From The Telegraph:
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News television channel had a “black ops” department that may have illegally hacked private telephone records, a former executive for the station has alleged.
Dan Cooper, who helped launch Fox News as managing editor in 1996, said that a “brain room” carried out “counter intelligence” on the channel’s enemies from its New York headquarters.
He was threatened after it found out he spoke to a reporter, he claimed.
Another former senior executive said the channel ran a spying network on staff, reading their emails and making them “feel they were being watched”.
Mr Cooper, who left Fox News soon after its launch, provided a quote for a 1997 article about Roger Ailes, Fox News’s president, by the journalist David Brock in New York magazine.
The quote was not going to be attributed to him, but he alleges that before the article was published, Mr Cooper’s agent received a telephone call from Mr Ailes threatening to withdraw Fox’s business from all his clients.
“There are only two possible ways Ailes found out,” Mr Cooper said. “Either Brock told him or they got hold of Brock’s phone records and saw I spoke to him.”
He first alleged that the records were obtained by researchers in the “brain room” in 2005 in an article on his website about the launch of the channel.
Another former Fox News senior executive, who did not wish to be named, said staff were forced to operate under conditions reminiscent of “Russia at the height of the Soviet era”.
“There is a paranoid atmosphere and they feel they are being watched,” said the former executive. “I have no doubt they are spying on emails to ensure no one is leaking to outside media.
“There is a unit of spies that reports up to the boss about who was talking to whom. A lot of people are scared that they’re going to get sidelined or even that they’re going to get killed.”
From Show Tracker at the Los Angeles Times:
Tuesday’s late-night television was unusually buzzworthy [...but] the real story of the day was News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s doddering testimony before a Parliamentary committee–and the juvenile shaving cream-throwing incident that disrupted it. As he often is, Jon Stewart was there to point out what he sees as the hypocrisy and general malfeasance at Fox News. Stewart began by reminding viewers of the magnitude of the ever-widening hacking-and-bribery scandal, which so far has led to the resignation of London’s top two policemen, and the arrests of former News of the World editor and Conservative party spokesman Andy Coulson as well as Rebekah Brooks, who until Friday ran News Corp.’s British operations. As if that weren’t enough, Sean Hoare, the reporter who first blew the whistle on the hacking at News of the World, was found dead on Monday.
Stewart then turned his satirical gaze to his favorite target, Fox News–which is a subsidiary of News Corp. He claimed that the network “has been reticent to dumpster-dive into any aspect of the story other than their sheer disappointment at their competitors’ behavior,” then cut to a montage of Fox News personalities accusing the “left-wing” media of ganging up on Murdoch.
“This overreaction to what is, at most, an epic bribery and influence-peddling scandal consuming Britain’s political law enforcement and journalistic establishment is really a waste of everyone’s time,” he declared sarcastically.
The real reason Fox News and other News Corp. outlets are upset, according to Stewart, is that they are missing out on the fun. “Imagine the frustration the punmasters over there must be feeling. They’re missing out on the chance to shame a high-profile media mogul, make nasty insinuations about his second-in-command, indulge in puns about her personal appearance. And the death of a whistleblower? Right, I mean, it’s easy,” he said, as pun-filled fake headlines (“Ginger Snaps!”, “Hackery, Dickery, ‘Doch”, “News Corpse”) flashed across the screen.
Almost makes you feel sorry for them…almost.
(Watch The Daily Show video at the Los Angeles Times link)