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.
Note: Right after I finished the post, I read that Rebekah Brooks has resigned. Les Hinton, chief executive of News Corp’s Dow Jones unit has followed suit and resigned as well. All the king’s horseshit and all the king’s men won’t be able to put News Corp together again.
From The New Zealand Herald:
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a major shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-hit News Corp. organisation, says under-fire executive Rebekah Brooks “had to go”.
“For sure she has to go, you bet she has to go,” News Corp.’s second largest shareholder said of Brooks on BBC’s Newsnight programme.
From Business Spectator:
The abrupt change in News Corp’s tactics as [it] tries to bring some semblance of control to the maelstrom it is experiencing in the UK hints at a longer-term problem for Rupert Murdoch and his succession plans.
On Wednesday News withdrew its undertaking to spin off Sky News from BSkyB enabling the UK government to refer its proposed bid for the pay television operator to its Competition Commission and ensuring that any final decision on the bid would be deferred for at least six months and probably closer to a year.
That appeared designed to avoid any immediate decision on the bid within an atmosphere of extreme hostility towards News and therefore to preserve the potential for another tilt at BSkYB once the heat eventually dies down.
(Reuters) – Les Hinton was adamant. Asked in 2007 by a British parliamentary committee whether the News of the World had “carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry” into the use of illegal phone hacking by the newspaper and was “absolutely convinced” it was limited to a single reporter, Hinton did not hesitate.
“Yes, we have,” the then-executive chairman of News of the World’s owner News International told the select committee, “and I believe he was the only person, but that investigation, under the new editor, continues.”
Four years on, Hinton may have serious reason to regret those words.
From Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone:
The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman [Roger] Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”
From BUSINESS INSIDER (March 31, 2011):
Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell went on a tirade after showing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying that he would pass a bill in the House that would automatically become law if the Senate did not act on it.
“Of course, a bill cannot become the law of the land unless passed in word for word identical form by the House and the Senate, and then signed by the President of the United States. Those three things must happen, as every American child knows who has seen any version of how a bill becomes a law, animated or not. No other member of Congress in it’s history has ever believed that a bill could become a law with only one of those three things happening.”
From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:
Gonzo journalist Ian Murphy noticed one of Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats complaining that Gov. Scott Walker was impossible to reach on the phone. So Murphy came up with a prank call: He posed as right-wing financier David Koch and called Walker’s receptionist. Shortly thereafter, he was on the phone with the governor himself.
In this last post about this round of the 1st Semi-Regular Macaca Awards, let’s remember what the award is all about. Once again, I will borrow the words of my handsome and talented collaborator, Tengrain, of Mock, Paper, Scissors:
It seems so long ago that George Allen uttered the words that moved a generation (and sank his political career), and forever seared the word Macaca into our collective brain.
And so we honor all that is appalling in American Politics with the First Semi-Regular Macaca Awards.
(Image courtesy of Tengrain)
Welcome our special presenters who will be handing out the awards.