Flop Secret


The extraordinary access that Cabinet ministers granted Rupert Murdoch and his children was revealed for the first time yesterday, with more than two dozen private meetings between the family and senior members of the Government in the 15 months since David Cameron entered Downing Street.

In total, Cabinet ministers have had private meetings with Murdoch executives more than 60 times and, if social events such as receptions at party conferences are included, the figure is at least 107.

On two occasions, James Murdoch and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks were given confidential defence briefings on Afghanistan and Britain’s strategic defence review by the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox. A further briefing was held with Ms Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and the Sunday Times editor John Witherow.

Original DVD cover

The Chancellor [of the Exchequer], George Osborne, has had 16 separate meetings since May 2010 with News International editors and executives, including two with the Murdochs within just a month of taking office. He also invited Elisabeth Murdoch as a guest to his 40th birthday party last month.

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, dined with Rupert Murdoch within days of the Government coming to power and, after being given quasi-judicial oversight for the Murdochs’ £8bn attempted takeover of BSkyB, had two meetings with James Murdoch in which they discussed the takeover.


But the minister who sees Rupert Murdoch the most frequently is the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, a former News International employee. Mr Gove has seen the mogul for breakfast, lunch or dinner on six occasions since last May. Overall, Mr Gove has had 12 meetings with Murdoch executives since becoming a minister.

The list, released by government departments yesterday evening, reinforces the impression of an unhealthily close relationship between the top echelons of News International and senior members of the Coalition Cabinet, which first became apparent when Mr Cameron released his list of contacts with news organisations a week ago. He revealed then that he had met News International executives on 26 occasions since entering Downing Street.

Senior executives and editors from News International have held private meetings with Cabinet ministers more than 60 times since last May.


The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who was stripped of responsibility for ruling on whether the BSkyB bid should go ahead after boasting in December that he had “declared war on Rupert Murdoch”, did not have as much contact as some of his colleagues.


The Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, held a meeting shortly after the election with No 10’s then communications director Andy Coulson, the former head of the Metropolitan Police Sir Paul Stephenson and Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World and then an adviser to the Met. Both Mr Coulson and Mr Wallis have since been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and Sir Paul resigned over his handling of the scandal.


A spokesman for Mr Fox said that the defence briefings given to the Murdochs covered a range of issues and were given because of the “interest in defence matters” shown by News International papers. He did not say who initiated the meetings.


Filed under Afghanistan, Britain, humor, Media, movies, parody, politics, Rupert Murdoch, Scandals, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

28 responses to “Flop Secret

  1. Oh come on … LA Confidential was a great movie as it (in my opinion) should have won the Oscar for Best Film over Titanic. Then again, it didn’t win the Horse’s Ass Awards.

    • 😆 i knew someone would yell at me for using this movie. i was giggling while i was desecrating making it, wondering who would be first to be mad 😡 at me! the same thing will happen at the big orange when i post it there. there will be a piling on of offended movie fans.

    • Sara

      Titanic was such a piece of crap….. I wanted to scream “die already” but I kept in check in the movie theatre. LA Confidential is one of the best ever. Every time I watch it I pick up a new nuance (there’s my SAT word for the day.)

      Great cover, nonnie!

      • i hated, hated, hated titanic. after the first couple of minutes, i was rooting for the iceberg. there are old movies about the titanic that were so much better and that ripped your heart right out of your chest.

  2. jean-philippe

    Using LA Confidential is a very clever way to call Brooks a whore… 😀

    • i have my flashes of genius. 🙂 but this wasn’t one of them. 😦 i don’t think i ever watched this movie. i think i might have seen part of it, but i don’t recall watching the whole thing. whatever the case, it didn’t occur to me that this would be a metaphor for rebekah being a whore, but i wish it had. 😉

      • jean-philippe

        Then is was the hand of God you guided you…

        • i think you were sending me telepathic messages that forced me to use that particular movie poster, j-p. 😉

          • jean-philippe

            If you feel like talking about the debt ceiling, here’s a couple of posters you may not have used for some thing else unless I didn’t see them:

            *rubbing forehead*

            • thanks j-p. i have something in mind for tomorrow night, if i have enough time and can find all the pix i need. thanks for keeping me in mind when you find a cool movie poster. remind me of them from time to time, because even if i don’t use them now, i might in the future.

  3. jeb

    Vince Cable is my new hero.

    • i think it’s funny that a guy named cable was once in charge of the bskyb bid. 😆

      not sure if he’s worthy of your making him your hero, jeb. i suggest that maybe:

      “Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has done much to uncover the extent of the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World,”…

      is a better choice.

  4. maggiejean

    I LOVE the placement of the press pass.

  5. What about Brooks giving that poor mother of a different murdered girl a personal cell phone that police say was hacked. Could you just faint! Brooks of course has released a statement suggesting, Outrage! Justice must be done. Putting it mildly, it strains credulity that Brooks didn’t know EXACTLY what she was doing. The mother was used as a prop right to the end of NOTW…writing a farewell thank you letter for the paper.

    • i was out for most of the day, so i’m catching up on the news by watching all the reruns. i just heard about brooks giving the murdered little girl’s mother a phone and then hacking it. how fucking disgusting are these people? news corp is a criminal enterprise, and they need to be charged as such and have all their assets taken away and be thrown in jail (or gaol, i’m not fussy). they shouldn’t be allowed to profit from criminal acts.

    • i’ve used that a few times, but not recently. i don’t like a lot of empty space on posters, so i thought i dust off the horse’s ass award for that corner.

  6. This scandal is the gift that keeps giving.

    • it keeps giving as it keeps taking. it’s taking away the trust that people had for government, police, and the media. granted, there was not a whole lot of trust before, but this more or less got rid of whatever there was.

  7. Just when they thought the heat was off, a new scandal again with a slain child. Before it’s all over, they will get exposed using doing what Chuck Berry was caught doing—puting cameras in the bathroom.

    • and yet there are still people supporting these asswipes. bskyb just gave their seal of approval to jamesy wamesy. wtf? do they think that they’re doing themselves any favors with that move?

  8. Man, that is one frightening shot of Ms. Brooks. Made more terrifying by hijacking the … “decolletage” … of the gorgeous Kim Basinger. It makes Brooks look like a man-turning-woman, post surgery, pre hormones. Oof.