite network British Sky Broadcasting PLC.

    The company’s move on Monday means the government is almost certain to refer the bid to Britain’s Competition Commission for a full-scale inquiry into whether the takeover would break anti-monopoly laws. If it does, the bid would likely be on hold for several months.

    The government is under intense pressure to block the bid following revelations of phone hacking at the Sunday tabloid News of the World.

  22. News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch under attack from British politicians Gregory Katz
    From: AP July 12, 2011 12:00AM

    The scandal forced Murdoch’s News Corp to shut the 168-year-old tabloid, and the media tycoon flew to London on Sunday – the day of its last edition – to take charge of damage control.

    But the fallout could just be beginning.

    For now, the News Corp chief appears focused on scrambling to prevent his controversial $US19 billion bid for BSkyB from becoming a casualty of the scandal. But questions are mounting about his future and that of his sprawling business empire amid a wave of global revulsion.

    Clegg’s lack of hesitation in condemning Murdoch amid Cameron’s perceived dithering also is also generating speculation about the health of the Conservatives’ coalition with the Liberal Democrats, which was already on shaky footing.

    The criminal activities at Murdoch’s now shuttered tabloid have given his many adversaries an opening amid signs that the government is leery of its once close ties to Murdoch, who has substantial newspaper, television, film and book publishing interests in Britain, the United States, Australia and other countries.

    Murdoch got more bad news yesterday when Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who had given preliminary approval to the BSkyB bid, announced plans to ask the communications regulator, OFCOM, whether News Corp. is ”fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting licence.

    He raised questions about whether the phone hacking charges undermine Murdoch’s bid for the satellite broadcaster.

    ”These allegations are stomach-churning and everyone is shaken,” Hunt said. ”New information has come out in the last week. Things have changed in the last week, and these things have shocked everyone”. He said Britain’s long tradition of quality journalism is under threat.

    If OFCOM decides Murdoch is not fit, a licence would be denied. The uncertainty sent BSkyB shares sharply lower yesterday. Miliband, the Labour Party leader, also said Murdoch must end his bid for BSkyB and called for a udge-led inquiry to avoid the risk of evidence being destroyed.

    One of Murdoch’s short-term goals is to keep Brooks, widely described as being as close to him as a daughter. Top MPs, including opposition leader Miliband are demanding she step down.

    Brooks maintains she didn’t know about the widespread hacking at the paper, which listened to the voicemails left on mobile phones belonging to a number of celebrities, including film stars, politicians and sports figures, as well as murder victims and their bereaved families.

    She has volunteered to be interviewed by police investigators as a witness.

    The British press has reported that emails given to police indicate that News International chiefs knew that phone hacking was more widespread than acknowledged and that police were being paid for information.

    The police position is difficult because of allegations that some of its officers received payoffs from News of the World journalists. This possible conflict of interest has led the Independent Police Complaints Commission to announce that it will review all police actions on the case.

  23. Far be it from me to limit anyone’s free speech, or censor their ideas. However, I think we regulars, myself included must look at the residue of debating with people who lack the inclination to actually engage in logical debate. How many “back and forths” do we have to go through before we realize that we are feeding a specific troll the attention “it” craves. At first I found it interesting in the sense that cogent, informative arguments are being made in troll response. However, you can see in this thread and in other threads, they’re being hijacked away from the original topic, the points lost in a sea of confusion slipping under the waves over burdened by the excess baggage of troll response. From the standpoint of logic/facts “it” has been destroyed time and again, to what profit? Buddha had pointed this out, long before his departure, that this engagement with “it” is like the Monty Python skit where the limbless knight refuses to admit defeat. Enough already, let it froth and don’t even bother to read its outpourings. In an unresponsive forest, with no notice, it will only be the sound of one troll yapping. My answer to this particular koan is that no one will hear it.

  24. Mike S:

    I agree but it’s in our nature to crush fools so we do it. I am trying to quit but they are amusing. Anyway, our resident troll did bring one interesting point from Mark Steyn.

    What do you think about his argument that is we can’t condemn every bad thing we shouldn’t condemn any (especially if Steyn gets paid by it)?

  25. Elaine, great links- thank you very much. I put nothing beneath Mr. Murdoch. The spying, phone tapping/hacking has gone on at least as far back as 2005 and were public scandals in 2006 and 2009. Murdoch could have stopped it if he wanted to. He is now protecting his mentee, the Chief Executive of News International and I suspect she is protecting him. It looks to me like Murdoch had or was trying to positioned himself, through the actions of his agents, to play the Herbert Hoover role in British politics.

  26. “I agree but it’s in our nature to crush fools so we do it. I am trying to quit but they are amusing.”


    As you well know from my own past history it has been an area of great amusement for me and I have at times done it with volatility. You may also have noticed that I am usually welcoming here to anyone new, even if they state things with which I disagree. However, after seeing many comments from someone using his type of dishonest tactics I seek amusement and then play back to them their own tactic, with a bit of vicious ad hominem thrown in. I only do this when I’m convinced that “it” is a nonredeemable troll.

    My decision is based mainly on gut instinct that tells me here is a person whose persona is unreal. We know nothing of our current “it.” We don’t even know its’ sex despite its ugly icon. This isn’t someone using internet anonymity to create a false image. There is no image. “It” isn’t a real personality, mainly a construct whose game is disruption.

    Someone like Roco, who I mainly disagree with, nevertheless strikes me as authentic. He does vary his opinions and his positions are not always predictable, beyond his addiction to Rand. Mostly I disagree with him, but once in a while I agree with a position he takes. He will respond to points made. I sense humanity behind his pseudonym. With “it” there is no sense of humanity, just the attempt to introduce disruption and with it a schoolyard style of debate.

    I’ve had it with “it” and I’ll no longer read his comments nor respond to him. I recommend this course of action to everyone, because the alternative is to let him “win,” which he does each time he hijacks a thread and that has become far too frequent. His aim is not to win arguments, or even present viewpoints, it is simply to disrupt and we all have allowed him to do so far too often. Incidentally, as you no doubt have realized, part of his disruption tactic is to pick apart something commented on that is tangential to the general point of the article. The argument then becomes that tangential point and the original topic is lost in a mire of back and forth byplay.

    Because of my resolve in this I hadn’t read his comment regarding Steyn and I won’t, therefore I have no thoughts to share on that issue.

  27. lottakatz,

    Missing Milly Dowler’s voicemail was hacked by News of the World

    The News of the World illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guardian has established.

    Scotland Yard is investigating the episode, which is likely to put new pressure on the then editor of the paper, Rebekah Brooks, now Rupert Murdoch’s chief executive in the UK; and the then deputy editor, Andy Coulson, who resigned in January as the prime minister’s media adviser.

    The Dowlers’ family lawyer, Mark Lewis, this afternoon issued a statement describing the News of the World’s activities as “heinous” and “despicable”. He said this afternoon the Dowler family was now pursuing a damages claim against the News of the World.

    Milly Dowler disappeared at the age of 13 on her way home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, on 21 March 2002.

    Detectives from Scotland Yard’s new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting, are believed to have found evidence of the targeting of the Dowlers in a collection of 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator jailed for phone hacking on behalf of the News of the World.

  28. Murdoch’s Company Improperly Targeted PM Gordon Brown, Could Face Criminal Prosecution In U.S.
    By Alex Seitz-Wald on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has become the latest known victim of extra-legal information gathering orchestrated by U.K. newspapers owned by NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch. The quickly developing scandal has moved far beyond the now-defunct News of the World, with the U.K’s Guardian reporting that journalists from across the News International newspaper group, owned by NewsCorp, “repeatedly targeted” the liberal Brown for more than 10 years while he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and then Prime Minister.

    Con-men and private investigators working for the papers, including the Sunday Times — the most reputable publication of the group — appear to have illegally gleaned banking, phone, and other records about Brown, including medical data on his infant son, the Guardian reports:

    • Scotland Yard has discovered references to both Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World;

    • Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a “blagger” acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account;

    • Brown’s London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times;

    • Details from his infant son’s medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child’s serious illness.

    Brown joins other members of his Labour Party, members of the royal family, victims of terrorism, murder, and their family members in being targeted with shady or allegedly illegal practices by the newspapers. Journalist Carl Bernstein, whose investigation into the Watergate break in helped bring down President Nixon, has dubbed the rapidly expanding scandal “Murdoch’s Watergate.”

    Much of the scandal has focused on Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of News International, who was previously editor of the News of the World and the Sun. It was Brooks who contacted the Browns in 2006 to tell them that she had obtained — likely in violation of privacy rules– records showing that their four-month-old son Fraser was suffering from cystic fibrosis.
    But while victims have demanded that Rebekah Brooks resign, Murdoch has given her an “extraordinary show of support,” taking her to dinner yesterday and saying she is his “top priority.”

    But Murdoch may soon have bigger problems on his hands. Legal experts told the AP today that his company could face criminal prosecution in the U.S. for his U.K. papers’ alleged bribery of British police officers, which would be a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to the the Department of Justice, “The FCPA prohibits payments made in order to assist the firm in obtaining or retaining business.” Thus the papers’ use of bribery to obtain information which helped sell newspapers could fall under the act’s purview. And even though the bribery occurred entirely in Britian, NewsCorp is an American company, incorporated in Delaware, and held accountable for its foreign subsidiary’s actions. Even if the corporation wasn’t directly involved in bribery, it could be found in violation of the law for turning a “blind eye.”

    The legal experts told the AP they would be surprised if the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DoJ have not already opened investigations into the matter and said the decision to shutter News of the World was potentially an attempt to limit Murdoch and NewsCorp’s legal exposure.

    NewsCorp is also the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, which have largely ignored the scandal.

  29. Elaine, I only cite the 2005-2006 time frame because that’s when the first public knowledge of it came to the fore. Your 2002 mark (or even before that) would not at all surprise me. I recall the scandal over the Royal’s phone conversations being intercepted- it was those messages between Charles and Camilla. Ouch. I though at the time that that just can’t be legal, not even in Britain with the laissez faire attitude Britain seemed to have regarding privacy. I was amazed that nothing seemed to come of that. Maybe the chickens have started to come home to roost.

  30. From the BBC:

    “Labour leader Ed Miliband was cheered on by his MPs when in particular he questioned David Cameron’s account of how he came to hire Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, as his head of communications. He said it “beggars belief” that none of Mr Cameron’s officials passed on warnings about Mr Coulson and added: “This issue goes to the heart of the prime minister’s integrity.”

    What about the integrity of the Wall Street Journal and Faux News? Barely a mention there until things have blown up!

  31. Murdoch Goes From Party Darling to Pariah
    By Thomas Penny and Robert Hutton – Jul 11, 2011 7:38 PM ET

    When he returned to the city two days ago, the 80-year-old was jostled by camera crews and faced shouted questions. Asked if David Cameron was likely to speak to Murdoch during this week’s visit, an official in the prime minister’s office struggled to answer over their laughter at the idea.

    Allegations last week that News Corp. staff hacked into the phones of murdered schoolgirls and terror victims and paid police for stories prompted Murdoch to close the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid on which his U.K. media empire was founded. Politicians from all parties have called for his planned purchase of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) to be scrapped and some question whether his company is fit to own a broadcasting license at all.

    “The days of Rupert Murdoch as a man that people will fly halfway around the world to see, whose phone calls get taken, are over,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Sussex University and the author of “The Conservative Party From Thatcher to Cameron.” “All the party leaders have been distancing themselves.”

  32. Murdoch’s Watergate?
    His anything-goes approach has spread through journalism like a contagion. Now it threatens to undermine the influence he so covets.
    by Carl Bernstein
    July 11, 2011

    The hacking scandal currently shaking Rupert Murdoch’s empire will surprise only those who have willfully blinded themselves to that empire’s pernicious influence on journalism in the English-speaking world. Too many of us have winked in amusement at the salaciousness without considering the larger corruption of journalism and politics promulgated by Murdoch Culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The facts of the case are astonishing in their scope. Thousands of private phone messages hacked, presumably by people affiliated with the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper, with the violated parties ranging from Prince William and actor Hugh Grant to murder victims and families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The arrest of Andy Coulson, former press chief to Prime Minister David Cameron, for his role in the scandal during his tenure as the paper’s editor. The arrest (for the second time) of Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royals editor. The shocking July 7 announcement that the paper would cease publication three days later, putting hundreds of employees out of work. Murdoch’s bid to acquire full control of cable-news company BSkyB placed in jeopardy. Allegations of bribery, wiretapping, and other forms of lawbreaking—not to mention the charge that emails were deleted by the millions in order to thwart Scotland Yard’s investigation.

    All of this surrounding a man and a media empire with no serious rivals for political influence in Britain—especially, but not exclusively, among the conservative Tories who currently run the country. Almost every prime minister since the Harold Wilson era of the 1960s and ’70s has paid obeisance to Murdoch and his unmatched power. When Murdoch threw his annual London summer party for the United Kingdom’s political, journalistic, and social elite at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens on June 16, Prime Minister Cameron and his wife, Sam, were there, as were Labour leader Ed Miliband and assorted other cabinet ministers.

  33. Mespo: “Anyone think there’s more going on with Murdoch-Brooks than mentor/mentee?”

    Don’t know. I think her major value is in passing on info. I’d not take any boat rides if I were her.

  34. Trouble For Murdoch: Feds Collecting Billions In Fines, Sending Executives To Jail For Corruption Abroad
    Think Progress
    By Judd Legum on Jul 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Over the last several years, the United States Department of Justice has aggressively prosecuted U.S. companies involved with corrupt activities abroad, collecting billions in fines and sending executives to jail. These legal actions, pursued under the auspices of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, could spell trouble for Rupert Murdoch.

    Among other corrupt practices, The News of The World, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s U.S.-based News Corp, is accused of bribing UK police officers for information on former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

    Here are just a few recent examples of the U.S. Government pursuing similar cases:

    In 2008, Siemens paid over $1.6 billion in disgorgement and fines to settle alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act. The SEC complained alleged that “Between March 12, 2001 and September 30, 2007, Siemens violated the FCPA by engaging in a widespread and systematic practice of paying bribes to foreign government officials to obtain business.” [SEC]
    Former KBR chairman and CEO Albert Stanley was accused of making illicit payments to Nigerian officials to obtain contracts. In 2008, Stanley pled guilty to “conspiracy to violate the FCPA” and other charges. He agreed to face up to seven years in jail and pay $10.8 million in restitution. [Department of Justice]

    Last year, Filmmaker Gerald Green and his wife Patricia were sentenced to six months in prison and fined $250,000 after they were found guilty of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Greens bribed a Thai tourism official to secure a contract with the Bangkok film festival. [ABC News]

    Individuals who have been found to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have been sentenced to as much as 87 months in jail. Roger Witten and Jay Holtmeier, two attorneys that specialize in FCPA cases, note that “recent large settlements have set new standards for the government, and penalties are likely to be higher in the future than for comparable conduct in the past.”

    The U.K. Daily Telegraph reports that News Corp would have to foot the bill for any investigation, even if they are never prosecuted, which could cost more than $100 million. A global investigation into Avon Products, started in 2008 and still ongoing, has so far cost the cosmetics giant $154 million.

  35. Ex-PM Brown alleges Murdoch paper used criminals
    DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press, ROBERT BARR, Associated Press
    Updated 04:14 a.m., Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Tuesday accused Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers of employing criminals to obtain confidential information about his family, his private financial affairs and the lives of ordinary people who were at “rock bottom.”

    Brown’s furious denunciation of the politically powerful News International papers came a day after questions were raised about how The Sun newspaper obtained confidential information in 2006 that Brown’s infant son Fraser had cystic fibrosis.

    In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., Brown said he and his wife Sarah were in tears after being informed by Rebekah Brooks, then the editor of The Sun and now the chief executive of News International, that the paper knew about his son’s illness.

    Brown also accused The Sunday Times of employing criminals to hack into his bank and tax records.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said Brown had highlighted what “looks like yet another example of an appalling invasion of privacy and the hacking of personal data,” and said he was determined that the current investigations would get to the bottom of it.

  36. RPT-COLUMN-It pays to be Murdoch. Just ask US gov’t: DCJohnston
    by David Cay Johnston

    (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch may not garner as much attention for his financial savvy as he does for his journalistic escapades, which last week led to the shuttering of Britain’s oldest tabloid. But that doesn’t make his money management any less impressive.

    Indeed, when it comes to taxes, instead of rendering unto Caesar, Murdoch has Caesar rendering unto him.

    Over the past four years Murdoch’s U.S.-based News Corp. has made money on income taxes. Having earned $10.4 billion in profits, News Corp. would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Instead, it actually collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government.

    The relevant figure is the cash paid tax rate. This is the net amount of corporate income taxes actually paid after refunds. For those four years, it was minus 46 percent, disclosure statements show.

  37. Phone Hacking: Rupert Murdoch Thinking Of Selling News International


    Rupert Murdoch is considering selling off his British newspaper division as a way to extract himself from the hacking scandal and save his company. Meanwhile, the British government fully turned against him and announced an inquiry into the crisis.

    A Wednesday report in Murdoch’s own Wall Street Journal said that the option of selling News International is one of several that parent company News Corporation is exploring. The Financial Times also reported Tuesday night that the idea is being “discussed.” (The idea has been floated in the press for some time.)

    According to the Journal, News Corp has discreetly tested the corporate waters to see if any buyers are interested. So far, nobody has seemed willing to buy the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times. This is not hugely surprising; the newspaper market is on a long-term downslide, and two of the three papers are themselves mired in the hacking scandal.

    Even if Murdoch rids himself of the papers, it might not be enough to save what is surely his biggest desire: the full takeover of BSkyB. All three main parties are expected to vote for a resolution calling on News Corp to drop the bid entirely–a stunning reversal of fortune for the man who has wielded such power in British politics.

  38. Activists Push FBI, SEC to Investigate Murdoch’s NewsCorp

    By Sarah Seltzer | Sourced from AlterNet
    July 13, 2011, 8:17 am

    “For the most part, the scandal growing around Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, the parent of Fox News, has been focused on the company’s illegal and unethical hacking and corruption in Britain, via British tabloids.

    But what if this activity, even taking place across the bond, broke the rules Stateside? A group of activists is pressing federal authorities to do just that.”


  39. mespo,

    Thanks! I always know I’ve relayed good information when it’s greeted with a good Spock montage.

  40. Rupert Murdoch rejects summons to testify to parliament
    USA Today
    Jul 14, 2011

    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has rejected a summons to appear at a parliamentary hearing next week on a growing phone-hacking scandal, but one of his top executives, Rebekah Brooks, will be there.

    Murdoch’s son, James, who is head of News International, the British arm of the media empire, says he is unable to appear before the panel until Aug. 10.

    Meanwhile, a former executive editor of the British tabloid, the News of the World, which is at the center of the scandal ,has been arrested. The BBC says he is the ninth person taken into custody over the scandal.

    As U.S. citizens, the Murdochs cannot be compelled to appear before the parliamentary committee. Brooks is a British subject.

  41. “The Murdoch Empire Could Be Undone”: British Phone-Hacking Scandal May Prompt U.S. Criminal Probe

    July 13, 2011



    ILYSE HOGUE of Media Matters for America: Well, we’re very pleased that Senator Rockefeller came out last night. We think it’s significant, in that Congress has the authority to hold hearings about just what went wrong. And as Kevin is saying, if Congress gets involved, it’s much more likely that the Department of Justice will take this case quite seriously. As your viewers might want to know, the Australians are also calling for an investigation. So this has turned into a global scandal.

    And I think it’s really important for Americans to understand, we cannot wait until the crisis reaches the boiling point that it has in the U.K. It has significant cultural, political and financial costs that we don’t want to bear over here. We have to act preemptively. We have seen this pattern for a very long time. This is the man who owns the network that constantly deceives and distorts news, that has their Washington editor instructing their news anchors to link the president to socialism, when even he admits that that is not true. The suit that Kevin just talked about is in addition to a suit that had already been filed for nepotism at the company. And, you know, the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, was just found two months ago to be using News Corp. investigators to tail a small-town newspaper editor he fired, having nothing to do with News Corp. business at all. Now, you know, folks know that Roger Ailes is known to be paranoid, but the questions is: why did it not raise eyebrows at News Corp. that these resources were being appropriated for Ailes’ personal vanity projects? And I think we have got to ask all these questions.

    It’s critically important that your viewers also understand, as Kevin mentioned the Chamber of Commerce, News Corp. lobbies extensively. They lobbied the SEC—or the FEC to raise the cap on media ownership, which is what allowed Murdoch to get so much power over our information in the United States. And they, just six months ago, gave the Chamber of Commerce $1 million, while the Chamber, as recently as two weeks ago, was lobbying Congress, with a lot of support from Republicans, to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the very law that they could be prosecuted under right now.

    We’ve got to connect the dots. We’ve got to ask the questions. And we cannot let this scandal reach the proportions that it has in the U.K. before we act. We have called for congressional hearings. We’ve been joined by three different groups already, calling for congressional hearings—CREW, CREDO, as well as Public Campaign. I know Center for American Progress is also calling on the DOJ to investigate under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I mean, I think we’re starting to see Americans really engage, ask why this man who has so much power has been given free reign over our media to lie and now potentially actually spy on private American citizens.

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you both for being with us, Ilyse Hogue, Media Matters for America, and Kevin Zeese, lawyer and spokesperson for ProtectOurElections.org.

  42. i wish they would stop using the weasel term “phone hacking” and call it what it is: WIRETAPPING.

    Anyone miss that? All together now:


    As in a major Federal felony. A felony that will draw a prison sentence.

  43. OS:

    it’s very weird wiretapping. Apparently they prey upon folks who haven’t changed the voice mail password that is preset in your phone system upon manufacture. The hacker retrieves your voice mails using the default password and then uses the information gleaned..

  44. mespo, I agree that is probably the technique used, which is a hacker method, but legally it is wiretapping. No different if I hooked a splice wire and remote transmitter to your phone. Since I first saw this referred to as “hacking” my reaction was that it would get a lot more PR traction with the general public if it were called what it really is: “wiretapping.”

    Hacking sounds like an esoteric computer term to the general non-tech public, and does not convey the sinister truth in a term they can understand.

  45. OS:

    No criticism of your term intended. I was actually trying to figure out exactly what it would be considered since the interception isn’t in real time but of a delayed message.

  46. mespo, I knew you were not being critical. Do you know if there are specific statutes that partial out hacking from wiretapping? Unless the law addresses hacking, per se, I think the wiretap laws are fully adequate. The fact the voice or digital message is delayed should, IMHO, have no bearing. Do you know different from a legal perspective?

  47. OS,

    In general, the issue is interception of communications made by wire or radio.

    47 USC § 605 provides in part:

    § 605. Unauthorized publication or use of communications

    (a) Practices prohibited
    Except as authorized by chapter 119, title 18, no person receiving, assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting, any interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning thereof, except through authorized channels of transmission or reception,
    (1) to any person other than the addressee, his agent, or attorney,
    (2) to a person employed or authorized to forward such communication to its destination,
    (3) to proper accounting or distributing officers of the various communicating centers over which the communication may be passed,
    (4) to the master of a ship under whom he is serving,
    (5) in response to a subpena issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, or
    (6) on demand of other lawful authority. No person not being authorized by the sender shall intercept any radio communication and divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such intercepted communication to any person. No person not being entitled thereto shall receive or assist in receiving any interstate or foreign communication by radio and use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. No person having received any intercepted radio communication or having become acquainted with the contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) knowing that such communication was intercepted, shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) or use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. This section shall not apply to the receiving, divulging, publishing, or utilizing the contents of any radio communication which is transmitted by any station for the use of the general public, which relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress, or which is transmitted by an amateur radio station operator or by a citizens band radio operator.
    (b) Exceptions
    The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the interception or receipt by any individual, or the assisting (including the manufacture or sale) of such interception or receipt, of any satellite cable programming for private viewing if—
    (1) the programming involved is not encrypted; and
    (A) a marketing system is not established under which—
    (i) an agent or agents have been lawfully designated for the purpose of authorizing private viewing by individuals, and
    (ii) such authorization is available to the individual involved from the appropriate agent or agents; or
    (B) a marketing system described in subparagraph (A) is established and the individuals receiving such programming has obtained authorization for private viewing under that system.
    (c) Scrambling of Public Broadcasting Service programming
    No person shall encrypt or continue to encrypt satellite delivered programs included in the National Program Service of the Public Broadcasting Service and intended for public viewing by retransmission by television broadcast stations; except that as long as at least one unencrypted satellite transmission of any program subject to this subsection is provided, this subsection shall not prohibit additional encrypted satellite transmissions of the same program.
    (d) Definitions
    For purposes of this section—
    (1) the term “satellite cable programming” means video programming which is transmitted via satellite and which is primarily intended for the direct receipt by cable operators for their retransmission to cable subscribers;
    (2) the term “agent”, with respect to any person, includes an employee of such person;
    (3) the term “encrypt”, when used with respect to satellite cable programming, means to transmit such programming in a form whereby the aural and visual characteristics (or both) are modified or altered for the purpose of preventing the unauthorized receipt of such programming by persons without authorized equipment which is designed to eliminate the effects of such modification or alteration;
    (4) the term “private viewing” means the viewing for private use in an individual’s dwelling unit by means of equipment, owned or operated by such individual, capable of receiving satellite cable programming directly from a satellite;
    (5) the term “private financial gain” shall not include the gain resulting to any individual for the private use in such individual’s dwelling unit of any programming for which the individual has not obtained authorization for that use; and
    (6) the term “any person aggrieved” shall include any person with proprietary rights in the intercepted communication by wire or radio, including wholesale or retail distributors of satellite cable programming, and, in the case of a violation of paragraph (4) of subsection (e) of this section, shall also include any person engaged in the lawful manufacture, distribution, or sale of equipment necessary to authorize or receive satellite cable programming.
    (e) Penalties; civil actions; remedies; attorney’s fees and costs; computation of damages; regulation by State and local authorities
    (1) Any person who willfully violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.
    (2) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section willfully and for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both, for the first such conviction and shall be fined not more than $100,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, for any subsequent conviction.
    (A) Any person aggrieved by any violation of subsection (a) of this section or paragraph (4) of this subsection may bring a civil action in a United States district court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction.
    (B) The court—
    (i) may grant temporary and final injunctions on such terms as it may deem reasonable to prevent or restrain violations of subsection (a) of this section;
    (ii) may award damages as described in subparagraph (C); and
    (iii) shall direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable attorneys’ fees to an aggrieved party who prevails.
    (i) Damages awarded by any court under this section shall be computed, at the election of the aggrieved party, in accordance with either of the following subclauses;
    (I) the party aggrieved may recover the actual damages suffered by him as a result of the violation and any profits of the violator that are attributable to the violation which are not taken into account in computing the actual damages; in determining the violator’s profits, the party aggrieved shall be required to prove only the violator’s gross revenue, and the violator shall be required to prove his deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the violation; or
    (II) the party aggrieved may recover an award of statutory damages for each violation of subsection (a) of this section involved in the action in a sum of not less than $1,000 or more than $10,000, as the court considers just, and for each violation of paragraph (4) of this subsection involved in the action an aggrieved party may recover statutory damages in a sum not less than $10,000, or more than $100,000, as the court considers just.
    (ii) In any case in which the court finds that the violation was committed willfully and for purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage or private financial gain, the court in its discretion may increase the award of damages, whether actual or statutory, by an amount of not more than $100,000 for each violation of subsection (a) of this section.
    (iii) In any case where the court finds that the violator was not aware and had no reason to believe that his acts constituted a violation of this section, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of damages to a sum of not less than $250.
    (4) Any person who manufactures, assembles, modifies, imports, exports, sells, or distributes any electronic, mechanical, or other device or equipment, knowing or having reason to know that the device or equipment is primarily of assistance in the unauthorized decryption of satellite cable programming, or direct-to-home satellite services, or is intended for any other activity prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, shall be fined not more than $500,000 for each violation, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years for each violation, or both. For purposes of all penalties and remedies established for violations of this paragraph, the prohibited activity established herein as it applies to each such device shall be deemed a separate violation.
    (5) The penalties under this subsection shall be in addition to those prescribed under any other provision of this subchapter.
    (6) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any State, or political subdivision thereof, from enacting or enforcing any laws with respect to the importation, sale, manufacture, or distribution of equipment by any person with the intent of its use to assist in the interception or receipt of radio communications prohibited by subsection (a) of this section.
    (f) Rights, obligations, and liabilities under other laws unaffected
    Nothing in this section shall affect any right, obligation, or liability under title 17, any rule, regulation, or order thereunder, or any other applicable Federal, State, or local law.


  48. This is purely my opinion, but I believe the story, which has been quietly a well known secret for years with almost all papers, including the Guardian, which broke this, hacking at some time or another, is now such a major storm. The BBC’s virtual monopoly of British broadcasting is being threatened by Murdoch’s expansion of his control of Sky, the satellite broadcaster, so they are pushing this story hard.

    Last night (Thurs) the BBC news was almost entirely devoted to the hacking story story; followed by Question Time where all the questions selected by the BBC except for 1 in the last 3 minutes were the same; followed by Andrew Neil on the same. 2 1/2 hours on this story and virtually none on the rest of the world’s news That would be justified if we were seeing a breaking news story like 9/11, but for nothing less.

    Broadcasting in Britain is essentially a monopoly of the BBC and people they approve of. This monopoly is legally committed to “balance,” but is in fact the propaganda arm of the British state (along with the Guardian, which survives on government advertising). Murdoch’s attempt to buy all of Sky would weaken that monopoly slightly.

    I do not consider it a coincidence that this scandal, which journalists of all newspapers have been guilty of for years, has suddenly broken on Murdoch’s head alone.”


    I guess this is the wrong kind of free-speech for lefties to get behind.

  49. mespo,

    was the poster before you really serious….lefties? What does that term have to do with morals, ethics, legalities and responsible journalism…..I suppose…Deep Throat was a lefty as well…..

    The only true lefty I know of is Poncho’s side kick….But the Federalies said they could have him any day….

  50. The term has to do with the fact that you will ignore “morals, ethics, legalities and responsible journalism” and pricnciples if theer are political points to score against your political opponents.

    In this case we have reprehensible behavior that was apparently practiced by all journalists. One news organiztion was called out for it, by the government controlled news organizations. That one news organization also happens to be the only non-government controlled/financed organization. Coincidence? So, there are lots of bad guys in this story and you and your fellow travelers are siding with the bad guys who also engaged in similar behavior and who are also against free speech. You should be proud.

  51. Eric Holder confirms that the DOJ is investigating News Corp.



    “In this case we have reprehensible behavior that was apparently practiced by all journalists.”

    Do you have proof of this allegation? Or are you merely trying to defuse the blame for News Corp.’s bad actions?

    “One news organiztion was called out for it, by the government controlled news organizations.”

    That’s simply not true. The Guardian’s reporter Nick Davies broke this story. The Guardian is not owned by the government and the BBC Trust. It is owned by the Scott Trust (founded by the Manchester Guardian’s original owner, John Scott, in 1936) which owns the Guardian Media Group including the newspaper. So contrary to your unfounded allegations of government involvement in exposing the problem, it was a privately held independent newspaper that broke this story. It wasn’t the government who broke the News of the World scandal. It was the independent competition.


    You are siding with the (alleged) criminals at News Corp. by trying to minimize their bad actions by claiming “Johnny did it too!” without any evidence against Johnny and mischaracterization of the facts around the discovery and exposure of the scandal to portray a government conspiracy against free speech when it was in fact the exercise of independent free speech that brought the bad actions of News Corp. to light. Pride? To paraphrase Madge, “You’re choking in it.”

  52. AY:

    “The only true lefty I know of is Poncho’s side kick”


    Great call there:

    Gene H:

    I see the lie mill has begun turning again. Thanks for pointing that out.

  53. “You are siding with the (alleged) criminals at News Corp. by trying to minimize their bad actions by claiming ‘Johnny did it too!'” (Gene H. to kderosa)

    That was Nixon’s answer to Watergate … maybe kderosa is a Nixonite.

  54. @GeneH, according to the source, the Guardian survives on government advertising so they are obviously not a neutral player with that type of pressure to account for and this type of “hacking” was commonplace.

    I’m not trying to excuse the behavior at all. All I said was that clearly there are ulterior motives behind the prosecution, one of those motives is to stifle free speech of the only non-government influenced or owned news agency. The situation is analogous to defending neo-nazi groups that are being censored because even they have free speech rights and it is more important to protect free speech than it is to censor speech you don’t agree with.

  55. According to what source, kderosa?

    The Guardian is actually far less dependent upon advertising revenues irregardless of sources of said advertising revenue because they are owned by a trust that financially backs their independent operation unlike some newspapers that are solely dependent upon advertising revenues.

    From the Guardian News and Media Limited’s Directors Report and Financial Statements for the Period Ended 28 March 2010, p. 4:

    “The Company’s intermediate parent, Guardian Media Group plc, is owned 100% by The Scott Trust Limited whose core purpose is to secure the financial and editorial independence of the The Guardian in perpetuity. The directors believe that the company has adequate resources to continue operations for the foreseeable future and confirmation has been received from Guardian Media Group plc that it will provide financing facilities to enable the Company to carry on its business as a going concern.”


    So unless you can cite your source and your source contradicts that the Guardian has an independent financing source guaranteeing its operation independent of governmental ad revenues, you’re just making things up again. Also, your disingenuous attempts to portray this as a free speech issue is tiresome and inaccurate. It’s an issue about corporate criminal behavior and their culpability, not free speech. News Corp. is free to say what they like (absent libel or slander) but if they got their information via criminal means, they are . . . criminals. The investigations being launched against News Corp. by the British and now American governments are criminal investigations, not censorship actions.

  56. “That was Nixon’s answer to Watergate … maybe kderosa is a Nixonite.”


    Nixon was far more liberal and honest.

  57. Mike Spindell said on Rage Against The Machine
    1, July 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm
    In response to jonathanturley on 1, July 10, 2011 at 9:52 am:

    “That was Nixon’s answer to Watergate … maybe kderosa is a Nixonite.”


    Nixon was far more liberal and honest.

    I think for the most part you are correct….but I still recall Nixon standing in front of the camera shaking his head and saying something like this “I am not a crook” then awhile later he resigned…

    But hey….I worked on the Nixon campaign for the single issue that he was going to end the Vietnam Conflict…..I was too young to know about all of the other stuff going on and we did not have as “Liberal” of a press at the time…there were just somethings not talked about….The Speaker of the Houses Press Secretary was a good friend of the family….and I remember lots of story’s.. that is the one reason I worked on his campaigns, the I reformed and rebelled and went to the other side…..

  58. “Nixon was far more liberal and honest.”


    I remember Nixon well, he certainly was a crook and a proven liar. I just said he was far more honest than “it”.

  59. @GeneH, that report shows the Guardian being nearly bankrupt and bleeding money since their advertising revenue doesn’t cover their expenses. So, yeah, they are highly dependent on their advertising revenue, which the source I cited, claims to come primarily from the government.

  60. Except you cited no valid source, kderosa. Just a blog entry talking about the BBC that links to an article in the Belfast Telegraph about pre-scandal anti-trust concerns the EU already had about the BSkyB deal. Not only is the blog post opinion on the article and not the article proper, it says nothing about sources of ad revenues. It is quite clear though from the BT article that it was the BBC and Channel 4 that were raising the anti-trust issues back in December of 2010. The BBC is not the Guardian. This is not 2010.

    You apparently have no concept of how trusts works either. The Guardian could operate sans ad revenue as long as the trust can fund their operations. Also, I think your idea of “bleeding money” is just as unrealistic as the definitions you so like to make up for words. A £46,748 ($75, 362) loss after taxes on an operation the size of the Guardian is quite easily manageable by a trust the size of The Scott Trust. The trust’s interest income alone can cover loses like that (as the report indicated) and can for the foreseeable future. All the trust has to cover for their operational shortfall is the equivalent of one associate editor’s salary.

    This is still a story about corporate criminal activity no matter how you try to mischaracterize it as free speech or anti-trust or government conspiracy.

    Cite a source that says the Guardian’s ad revenues are 1) primarily governmental and 2) that the newspaper is dependent upon them.

    The bottom line is you are simply lying, both directly and through material misrepresentation of the facts, to try to make News Corp. look like the victim here when they are in fact the alleged criminals. If you’re so sure of their innocence, then you shouldn’t mind an investigation and a trial, now should you?

  61. OS,

    That was some fine groveling by Les Hinton. The only thing left out of his letter to Rupert was the implied “please don’t have me killed in my sleep” line or perhaps the “mercy on your faithful servant” line. I love the smell of fleeing rats. It smells just like burning ship.

  62. Mike and AY,

    I despised Nixon but the two Bush presidents make him look a tad less awful. I firmly believe that history will show Bush I to be a machiavellian monster in the worst sense of the word.

  63. Blouise,

    Yes, but somebody has to do it lest misrepresentations and lies are left unburned and undried by the sunlight of truth. Lies are a fungal rot on the crops of the collective unconscious. They can only do their damage in the moist darkness of deception. I merely turn the cut grain. As BiL was fond of saying, “one lives to be of service”.😉

  64. Blouise,

    “I firmly believe that history will show Bush I to be a machiavellian monster in the worst sense of the word.”

    Was George W. really president? Who knew? I thought Darth Dick, the fearless quail hunter, was truly the man in charge…the one who was pulling all the strings.

  65. Now Elaine….The Real Puppet Masters son, aka Son of Flubber…..W’s Dick….was veep……The Dick you are referring to was only in his cabinet…..but then again….he could have had syphilis and still suffered the drip….

  66. @GeneH, you do realize that the report is in thousands of pounds, don’t you? So the Guardian is short by 1000 associate editors or 47 million pounds. That changes your argument from being merely dopey to ridiculous. Why don’t you try again.

  67. Agree with Elaine. Bush was the front for Cheney. By the end of Bush’s presidency, they were no longer friends.

  68. Elaine & SwM,

    President George H. W. Bush nominated Cheney for the office of Secretary of Defense immediately after the U.S. Senate failed to confirm John Tower for that position. The senate confirmed Cheney by a vote of 92 to 0 and he served in that office from March 1989 to January 1993. He directed the United States invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush.

    Cheney persuaded the Saudi Arabian aristocracy to allow bases for US ground troops and war planes in the nation. This was an important element of the success of the Gulf War, as well as a lightning-rod for Islamists who opposed having non-Muslim armies near their holy sites. (Bush I and Cheney gave us all to Osama Bin Laden because Bush I’s CIA was deaf, dumb, and blind to the blow-back that would inevitably result from those bases.)

    I contend that for the eight years of Bush II’s presidency, Cheney was Bush I’s guy making certain that Bush II followed daddy’s dictates. Had Bush I won a second term then Dan Quayle would have run in 2000 and Cheney would have been his vice-president and little Georgie could have continued his partying uninterrupted. But Bush I’s team, headed by Jim Baker, badly underestimated their position and his big plans were thwarted. Baker made certain not to commit the same mistake in 2000 and headed the legal team that prevailed in the Florida recount.

    Bush I and his CIA had a 24 year plan to make the United States of America king of the world but Clinton messed it up for ’em. Thanks to 9/11, they got back on track quickly. Bush I was a benign, caretaker president like I’m the man in the moon.

    That’s my story … I can’t prove a word of it.

  69. Bush was definitely the front for Cheney, but G.H.W. Bush was Cheney’s boss. Blouise is right Bush 1 is definitely a bad man. He learned at the knee of his Dad Sen. Prescott Bush, who not only tried to organize a coup to replace FDR, but also ran a bank that funded the NAZI’s.

  70. kderosa,

    My bad and that’s what I get for multitasking, but so what? It’s a harmless error that in no way impacts the argument proper – namely that the Guardian is a privately owned, trust secured operation and as such are going to naturally less susceptible to the kinds of pressure that you allege with no proof. Newspapers everywhere are losing money as paper print media is a dying concern in general due to technological changes. It’s a sign of the times. The Guardian is fortunate to have a trust backing it. That I misplaced a decimal point does not change the rest of the argument or that your “evidence” is some other blogger’s opinion offered without substantiating proof. I offered plenty of proof of the Guardian’s independence and what makes it so in the form of their own records and ownership. You might as well have been citing Emeril Lagasse.

    Either you have proof that the Guardian is acting out of coercion by the British government applied in the form of threatening ad revenues in furtherance of some conspiracy against News Corp. or you don’t. Seeing that your idea of proof is a blogger who himself offers no proof, what you’ve got is unsubstantiated opinion. You’ve got a lot of that.

    Also, I do not take your assessments of the intelligence of others seriously any more than I take your conspiratorial defense of News Corp. seriously.

    It’s a criminal investigation instigated by an independent news organization’s report.

    Nothing more and nothing less.

  71. The 24 year plan started the day Bush assumed his vice-presidential duties under that aging, pre-Alzheimer’s, “tear down this wall”, Reagan.

  72. @GeneH, so it’s now clear that the Guardian is very dependent on it’s revenue from the British government. Now Google — Guardian advertising Guardian UK — and have fun with all the links. What happened may have been criminal, but it was also apparently commonplace over in the UK. Doesn’t make it right, but it does suggest selective prosecution which was my only point.

  73. kderosa,

    The only thing that is clear is that you don’t bother to read what you Google and when you do, you apparently misunderstand it. That search returns plenty of sites on how to advertise on the Guardian. The only link that was mildly pertinent to your gibberish was from Wired which details the troubles – common in all newspapers – as the Guardian tries to migrate from paper to digital publication including a workable ad schema that would preclude them needing to put up a paywall. Nowhere is there a link showing what you claim – that the government is the majority ad purchaser for the Guardian.

    I take your suggestions as seriously as I take anything you say, which is to say, not at all. If you have an issue with selective prosecution, take it up with the CPS when the investigation is concluded.

  74. @GeneH, you’re still being stupid. The links are loaded with article, many in the Guardian itself, how the UK government spends millions of dollars on advertising campaigns spread around the media outlets. Also, you got my claim wrong. Nice try though.

  75. Why Don’t we start our very own Bastille Day……

    Viva La France!

    On July 14, 1789, angry French citizens stormed Paris’ Bastille prison and fortress — then an enduring symbol of royal oppression. The defiant siege marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the country’s eventual transition from a monarchy to a republic. More than 200 years later, the people of France continue to commemorate the seminal event on July 14 with military parades, air shows and more. Go inside for a peek at the 2011 festivities. Above: Jets fly above the famous Arc de Triomphe.



  76. I just read this and I like it:

    “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

  77. Then you provide the specific links, kderosa.

    Your claim being wrong?

    “This monopoly is legally committed to ‘balance,’ but is in fact the propaganda arm of the British state (along with the Guardian, which survives on government advertising).”

    A claim which you copied from your linked source on Jerry Pournelle’s blog. Let’s examine this premise:

    Survival means the continuation of life or existence.

    As long as the Scott Trust can fund the operations of the paper, the survival of the paper is not contingent upon ad revenues but rather the capacity of the Trust to pay for their operations.

    Let’s set aside the Trust issue and assume that the paper’s survival is premised on sufficient ad revenues to cover their expenses.

    To survive as a business, the Guardian’s operations must be paid by advertising revenues.

    If the Guardian’s survival is contingent upon government advertising revenues paying for their operating expenses, then the British government would be the majority ad purchaser for the Guardian if their survival was contingent upon government purchased ads.

    Either you have proof of this claim or you don’t.

    Any proof you may have is countered and/or offset by the existence of the Scott Trust.

    Your claim was accurately represented as you repeated it.

    The real issue here isn’t the Guardian. It’s your being upset over News Corp. being investigated for criminal activity. Once again, if you think this is selective prosecution, then take it up with the CPS.

    If you are so certain of News Corp.’s innocence, then you should not be concerned with an investigation and trial. If your defense of News Corp. is premised on “Johnny did it too”, Rupert should be very glad you aren’t on his defense team because the potential or actual illegal actions of others is not a good defense and with some vary narrow exceptions such as self-defense or the defense of others from immanent harm, it is not a valid defense either.

    I submit what bothers you most about the Guardian is that unlike so many media outlets, they have a lesser dependence on both governmental and corporate ads precisely because they are backed by a trust. This makes them one of the last remaining independent voices in the media landscape. It is that very independence that forced the hands of the British politicians in light of the public outrage it generated. If the BBC had reported the story, the Home Office could have simply called up and had the story retracted or modified. However, since they had no such control over the Guardian there was no way to close the barn door once the horse escaped. Concurrently, since the British government does have so much control over the BBC, had they been purposefully orchestrating some kind of vendetta against News Corp. or Murdoch, it would have been much easier to tell the BBC to break the story than try to strong arm a private paper under no duty to follow their orders as part of the free press.

    If you want to argue about the barn door some more? Bring your proof of government coercion over the Guardian or go elsewhere. The issue here is the horse, plain and simple.

    That horse is the potential criminal acts of News Corp. employees and this upsets you is besides the point.

    Spoon? There is no spoon. It, like your proof of your claim, isn’t really there.

  78. Here’s an interesting passage from the editorial page of the Boston Phoenix entitled Rupert Murdoch’s Watergate: Defining deviancy:

    Murdoch is a tycoon of darkness. Aside from his handful of quality publications — the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Australian — his News Corporation specializes in smears, sensationalism, and mendacity.

    Murdoch’s enterprise, the totality of his career, has been spent “defining deviancy down.” That was a phrase used by the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in arguing that increases in deviant behavior redefine social norms in ways that make what was once unacceptable merely commonplace.

    In Massachusetts, we get a daily dose of this phenomenon in the Boston Herald, which hasn’t been owned by Murdoch for years, but still traffics in the salacious and news shorn of meaningful context.

    Those traits, for the most part, also characterize Murdoch’s Fox News, the brainchild of (surprise) a former Nixonian, Roger Ailes. Nationally, Fox News sponsors the organized ignorance of the Tea Party, the bingo-hall-style politics of Sarah Palin, and the distortions, half-truths, and outright lies of Republicans such as Eric Cantor.Nowhere, however, is deviancy more apparent than in Murdoch’s British tabloids: the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World, the remnants of which are expected to be folded into the Sun in the coming weeks and months.

    What is paradoxical, in the United States as well as in Great Britain, is that Murdoch’s operations are, for the most part, down-market, aimed at the lower rungs of wage earners, while the political positions espoused by his papers tend toward economic royalism, favoring big business and big corporations.

    Murdoch styles himself a small “R” republican, which in Britain means an enemy of inherited privilege who is also unenthusiastic about — if not outright hostile to — the monarchy.

    This is, of course, a charade. Murdoch is a billionaire oligarch whose publically stated aim is to pass control and management of his News Corporation media empire on to his children, especially his son, James, who runs the group’s UK and Asian operations. Murdoch is opposed to privilege, as long as it does not interfere with his own. Queen Elizabeth is a bit of a piker when compared with the Australian-born Murdoch.

  79. SWM,

    When “WE” Leaving…..Sunday the posted temp at present it to be 107….if the beat keeps going it will be about 110….as the actual had exceeded the projected lately….

  80. Can’t take the Texas heat. This is the worst year I remember. I have three weeks until I go to Colorado. I have my miles for Paris but have been thinking about going to Ireland instead. I have located the family pub in County Kerry.

  81. The Journal Becomes Fox-ified
    Published: July 15, 2011

    It’s official. The Wall Street Journal has been Fox-ified.

    It took Rupert Murdoch only three and a half years to get there, starting with the moment he acquired the paper from the dysfunctional Bancroft family in December 2007, a purchase that was completed after he vowed to protect The Journal’s editorial integrity and agreed to a (toothless) board that was supposed to make sure he kept that promise.

    Fat chance of that. Within five months, Murdoch had fired the editor and installed his close friend Robert Thomson, fresh from a stint Fox-ifying The Times of London. The new publisher was Leslie Hinton, former boss of the division that published Murdoch’s British newspapers, including The News of the World. (He resigned on Friday.) Soon came the changes, swift and sure: shorter articles, less depth, an increased emphasis on politics and, weirdly, sometimes surprisingly unsophisticated coverage of business.

    Along with the transformation of a great paper into a mediocre one came a change that was both more subtle and more insidious. The political articles grew more and more slanted toward the Republican party line. The Journal sometimes took to using the word “Democrat” as an adjective instead of a noun, a usage favored by the right wing. In her book, “War at The Wall Street Journal,” Sarah Ellison recounts how editors inserted the phrase “the Obama assault on business” in an article about corporate taxes. The Journal was turned into a propaganda vehicle for its owner’s conservative views. That’s half the definition of Fox-ification.

    The other half is that Murdoch’s media outlets must shill for his business interests. With the News of the World scandal, The Journal has now shown itself willing to do that, too.

    As a business story, the News of the World scandal isn’t just about phone hacking and police bribery. It is about Murdoch’s media empire, the News Corporation, being at risk — along with his family’s once unshakable hold on it. The old Wall Street Journal would have been leading the pack in pursuit of that story.

    Now? At first, The Journal ignored the scandal, even though, as the Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff pointed out in Adweek, it was front-page news all across Britain. Then, when the scandal was no longer avoidable, The Journal did just enough to avoid being accused of looking the other way. Blogging for Columbia Journalism Review, Dean Starkman, the media critic, described The Journal’s coverage as “obviously hamstrung, and far, far below the paper’s true capacity.”

    On Friday, however, the coverage went all the way to craven. The paper published an interview with Murdoch that might as well have been dictated by the News Corporation public relations department. He was going to testify before Parliament next week, he told the Journal reporter, because “it’s important to absolutely establish our integrity.” Some of the accusations made in Parliament were “total lies.” The News Corporation had handled the scandal “extremely well in every way possible.” So had his son James, a top company executive. “When I hear something going wrong, I insist on it being put right,” he said. He was “getting annoyed” by the scandal. And “tired.” And so on.

  82. Revealed: David Cameron’s 26 meetings in 15 months with Rupert Murdoch’s News International chiefs
    By Oliver Wright and Nigel Morris
    Belfast Telegraph
    Saturday, 16 July 2011

    The scale of private links between David Cameron and News International was exposed for the first time last night, with the Prime Minister shown to have met Rupert Murdoch’s executives on no fewer than 26 occasions in just over a year since he entered Downing Street.

    Rebekah Brooks, who was forced to resign yesterday as chief executive of Mr Murdoch’s Wapping titles over the escalating phone-hacking scandal, is the only person Mr Cameron has invited twice to Chequers, a privilege not extended even to the most senior members of his Cabinet.

    James Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman in Europe and the man responsible for pushing through the BSkyB bid, was a guest at the Prime Minister’s official country residence eight months ago. And the former NOTW editor Andy Coulson – who was arrested this week on suspicion of bribing police officers and of phone hacking – was invited by Mr Cameron to spend a private weekend at Chequers as recently as March.

  83. Thanks, Elaine. Here’s more news:

    “Rupert Murdoch has taken out full-page advertisements in several newspapers on Saturday, using the space to say: “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred.”

    The printed apology expresses regret for not acting faster “to sort things out”.

    “I realise that simply apologising is not enough. Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.”


  84. “Free and open press” indeed. Look for open and honest reporting about the scandal on Fox News Channel.


  85. Rebekah Brooks has been arrested. The Guardian has the story. This clip is from The Guardian, but other news outlets are picking up the story as well:

    Rebekah Brooks has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World and allegations that police officers were bribed to leak sensitive information The Metropolitan police said a 43-year-old woman was arrested at noon on Sunday…


    The BBC is now running the story:


  86. CNN Ignores Piers Morgan’s Connection To News Corp. Scandal
    By Alex Seitz-Wald on Jul 17, 2011
    Think Progress

    The ongoing News Corp. hacking scandal has given competitors a likely long-sought chance to tear into Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, with CNN leading the way. According to a Media Matters report, CNN reported on the scandal 107 times over the same period of time MSNBC and Fox News reported on it 71 and 30 times, respectively. But while the Time Warner news network may smell blood, some may be emanating from their own studios.

    Piers Morgan, the British journalist and talk show host who took over for CNN’s venerable Larry King earlier this year, is a former editor of the now-defunct News of the World, the tabloid at the center of the hacking scandal. Moreover, Morgan has been implicated in a separate celebrity phone hacking scandal while he was editor of the U.K’s Daily Mirror.

    But so far, CNN has failed to report any of this. A ThinkProgress search covering the last 30 days of several media monitoring services and CNN’s own website, show the network has not so much as mentioned Morgan’s connection to the failed News Corp. tabloid, nor the separate Mirror allegation.

    A CNN spokesperson confirmed the lack of coverage to Ad Week last week, “saying that the network hasn’t covered the matter because Morgan has not been officially called to testify in England.”

    Morgan himself did address the issue on Monday, telling a CBS talk show that neither he nor his former publication have broken any laws.

    The allegations are especially troubling given this passage from Morgan’s 2005 book, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade:

    Apparently if you don’t change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and, if you don’t answer, tap in the standard four digit code to hear all your messages. I’ll change mine just in case, but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick.

    As Ad Week notes, “Morgan has been sounding a fairly sympathetic note about Murdoch.” In the CBS interview, he said, “I’m not going to join the Murdoch bashing. I’ve always been a big admirer of his. He gave me my first break in journalism. He made me editor of [News of the World] when I was 28 years old.”

  87. TPMMuckraker
    Scotland Yard Chief Resigns Amid Phone Hacking Scandal
    Jillian Rayfield | July 17, 2011

    London’a police commissioner resigned his post on Sunday, just a few hours after a former executive for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was arrested in connection with the News Of The World phone hacking scandal.

    Sir Paul Stephenson, chief of the Metropolitan Police Force, also known as Scotland Yard, announced his resignation in a press conference and explained that the media coverage of the scandal “not only provide[s] excessive distraction both for myself and colleagues, but [is] likely to continue for some time.”

    Stephenson and the police services have been in the spotlight in the wake of allegations that officers accepted bribes from reporters for Murdoch’s News Of The World tabloid — reporters who have been accused of hacking into the phone records of murder and terrorism victims, celebrities, and public officials. Scotland Yard has also been criticized for botching the initial investigation into News Of The World phone hacking in 2006. Two people were convicted then, but recent revelations suggest the scandal was far more sprawling then the initial investigation found.

  88. Police: Phone-hacking whistleblower found dead
    By CASSANDRA VINOGRAD – Associated Press,JILL LAWLESS – Associated Press | AP

    LONDON (AP) — Police say Sean Hoare, the whistleblower reporter who alleged widespread hacking at the News of the World, has been found dead.

    Police said Hoare’s death at his home in England was not considered to be suspicious, according to Britain’s Press Association news agency.

    Hoare was quoted by The New York Times as saying that phone-hacking was widely used and even encouraged at the News of the World tabloid under then-editor Andy Coulson.

    Coulson — who most recently served as Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief, was arrested as part of the widening investigation into phone hacking and police corruption.

  89. NoW whistle-blower Sean Hoare found dead in Watford
    A former News of the World journalist who made phone-hacking allegations against the paper has been found dead
    BBC, 7/18/2011

    Sean Hoare had told the New York Times the practice was far more extensive than the paper acknowledged when police first investigated hacking claims.

    Hertfordshire Police said the body of a man was found at a property in Langley Road, Watford, on Monday morning.

    A police spokesman said the death was currently being treated as unexplained, but was not thought to be suspicious.

    The spokesman said: “At 10.40am today [Monday] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street.

    “Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

    “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

    Mr Hoare had told the BBC’s Panorama that phone hacking was “endemic” at the News of the World (NoW).

    He also said the then NoW editor Andy Coulson had asked him to hack phones – something Mr Coulson has denied.

  90. Rupert Murdoch: I do not accept responsibility for wrongdoing at News of the World
    The Telegraph

    He told a committee of MPs investigating phone hacking: “I do not accept ultimate responsibility. I hold responsible the people that I trusted to run it and they people they trusted.

    He earlier said he was appalled when he heard that reporters had hacked into the voicemails of missing teenager Milly Dowler.

    A contrite Mr Murdoch today appeared before MPs and declared: “This is the most humble day of my life”.

  91. NYC Schools Approve $2.7 Million Deal with Murdoch-Linked Firm to Track Student Performance
    Democracy Now
    July 19, 2011

    The New York City-based group Class Size Matters has just launched a petition calling on New York officials to reject a no-bid contract that would give the company Wireless Generation, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, access to the personal data of schoolchildren. The deal was awarded shortly after the former head of New York City schools, Joel Klein, joined News Corp.’s board. Klein attended the British parliamentary hearing with Murdoch on the phone-hacking scandal today in London. We speak to Leonie Haimson, a New York public school parent and executive director of Class Size Matters.

  92. Elaine,

    As I said elsewhere today anyone who thinks Bloomberg is a better Mayor than Giuliani is fooling themselves and Giuliani was as corrupt a Mayor as you get.

  93. mespo,

    Thanks! My daughter LOVED the Three Stooges when she was little. I used to love to hear her giggling when she watched their shows on television.

  94. A dead whistleblower and now a bag of tossed electronics Ms. Brook’s husband says is his, not hers. Curiouser and curiouser:

    “Police examine bag found in bin near Rebekah Brooks’ home”

    “Former NI chief executive’s husband denies bag – containing computer, paperwork and phone – belonged to his wife

    Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International.

    The Guardian has learned that a bag containing the items was found in an underground car park in the Design Centre at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour development on Monday afternoon.

    The car park, under a shopping centre, is yards from the gated apartment block where Brooks lives with her husband, a former racehorse trainer and close friend of David Cameron.

    It is understood the bag was handed in to security at around 3pm, and that shortly afterwards Brooks’s husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it. …”


  95. Mespo,
    Great Stooges link. They are a personal favorite of mine!
    Great link to the “curious” coincidences in the Murdoch Evil Empires last stand.

  96. Making money online and being able to stay at home with my kids is wonderful! Here is a list of all the different writing sites out there that I signed up with..check it out.

  97. http://rt.com/usa/news/hacking-scandal-murdoch-corp-906/

    Murdoch hacking scandal moves to US

    Published: 12 April, 2012, 19:40

    Article, as published on RT:

    The international hacking scandal that disrupted Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and ended his trademark paper The News of the World is officially coming to America. A prominent British lawyer has confirmed he will be filing related charges in the US.

    Attorney Mark Lewis has revealed that he will seek legal action on behalf of three American clients that he believes were targeted in the hacking scandal that almost collapsed Murdoch’s News Corporation last year. The lawyer is slated to arrive in the US on Saturday and the UK’s Guardian has confirmed that he will begin talking to parties in New York next week as he works to bring charges against Murdoch’s group domestically.

    Lewis has gone on the record to say that no charges have been filed yet, but he intends on taking that route in the near future after seeking aid from Norman Siegel, a US-based attorney that will work alongside him as they work to develop a case. Siegel formerly served as head of the American Civil Liberties Union and represented many of the families of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    To the BBC, Lewis claims he will be pursuing legal action on behalf of at least three persons, including two sports figures and one other civilian that he chose not to identify, whom he believes had their personal information hacked by parties working at or for News Corp. In a recent interview with the media outlet, the attorney introduced the international implications the News Corp. hacking scandal had outside of the UK.

    “The scandal as it is is not just then confined to the United Kingdom or to the United Kingdom companies like News International and News Group Newspapers,” explains Lewis. “This goes to the heartland of News Corporation and we’ll be looking at the involvement of the parent company in terms of claims there and that is something that will be taken more seriously by perhaps the investors and shareholders in News Corporation.”

    “The News of the World had thousands of people they hacked. Some of them were in America at the time, either traveling or resident there.”

    Although News Corp. has a major presence in the UK and is run by Murdoch, an Australian national, the headquarters of the billion dollar media business entity is located in New York, New York. Last year Lewis told CNN that he was interested in taking his plight to the American judicial system, where he believed he could file charges against News Corp. for a breach in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. Under the regulations set forth in that act, companies run in the US are prohibited from paying foreign parties to obtain or retain business. Following allegations that News Corp had come into possession of personal data after bribing law enforcement officials abroad, Lewis said he intended on opening up charges in the US. (end of article)

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