Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

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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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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Inside the Wapping Paper

From THE INDEPENDENT:

David Cameron was given a personal guarantee by Rupert Murdoch that Andy Coulson was safe to take on as his Downing Street press chief, The Independent on Sunday learnt yesterday, as the fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal threatened to escalate into all-out war between the UK’s two most powerful men.

The Prime Minister had already cooled relations with the 80-year-old press baron on Friday by saying that his son, James Murdoch, has “questions to answer” over News International’s handling of the scandal. The Battle of Wapping 2011 will be intensified by the revelation that Mr Cameron was told by Mr Murdoch twice that, despite fears over Mr Coulson’s connection to the phone-hacking scandal, there was no problem with the former editor.

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Hold the Presses!

From Channel 4 News:

Conspicuous for her shock of curly red hair, it has never been easy for Rebekah Brooks to elude the limelight.

The 43-year-old became the youngest person to edit a national newspaper when she took over in 2000 at the helm of the News of the World – the newspaper where she had begun her journalistic career 11 years earlier.

[I]n November 2005, […] Brooks […] had been arrested after an alleged assault on her husband.

In the meantime she had been promoted by News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch, who owns the News International stable, to editorship of The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.

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Plastic Bag

From VANITY FAIR:

Over the last two days, both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, perhaps reacting to Newt Gingrich’s announcement of his forthcoming announcement concerning his presidential ambitions, have published pieces about Gingrich’s “secret weapon.” According to The Times, it just may be Callista Gingrich, Newt’s former mistress and current wife, while the Journal identified Gingrich’s “secret weapon” as his conglomerate of “advocacy and for-profit groups,” known unofficially as Newt Inc.

Yeah, because women are going to flock to a woman who calls herself a religious Catholic and was cheating with a married man who later ditched the ex and married her.


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