Tag Archives: phone hacking

Tsar’s Bores: The Empire Strikes Back

From Howard Kurtz at Newsweek:

The inquiry was grinding on, and Rupert Murdoch looked exhausted when he had trouble remembering what he’d said when he appeared with his loyal aide Rebekah Brooks. “I walked outside my flat,” Murdoch said, “and I had 20 microphones stuck in my mouth.”

That, of course, is the kind of hot pursuit his tabloids routinely employ against elusive celebrities. In the twilight of his career, Murdoch has gone from the hunter to the hunted, brought low by the crass culture he helped create.

And yet even in his apologetic testimony, the 80-year-old mogul couldn’t resist a shot at rivals with “dirty hands” for trying to “build this hysteria.” That theme has echoed across News Corp.’s many media outlets as it tries to turn the corner on the phone-hacking scandal. The empire, it would seem, is starting to strike back.

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Karma-geddon

From The Washington Post:

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday said James Murdoch, scion of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, should be recalled by Parliament to address allegations he misled lawmakers in his testimony on Britain’s phone hacking.

Further upping the pressure on James Murdoch, 38, an opposition lawmaker called for a police investigation into whether he lied.

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Liar, Liar, Knickers on Fire!

From AFP:

LONDON — Pressure intensified on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire Friday after his son James was accused of misleading British MPs, as rival newspapers became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal.

…snip…

Prime Minister David Cameron is also facing the worst crisis since he took office last year, amid questions over talks he had on Murdoch’s failed bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB and his hiring of an ex-Murdoch editor as his media chief.

James Murdoch was accused of lying to British MPs this week when he said he he had not seen an internal email which suggested hacking at the tabloid was widespread before authorising a settlement.

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Cold-Blooded Murdoch

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.

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Arresting Development

Carrot Top Rebekah Brooks was arrested Sunday on suspicion of phone hacking and bribing police.  This might be why:

(Reuters) – “It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again.” That’s how one former reporter describes the News of the World newsroom under editor Rebekah Brooks, the ferociously ambitious titian-haired executive who ran Britain’s top-selling Sunday tabloid from 2000 to 2003.

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Sour Miss Brooks

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.

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In the Name of the Motherfu…I mean, Father

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.

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What the Hack?

(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.

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