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July 7, 2011 9:39 AM   Subscribe

After spending years and millions of pounds settling civil lawsuits, seeing their royal editor and an investigator jailed, and insisting that only a few rotten apples knew about the phone hacking, the 168 year old News of the World is to publish its last issue and close this Sunday.

This has come about after revelations that the paper hacked the voicemail of missing school girl Milly Dowler (hampering the police investigation), families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, those who had lost family members in the seventh July bombings, etc, etc.

Social pressure on advertisers had reduced the paper to only three major advertisers before the announcement of the closure (Sky doesn't really count).
posted by MattWPBS (1124 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was planning to have fish and chips next Monday. What will contain them?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:43 AM on July 7, 2011 [50 favorites]


As I said in the previously deleted thread, this is Zombie Bite Crisis Management (hack the limb off, stop the contagion!). Classic, utterly transparent damage control to try and save the BskyB deal.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:44 AM on July 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


Certainly this is good news – but Rebekah Brooks is still in her job, and no doubt we can all look forward to issue one of The Sun on Sunday soon.
posted by mattn at 9:45 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I initially didn't think News Corporation's takeover of BSkyB was a big deal, since James Murdoch is already CEO and News Corp already has a 35% stake. Rupert obviously thinks it is a big deal. Maybe he is having difficulty turning Sky News into Fox News UK.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:46 AM on July 7, 2011


Why don't you say it in the existing thread?
posted by lalex at 9:46 AM on July 7, 2011


Also of note, this Spectator editorial, which is interesting in light of this development.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:46 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


lalex: "Why don't you say it in the existing thread?"

Under discussion here.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2011


James Murdoch is actually Chairman, not CEO, of BSkyB.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2011


Definitely. It'll be interesting to see if it will work - I suspect that Murdoch will not be able to save Brooks though. If the actions of the newsroom were serious enough to warrant closing the paper, what does that say about the woman in charge at the time?
posted by MattWPBS at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Telegraph is reporting that, according to Guido fawkes, www.thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered a couple of days ago.
posted by veedubya at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Via Twitter: They decided two days ago:

[whois info]

Domain name:
sunonsunday.co.uk

Registrant:
Mediaspring

Registrant type:
UK Individual

Registrant's address:
The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their
address omitted from the WHOIS service.

Registrar:
Webfusion Ltd t/a 123-reg [Tag = 123-REG]
URL: http://www.123-reg.co.uk

Relevant dates:
Registered on: 05-Jul-2011

See also: here (Guardian)
posted by urschrei at 9:48 AM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences," Rupert Murdoch said.

We can only hope, Mr. Murdoch.
posted by lemuring at 9:48 AM on July 7, 2011 [23 favorites]


If you had any doubt this this was a profoundly fucked up organization, watch a NotW flack explain why it's ok for the current CEO to be investigating herself.
posted by auto-correct at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


A clear demonstration of the "few rotten apples" principle if I ever saw one. It's an easy phrase to use to excuse the behavior of a small number, but it often neglects the larger point of the second part of the phrase, which is that it then becomes impossible for an outside viewer to determine which is rotten and which isn't, and simply dispose of the whole lot.

Let this be a lesson to groups that tolerate internal corruption, "a few bad apples" should be the rallying cry for change, not the shield you hide behind.
posted by quin at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


And Coulson to be arrested today?
posted by veedubya at 9:51 AM on July 7, 2011



lalex: Why don't you say it in the existing thread?


That thread is about the Milly Dowler hacking. Since then we've had the revelations around the war families, those who lost people in 7/7, the Soham murders, etc, etc. There's been massive pressure which has forced a paper opened in 1843 to close. To take it to extremes, it would be like saying that everything to do with Social Security in the US should be in one thread.
posted by MattWPBS at 9:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


Thanks for posting that Spectator piece, Happy Dave. It was very much worth reading.
posted by immlass at 9:53 AM on July 7, 2011


Timeline from Irish Times. Interesting to note that in the article currently on the front page of WSJ.com they leave out Les Hinton's role in all this.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:53 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Attempt to avoid further payouts? I'm not familiar with UK corporate structuring; does this means that News Corp can avoid further liability on the grounds that the "guilty company" no longer exists?
posted by aramaic at 9:53 AM on July 7, 2011


They seem desperate. I have a feeling there is more yet to come out.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:54 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just so I can say the same thing in two deleted threads: "Reboot".
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:55 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, they weren't going to be getting mush advertising revenue in the near future so there's that, in addition to all the other benefits this move offers (like hey, News Corp stock just went up!)
posted by stagewhisper at 9:55 AM on July 7, 2011


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: I was planning to have fish and chips next Monday. What will contain them?

Hopefully something less noxious / toxic. Your fish and chips deserve better.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


This rag is the most blatant example of what the Murdoch publishing empire is about. This 'closure' is a transparent attempt at damage limitation, I hope the pressure doesn't let up until Murdoch quits the UK altogether (and yes, I know this won't happen).

The News of the World represented humanity at it's lowest, openly willing to destroy lives in the attempt to boost circulation. Note that hacking the voicemail of a (then missing, soon to be dead) schoolgirl involved deleting voicemail messages as the inbox was full and they wanted to leave room for new messages.

I have to admit that even I was surprised by this 'paper' (which openly supported "our boys") being allegedly prepared to request the hacking the phones of family members of dead soldiers in an attempt to get stories.

These people are vermin, any pretence that this was the actions of a previous regime is merely another smokescreen.
posted by epo at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


If they think this is over, they've got another thing coming.
posted by Acey at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2011


Murdoch doesn't care about the NoW. Get rid of it, print the Sun on Sunday. Workers lose their jobs, costs get reduced, Rebekah Wade et al get new jobs.

They'll have to be careful that, whoops!, they don't throw out any documents, computer drives, etc., relevant to the forthcoming criminal inquiries. Ideally the Met would now shut the whole place down as a crime scene. But it seems like they were in on it as well.
posted by carter at 9:58 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good riddance.
posted by dabug at 9:59 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]





think
posted by Herodios at 9:59 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


carter: Murdoch doesn't care about the NoW. Get rid of it, print the Sun on Sunday. Workers lose their jobs, costs get reduced, Rebekah Wade et al get new jobs.

It's the second largest English language paper in the world (behind the Times of India). It's also one of the few that make a profit. Talking to friends who have worked at NI, one of the real impacts of this is that profit disappearing.
posted by MattWPBS at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, they're just going to ditch the name, go weekly and become the Sunday Sun.

Xe recognizes this strategy. So does Jeff Gilooly....I mean Stone.
posted by inturnaround at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2011


stagewhisper: Timeline from Irish Times.

I was hoping it went back more than a decade, considering that the establishment was 168 year old. But from Wikipedia, it sounds like it was raking cheap muck from the beginning:
The newspaper was first published on 1 October 1843, in London by John Browne Bell. Priced at just three pence, even before the repeal of the Stamp Act (1855) or paper duty (1861), it was the cheapest newspaper of its time and was aimed directly at the newly literate working classes. It quickly established itself as a purveyor of titillation, shock and criminal news. Much of the source material came from coverage of vice prosecutions, including transcripts of police descriptions of alleged brothels, streetwalkers, and 'immoral' women.
And here's a fun snippet from the current Wiki page:
The News of the World was a filth-ridden, excrement laden, English national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom which has FINALLY BEEN FLUSHED AWAY down the toilet. Founded in 1843, the paper will cease publication after the 10 July 2011 edition in the wake of a phone hacking scandal
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's see. The Sun or The Times next?
posted by longbaugh at 10:08 AM on July 7, 2011


It's the second largest English language paper in the world (behind the Times of India). It's also one of the few that make a profit. Talking to friends who have worked at NI, one of the real impacts of this is that profit disappearing.

Right; they lost the ad revenue and circulation. But they also print the Sun - on the same presses - which sells the same numbers on a daily basis, and which has the same approach as NoW. So NI can print the Sun on Sunday, have the same weekly circulation figures, and fire a bunch of people too.
posted by carter at 10:09 AM on July 7, 2011


As I said in the previously deleted thread,

As I said ...

Good for Britain. America, could you now focus on the tumorous growth that is FOX news?
posted by philip-random at 10:12 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


2.66 million in circulation? Wow thats an amazing figure, I don't think that there's a newspaper in the US that can even come close to that number.
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on July 7, 2011


I can't wait until my boy is a little older, and I can use this as a beautiful example to explain to him how sometimes a thoroughly evil thing has to throw a bit of itself that is egregiously and ineptly evil under the bus, so that the greater cause of evil can move forward. Sorry I've got something in my eye...
posted by nanojath at 10:13 AM on July 7, 2011 [30 favorites]


If the remains of the New of the World too obviously become part of the Sun I think that it will damage that title as well.
posted by Jehan at 10:16 AM on July 7, 2011


Let us celebrate this glorious day, in which the evils of Rupert Murdoch's empire actually caused some comeuppance, rather than their usual result, the acquisition of even greater money and power.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:16 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


2.66 million in circulation? Wow thats an amazing figure, I don't think that there's a newspaper in the US that can even come close to that number.

News Corp's Wall Street Journal does 2.1 million.

USA Today is 1.8 million. NYT is 900k, LA Times is 600k, and the SJ Merc is 578K. The Sunday NYT and LAT do better.
posted by birdherder at 10:20 AM on July 7, 2011


If the remains of the New of the World too obviously become part of the Sun I think that it will damage that title as well.

Fingers crossed that this happens. It'd be a shame to waste all the energy that's built up. I hope they just go with a fresh lick of paint and expect folks not to notice. My fingers are crossed and I hope that more damage is heading the way of NI. I still haven't heard from my employers w/r/t removing ads from the NotW this Sunday. I will be reading it (not paying for it) and if we have advertised there I shall cause such a fucking ruckus...
posted by longbaugh at 10:21 AM on July 7, 2011


R. Mutt: "They seem desperate. I have a feeling there is more yet to come out."

Yeah. For News Corp. to shut down a property due to ethical lapses, they need to have perpetrated a genocide at minimum.

And, seriously. The state of print media in the UK should be a national embarrassment. It's *awful.* The loss of News of the World is but a drop in the chunder-bucket of awful British tabloids. Even America really has nothing that compares to the sheer idiocy and popularity of the Sun or The Daily Mail.
posted by schmod at 10:22 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


"They seem desperate. I have a feeling there is more yet to come out."

Some guy on Radio 4 just said that the potential revenues NI could expect from the BSkyB merger will dwarf anything they get from the presses.
posted by carter at 10:24 AM on July 7, 2011


I still haven't heard from my employers w/r/t removing ads from the NotW this Sunday.

Apparently they aren't running any adverts and they are sending any profits to charity.
posted by pmcp at 10:24 AM on July 7, 2011


longbaugh, they aren't running any ads this Sunday. They're giving the space to charities. (Or trying to.)
posted by veedubya at 10:25 AM on July 7, 2011


birdherder: News Corp's Wall Street Journal does 2.1 million.

That's out of 300 million people in the USA, compared to ~60 million in the UK.
posted by Acey at 10:26 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks pmcp & veedubya - will still try and pressure our marketing folk to steer clear of other NI avenues all the same.
posted by longbaugh at 10:28 AM on July 7, 2011


The decision on BSkyB is thankfully delayed, so with all hope, there's a chance they might lose both. Plenty of commentators are already focussing on News International rather than just one newspaper. Questions such as who is paying Mulcaire's legal fees and authorization of the settlement payments to phone-hacking victims remain in the debate. Not to mention that the elder Murdoch himself still seems to be standing by Brooks.
posted by Jehan at 10:29 AM on July 7, 2011




Acey: "birdherder: News Corp's Wall Street Journal does 2.1 million.

That's out of 300 million people in the USA, compared to ~60 million in the UK.
"

Yea, that was the source of my surprise that NotW's circulation was so huge. Plus the fact that I'd never heard of it until last week.
posted by octothorpe at 10:29 AM on July 7, 2011




Sad to think there will be hundreds of hard-working people with no jobs come Monday because of a few truly rotten bastards.
posted by photoslob at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"bbc say staff in NOTW shouting in disbelief at losing jobs while Brooks keeps hers. feel like parable on modern britain"

I hope they're very very angry at Murdoch.

I also hope they have lots of dirt.
posted by Jehan at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


"a few bad apples" should be the rallying cry for change, not the shield you hide behind

This is one of those fascinating phrases which is habitually used to mean the opposite of what the saying was originally meant to convey.

The original phrase was: "a few bad apples spoil the barrel" -- meaning that you can't just say 'oh it was only one person' because one bad person spreads rot to the whole organisation.

The other similar phrase that I know if is "pull oneself up by one's own bootstraps". Naturally, you can't lift yourself by pulling on your own bootstraps: the phrase was meant to mock the idea that somebody could lift themselves up without the help of others.
posted by Dreadnought at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2011 [69 favorites]


Not being familiar with this paper, I keep thinking these articles refer to the Weekly World News, and I'm surprised that anyone's shocked by their shenanigans.
posted by desjardins at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


ArmyOfKittens: ""bbc say staff in NOTW shouting in disbelief at losing jobs while Brooks keeps hers. feel like parable on modern britain""

This was linked in the previous thread. An Independent article explaining why she's unlikely to lose her job. Murdoch needs her. And she needs him more.
posted by zarq at 10:49 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking on BBC News, James Murdoch says he is "very confident" that similar breaches did not happen at The Sun.

But... how could they not have? Surely the two papers shared info?
posted by Acey at 10:51 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


People (on Sky and Twitter) are saying that News of the World staff were told Brooks offered to resign twice last night, but was refused and the paper closed instead. Incredible stuff.
posted by Jehan at 10:51 AM on July 7, 2011


200 people sacked just to save one job...
posted by Webbster at 10:54 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


People (on Sky and Twitter) are saying that News of the World staff were told Brooks offered to resign twice last night, but was refused and the paper closed instead. Incredible stuff
How can you be forced not to resign after being told the alternative is many of the people who worked for you will lose their jobs? IF you offer your resignation and then are told, now we're going to make you a hate figure for a load of people who rake muck for a living. Surely you'd be on the news with a fine selection of swords to fall on.

So this is either a lie, or NI is making damn sure Brooks stays under the bus they've got picked out for her.
posted by fullerine at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2011


Legal reasons also? Can an entity that no longer exist still be held to account?

IANAL.
posted by run"monty at 11:03 AM on July 7, 2011


Of course Brooks has to stay, and the underlings go. It all has to fit in with the narrative that this all went on without the higherups knowing. Her offers of resignation give that narrative an air of respectability and humility. (Just an air, mind.)

Story crafters of the first order. Fascinating, in a perverse way.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:05 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


200 people sacked just to save one job...

Sadly, when you consider what her golden parachute would have been, this may have been a money saving maneuver.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:06 AM on July 7, 2011


Reminds me of the joke about the traveling salesman that goes to a farm and sees a 3 legged pig driving a tractor. Salesman asks the farmer "What's the deal with the pig". Farmer says "He's a real good hog, works around the farm, watches after the family, eats the garbage and last week when the house was burning he yelled until we all got out"'.

"Then why does he only have 3 legs?" the sales man asks.

"Well a pig that good, you can't expect us to eat him all at once"
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 11:07 AM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


Billy Bragg just posted this on Facebook as a reason for the changes: Wapping executive changes herald move to seven-day operation. I read that and think the NOTW folks aren't the only ones who'll be out of jobs by the end of the year.
posted by immlass at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2011


The more I read about this, the more I think you'd have to be a sociopath to do some of these things or authorize them. It's not just exploiting tragedy for gain, it's adding to it consciously and repeatedly, and then having a repeated set of encounters with the people you are torturing. What must it have been like to work there? I would be incredibly interested to read about this and how people create a culture where this is normal.

More on topic, NI has got to be afraid that if anyone goes down for this, they're not going down alone. They're going to bring as many people as possible with them. And they are going to know how to get their stories out.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Let us celebrate this glorious day, in which the evils of Rupert Murdoch's empire actually caused some comeuppance, rather than their usual result, the acquisition of even greater money and power.

Are you kidding? Murdoch has played an absolute blinder, from the evil genius perspective - nowt better than sacking 250 workers and stretching the Sun staff to produce a Sunday. The fucker is going to make money off this.
posted by jack_mo at 11:12 AM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


The fucker is going to make money off this.

Not to mention the huge sales of that last edition. Won't even matter that there are no ads in it. Sure, it's a one-off, but it'll be huge. Even bigger than the first Sunday edition of whatever new rag is going to replace it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:16 AM on July 7, 2011


God help us if the readers of the NotW start reading The Star instead...
posted by Acey at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2011




Obligatory Downfall video.
posted by ob at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


Tom Watson MP on Channel 4 News just said that all kinds of things are yet to come out that are push this scandal further along. I hope he's right.



How can you be forced not to resign after being told the alternative is many of the people who worked for you will lose their jobs? IF you offer your resignation and then are told, now we're going to make you a hate figure for a load of people who rake muck for a living. Surely you'd be on the news with a fine selection of swords to fall on.

So this is either a lie, or NI is making damn sure Brooks stays under the bus they've got picked out for her.


I don't know. But that's why it's incredible. The whole situation is just incredible.
posted by Jehan at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2011


Not to mention the huge sales of that last edition.

Statement from James Murdoch:
In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World's revenue this weekend will go to good causes.

While we may never be able to make up for distress that has been caused, the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations – many of whom are long-term friends and partners – that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity.
posted by sillygwailo at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2011


Adam Curtis on Murdoch's rise to power (warning: hyperbole)
posted by Acey at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Talking to friends who have worked at NI, one of the real impacts of this is that profit disappearing.

The prize here is ownership of BSkyB with its £1bn revenue. Sacrificing the paper to protect that is a no-brainer. In addition, they've been talking about a newsroom merger for more than a month; this makes that incredibly easy to do. Jack's right, this will make Murdoch money.

Brooks apparently offered to resign twice and was refused both times. I suspect this is because she's the last remaining scapegoat/firewall between this and James Murdoch.

I'll bet all those advertisers -- like Tesco -- who stood by the News of the World are kicking themselves right now.
posted by bonaldi at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


gutted they're closing. Kinda ruins the impact of my grand gesture of never buying another copy of the rag.

On a serious note, this is a genius stroke by Murdoch. He gets to act all righteous about closing down the bad apple, whilst in a stroke saving shed loads by simply running The Sun 7 days a week instead. He'll still have a stranglehold over UK mass media. SKY, The Times, The Sunday Times and now The Sun seven days a week.
posted by lloyder at 11:34 AM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]




Wow, just, wow....

It is heartening to see that indeed, sometimes, actions do have consequences.
posted by caddis at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2011


Coulson to be arrested tomorrow, Guardian says.
posted by bonaldi at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2011


It's worth bearing in mind that the Lib Dems are the only thing keeping David Cameron in the PMO.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


If NI is so badly run that an entire newspaper devolves into a criminal organization, exactly why would anyone give NI any more assets?
posted by mikelieman at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently Brooks did not offer to resign.
posted by ob at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2011


But... how could they not have? Surely the two papers shared info?

They share fucking editorial staff.

To repeat my comment earlier: Cameron will never allow a judicial inquiry into this. Murdoch shuts down NotW, saves his "fifth daughter", Cameron sets up a toothless inquiry for his master (while approving the BSkyB deal, which was doubtless the price of Mudoch's support in the last election).

Everyone at the top walks away richer and more powerful.

And the Murdoch machine will unleash its revenge on advertisers who walked away from NotW - wait to see what the Times, Sky, and Sun have to say about Ford and Mitsubishi, for example. Wait to see how Tesco are rewarded for their loyalty.

A judge-led inquiry, as the backbenchers are demanding, will ruin that, because Brooks and the scum around her won't be able to keep lying, as they have to the previous PCC and parliamentary inquests, without going to jail for perjury. But Cameron will not allow it, unless he's forced to by Clegg or his own back bench threatening to roll him.
posted by rodgerd at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


Coulson to be arrested tomorrow, Guardian says.

Surely the more News International try to blame it all on Andy Coulson the worse everything becomes for David Cameron. Which is nice.
posted by dng at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine Tesco being overly concerned with Murdoch, they aren't short of a bob or two. Nobody will change where they shop on the basis of where they get their paper.
posted by longbaugh at 11:56 AM on July 7, 2011




Oh really, longbaugh? Fake food quality scares in the Sun would have no effect on Tescos?
posted by rodgerd at 11:58 AM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


rdogerd: Tom Watson pretty much accused News International of computer hacking on the news tonight.
posted by Jehan at 11:58 AM on July 7, 2011


Obligatory Downfall video

I don't usually like Downfall parodies, but this one was spot on.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:59 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


So do Mock the Week need to change their theme song, or does it just become that much more apt?
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 12:02 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just heard a report on Channel 4 about a girl who was sexually assaulted by a footballer a number of yeras ago, and who agreed to testify against him on condition of lifetime anonymity. Her name was leaked by the Met police to the News of the World. Through private investigators they found out her address, her mother's address, where she went to school, and bombarded her to try and get the story, including shouting how much they'd pay her through the letterbox.

The NOTW is being called the 'The Newspaper Which Died of Shame'.
posted by Marlinspike at 12:03 PM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good for Britain. America, could you now focus on the tumorous growth that is FOX news?

Let's hope so -- The Murdoch Style, Now Under Pressure.
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tom Watson pretty much accused News International of computer hacking on the news tonight.

Jehan, that story's been around a while - the example being the hacking into email account belonging to a former British army intelligence officer who worked informers in Northern Ireland.

If a foreign power had done half the things that NI is responsible for, it would be considered espionage.
posted by reynir at 12:07 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Erm, imagine the first line of that being in italics. Got rage fingers tonight.
posted by reynir at 12:08 PM on July 7, 2011


Coulson to be arrested tomorrow, Guardian says. Also
(Originally posted by bonaldi at 7:47 PM on July 7)

("The Guardian understands that a second arrest is also to be made in the next few days of a former senior journalist at the paper... The Guardian knows the identity of the second suspect but is witholding the name in order to avoid prejudicing the ongoing police investigation.")


oh please please please please please please please please please please please please...
posted by marienbad at 12:08 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it was her, marienbad, they wouldn't be withholding it. And I think the arrests are on the basis of info passed from NI, so she wouldn't still be in her job.

We must be patient. It will come.
posted by reynir at 12:10 PM on July 7, 2011


I just heard a report on Channel 4 about a girl who was sexually assaulted by a footballer a number of yeras ago, and who agreed to testify against him on condition of lifetime anonymity. Her name was leaked by the Met police to the News of the World. Through private investigators they found out her address, her mother's address, where she went to school, and bombarded her to try and get the story, including shouting how much they'd pay her through the letterbox.

Jail's too good for 'em, as the NotW headline might have said.

I have zero sympathy for NotW reporters. You lost your jobs? Too fucking bad. You've rallied enough lynch mobs over the years, you fuckers, this is what it feels like.
posted by rodgerd at 12:21 PM on July 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


rodgerd: I have zero sympathy for NotW reporters

This was my reaction too, however it seems that most of the criminal elements were purged some time ago, and that the regime in control now is entirely composed of different people. In which case, they've just punished a lot of innocent people for the mistakes of their predecessors. Something tells me they'll regret that.
posted by Acey at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Oh really, longbaugh? Fake food quality scares in the Sun would have no effect on Tescos?"
posted by rodgerd at 7:58 PM on July 7

Tesco advertise in the Sun on pretty much a daily basis. It is unlikely the Sun's Advertising team would want to jeopardise their relationship with Tesco. More likely they will be agreeing sympathetically with the Tesco poeple about how awful it is, and then on to business.
posted by marienbad at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was my reaction too, however it seems that most of the criminal elements were purged some time ago, and that the regime in control now is entirely composed of different people.

The kind of stories that they print hasn't changed though, has it?
posted by reynir at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2011


Fascinating. Members of The Sun's editorial staff are walking out in protest of how the NoTW staff was treated by execs.

Wonder what dirt they might want to share?
posted by eriko at 12:32 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fascinating. Members of The Sun's editorial staff are walking out in protest of how the NoTW staff was treated by execs.

Wonder what dirt they might want to share?


It was theentire sub-editing deperatment that walked out, supposedly. I'm surprised anyone at The Sun has the nerve to strike, considering their editorial stance on the practice.

Although not as surprised as I am to discover that they have a sub-editing department, obviously.
posted by dng at 12:37 PM on July 7, 2011 [22 favorites]


You do not need to be told that the News of the World is 168 years old.

For crying out loud James, you're talking about people who read the News of the World. They need to be told how to wipe their own arse.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


The Sun on Sunday on Twitter.

"Although not as surprised as I am to discover that they have a sub-editing department, obviously."
posted by dng at 8:37 PM on July 7

so so funny.
posted by marienbad at 12:40 PM on July 7, 2011


Although not as surprised as I am to discover that they have a sub-editing department, obviously.

It has one of the best in the world. You don't write headlines like theirs without being world-class. (The things they can do to lengthy copy to distill it down into the "Sun voice" is also amazing).
posted by bonaldi at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2011 [11 favorites]


Good to see that Sun journalists approve of industrial action.

Oh, hang on.
posted by reynir at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Members of The Sun's editorial staff are walking out in protest of how the NoTW staff was treated by execs.

Wow, I wrote a comment to that effect earlier saying maybe the Sun will strike in solidarity - after reading this old cartoon. But I deleted it, thinking those times are long over and people will think I'm some kind of loon.

I'm not condoning bricks through NI offices' windows but the idea of pissing on the paper deliveries brings a warm glow.
posted by pmcp at 12:44 PM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]




I like how that article only refers to him as Murdoch, not James Murdoch. The real Dread Pirate Murdoch has been living like a king in Beverley Hills.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


rogerd, isn't testimony given to Parliament under oath? You can go to jail for lying to Congress (as Roger Clemens is learning).
posted by orrnyereg at 12:47 PM on July 7, 2011


Holy crap. Is it Opposite Day in the British media or something? What's next, the Guardian doing a frothing editorial on the dangers of multiculturalism?
posted by Happy Dave at 12:48 PM on July 7, 2011


Surely Murdoch's reference to the NoTW's "proud history of fighting crime" was meant to be "a proud history of criminal action to sell newspapers"?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2011


For crying out loud James, you're talking about people who read the News of the World. They need to be told how to wipe their own arse.

"Tear this sheet along the dotted lines into 4 strips. Do not try to wipe your arse with or flush an entire sheet of newsprint."
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:50 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is it that Murdoch's statement makes me think of Al Pacino in The Godfather: 'Within five years, Kay, the entire Corleone family will be legit'?
posted by verstegan at 12:54 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


ObligaTory.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:23 PM on July 7, 2011


This was my reaction too, however it seems that most of the criminal elements were purged some time ago, and that the regime in control now is entirely composed of different people. In which case, they've just punished a lot of innocent people for the mistakes of their predecessors. Something tells me they'll regret that.

NotW is a vile institution even without the actual criminality. One of their stock-in-trades for drumming up a scandal on a slow news day has been to get a couple of young women to run up to a sports star or other celeb, whip their tits out for the photographer, and then run a "such-and-such misbehaving" story. Or, for that matter, consider the rape case: suppose they had come by the details of the anonymous complainant legitimately. Would barricading her in her house, demanding she sell her story so they can boost their circulation with a scandal suddenly be OK?

That shit is NotW's stock-in-trade. Setups, sleaze, lies, hounding people, 'crusades' and damn the fallout. It's what they do. The fact they've gone from a collection of colostomy bag golems masqueading as humans who do that through through illegal means to claiming innoncence doesn't really change my views of them that much.

rogerd, isn't testimony given to Parliament under oath? You can go to jail for lying to Congress (as Roger Clemens is learning).

Not to a select committee, necessarily, or to a parliamentary investigation.
posted by rodgerd at 1:34 PM on July 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Max Clifford "My belief is that there is a lot more to come - I think that is why the decision was taken to pull the plug."
posted by adamvasco at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2011


Surely Murdoch's reference to the NoTW's "proud history of fighting crime" was meant to be "a proud history of criminal action to sell newspapers"?

Let it not be forgotten that the NoTW went to court to protect the identity of "fake sheikh" investigative reporter entrapment specialist Mazher Mahmood.
posted by holgate at 1:37 PM on July 7, 2011










Why isn't he just going to hire 40% of the workers back for a new paper with lower salaries and no seniority?
posted by shothotbot at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2011


Have I Got News For You says:
According to the Guardian the web domain thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered on 5 July, as cynicalrebrandingexercise.com was already taken.
posted by grouse at 2:11 PM on July 7, 2011


Newsnight or Question Time? Quick!
posted by Jehan at 2:19 PM on July 7, 2011


QT has Hugh Grant.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching Paul McMullan (the former NotW journalist harried by Hugh Grant) on Al Jazeera: He says that Milly Dowler's voicemail messages weren't just deleted by NotW journos to make room for new messages. He claims that the messages were deleted to prevent journos from other papers getting a scoop.
posted by veedubya at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2011


Yeah, was just going to mention that Hugh Grant is on Question Time in a few minutes. Wouldn't be surprised if he gets a standing ovation from the audience.
posted by veedubya at 2:22 PM on July 7, 2011


But Newsnight has Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:22 PM on July 7, 2011


Newsnight or Question Time? Quick!

Not a problem for me, 'cos I've got Sky+.
posted by veedubya at 2:24 PM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised News Corp haven't slipped something into Paul McMullen's beer yet. He's a fantastic caricature of a tabloid hack and he just keeps making shit worse for himself.
posted by pmcp at 2:26 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised News Corp haven't slipped something into Paul McMullen's beer yet. He's a fantastic caricature of a tabloid hack and he just keeps making shit worse for himself.

If only he had a Roland Rat accent...
posted by Jehan at 2:28 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you were thinking of boycotting NotW - but now that's a bit redundant - or even if you were thinking of boycotting all News Corp/News International media, you may also want to consider becoming a regular Guardian reader (whether you're in the UK or the US or elsewhere) since:

The Guardian, by contrast, is reaching for America in desperation. Its paper circulation is falling steeply; executives assume that trend will continue. Guardian Media Group lost an estimated £33m in the year to March, and could run out of cash in three to five years. To avoid that fate, it hopes to double digital revenues to £91m by 2013. That is probably impossible without a big injection from across the Atlantic. The global battle for readers is just beginning.

there's a bunch of things I don't like about the Guardian, and I often don't agree with the opinions in its pages. And clearly there is a self-interest as well as a public interest in its investigations of NotW. But its dogged and tireless and brave investigations in the face of Murdoch's news media empire in the UK has been remarkable and unusual, and the Guardian deserves a larger regular readership over the long term.
posted by Bwithh at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2011 [29 favorites]


On The Guardian:

Mark Stephens, head of media with Finers Stephens Innocent lawyer, said under British law the paper "may not be obliged to retain documents that could be relevant to civil and criminal claims against the newspaper—even in cases that are already underway."

If News of the World is to be liquidated, Stephens told Reuters, it "is a stroke of genius—perhaps evil genius."

All of the assets of the shuttered newspaper, including its records, will be transferred to a professional liquidator (such as a global accounting firm). The liquidator's obligation is to maximize the estate's assets and minimize its liabilities. So the liquidator could be well within its discretion to decide News of the World would be best served by defaulting on pending claims rather than defending them. That way, the paper could simply destroy its documents to avoid the cost of warehousing them—and to preclude any other time bombs contained in News of the World's records from exploding.

posted by veedubya at 2:37 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


That way, the paper could simply destroy its documents to avoid the cost of warehousing them—and to preclude any other time bombs contained in News of the World's records from exploding.

But I'm sure some people would love to pay them for those same records....
posted by JHarris at 2:41 PM on July 7, 2011


I'd like to read updates of Question Time since (AFAIK) I can't watch it (in Finland).
posted by Anything at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2011


They're currently lynching a dummy of Rupert Murdoch.
posted by Jehan at 2:48 PM on July 7, 2011


Anything: Guardian Question Time Open Thread
posted by PenDevil at 2:49 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hugh Grant is being heroic. Jon Gaunt is trying to jump on the popularity bus.
posted by panboi at 2:51 PM on July 7, 2011


Anything - To summarise, Hugh Grant (who makes a living from playing a feckless stumbling Englishman) is tearing through a feckless stumbling conservative politician.
posted by pmcp at 2:55 PM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not a problem for me, 'cos I've got Sky+.

My Virgin TiVo is better and probably less tainted ;-)
posted by i_cola at 2:56 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


you may also want to consider becoming a regular Guardian reader (whether you're in the UK or the US or elsewhere)

I did consider, and I did try, here in Canada. They only had available a weekly international best-of edition thing, which was ridonkulously expensive, and arrived two to three weeks (at best) after publication date. On top of that, my subscription was totally mishandled from the very beginning, so much so that when it ultimately failed, I was happy to let that source of frustration go. Long story, but from this customer's perspective, the Guardian had some fucked-up business sense. Hopefully it's different now. Good read, though.

posted by Capt. Renault at 2:59 PM on July 7, 2011


Watching Question Time, with the inability of Chris Grayling to talk straight on the matter, I can easily see this scandal being badly damaging to the government, specifically the Conservative party.
posted by Jehan at 3:03 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hugh Grant doing a great job on QT. He's just spoken about the allegations that the Parliamentary Select Committee did not compel Rebecca Brooks to appear before them due to individual fear on behalf of the MPs. He said the relationship between politicians and NI was a 'protection racket' and should not be called anything else.
posted by Jakey at 3:09 PM on July 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


I did consider, and I did try, here in Canada. They only had available a weekly international best-of edition thing, which was ridonkulously expensive, and arrived two to three weeks (at best) after publication date. On top of that, my subscription was totally mishandled from the very beginning, so much so that when it ultimately failed, I was happy to let that source of frustration go. Long story, but from this customer's perspective, the Guardian had some fucked-up business sense. Hopefully it's different now.

They very recently stopped publishing those expensive international paper editions.
I think their international expansion will now even more be focussed through their website (which is free to you!)
posted by Bwithh at 3:12 PM on July 7, 2011


A friend of mine just noticed that Brooks' own statement is, shall we say, interestingly worded. These passages are particularly striking:

I have to tell you that I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened.

She isn't sickened by the events themselves, but about them being alleged. And it's a distinct pattern. A few lines further:

I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.

It isn't the acts themselves which she could not have cautioned, it's the allegations. It's weaselese at its finest.
posted by Skeptic at 3:13 PM on July 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


The fucker is going to make money off this.

If this is such an obviously beneficial move, why didn't he do it years ago? I don't buy it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skeptic, I noticed the same thing earlier. The BBC were quoting Murdoch's statement:
Recent allegations of phone hacking and making payments to police with respect to the News of the World are deplorable and unacceptable.
I too read that as "allegations ... are deplorable and unacceptable".

This was most certainly deliberate.
posted by Acey at 3:34 PM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hugh Grant rocks.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:35 PM on July 7, 2011 [13 favorites]


Friday's Sun cover.

WORLD'S END
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:42 PM on July 7, 2011


Hugh Grant rocks.

"You should try real journalism, Paul, because you're not an idiot, you could probably do it!"
posted by dirigibleman at 3:45 PM on July 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hugh Grant was outstanding tonight and put to shame the self-serving politicians at the same table. Sun columnist Jon Gaunt was his usual obnoxious self. This whole business has left me so depressed at the state of British politics and journalism.
posted by humph at 3:50 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think the allegations thing should be read into quite so much, it's typical in the UK to avoid your statement incriminating yourself or causing libel to just tag 'alleged' on to it because if they condemn the actual acts they are admitting their existence.
posted by pmcp at 3:51 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks PenDevil for the Guardian QT link and others for the updates.
posted by Anything at 3:56 PM on July 7, 2011


This is turning into the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by vbfg at 4:02 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's an excellent video summation of the NoTW scandal from Nick Davies, the Guardian reporter who broke the story in the first place.
posted by humph at 4:07 PM on July 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


Oh, holy shit. It is that Hugh Grant - I was assuming it was some hard bitten journalist who had the same name as the actor.

Go Hugh!
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:12 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


dirigibleman: "Hugh Grant rocks.

"You should try real journalism, Paul, because you're not an idiot, you could probably do it!"
"

That was pretty special. Made my night.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:21 PM on July 7, 2011


Hah! Telegraph wins the headline game: Goodbye Cruel World
posted by Erasmouse at 4:33 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not sure Erasmouse, I think the Northern Echo has it.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 4:41 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]




Pmcp: there's a world of difference between 'I am sickened by these alledged events' and 'I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened'.

The second is unequivocally saying that it's the allegations that she's concerned about, not the events themselves.
posted by jonathanstrange at 4:52 PM on July 7, 2011


The closure of the News of the World could be a cunning ploy to legally shred any incriminating evidence linked to the phone hacking scandal

The comments to that article appear to undermine it. "The News of the World appears not to be a separate company (News of the World Ltd is a dormant company) but is part of News Group Ltd, which also publishes the Sun and is not being liquidated."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:57 PM on July 7, 2011


It's well worth watching the video humph linked to. It takes about as long to watch as the say three news articles you were going to read anyway, and does a better job at explaining the principal actors and facts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:07 PM on July 7, 2011


Good fucking riddance.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on July 7, 2011


Hugh Grant rocks.

Having watched that clip, I was curious as to what New Statesman article he and others were referencing.

For those of us just now getting to understand the nuances and details of the story:
12 April 2011 | Hugh Grant: The Bugger, Bugged.
posted by ericb at 5:35 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


For those, like me, who want to learn about the various U.K. newspapers -- their history, journalistic P.O.V., etc. I found these articles to be helpful:
List of newspapers in the United Kingdom.

U.K. newspapers.

History of British newspapers.
posted by ericb at 5:49 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Hansard, 9 June 1999
"Many of us must have been intrigued over the years about whether the famously intrepid News of the World investigators really made their excuses and left the scenes of depravity that they were helpfully bringing to our attention. Sue and Bob, armed with audio and visual aids, answered that question, at least as far as the chief crime reporter of the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck, was concerned. After he had plastered on a double-page spread a story entitled "The guesthouse where all rooms come with en suite pervert", he was unmasked by the couple's videotape as the pervert who badgered, begged and finally bribed Bob and Sue into allowing him to indulge in a rather pathetic act of onanism at the foot of their bed."
via
"The couple even posted stills showing an aroused Thurlbeck on the Web, where they remained for several years before being taken down around the time of the Mosley scandal. I must have been one of the last people to see them."
posted by unliteral at 5:51 PM on July 7, 2011




goodnewsfortheinsane -- thanks. That post is very helpful.
posted by ericb at 6:01 PM on July 7, 2011


George Galloway + Parliamentary Privilege = Awesome?
posted by Jehan at 6:01 PM on July 7, 2011


PS In case folk don't know, Neville Thurlbeck was arrested earlier this year and will be tried on charges related to phone-hacking.
posted by Jehan at 6:04 PM on July 7, 2011


Also worth dredging up again, of course, is that legendary quote from Yes, Minister which too was referenced in that MeTa thread:
Jim Hacker: "Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers:

- The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country;
- The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country;
- The Times is read by people who actually do run the country;
- The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country;
- The Financial Times is read by people who own the country;
- The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country;
- And the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is."

Sir Humphrey: "Prime Minister, what about the people who read the Sun?"

Bernard Woolley: "Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:05 PM on July 7, 2011 [26 favorites]


Bernard always had the best lines.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:08 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


there's a bunch of things I don't like about the Guardian, and I often don't agree with the opinions in its pages. And clearly there is a self-interest as well as a public interest in its investigations of NotW. But its dogged and tireless and brave investigations in the face of Murdoch's news media empire in the UK has been remarkable and unusual, and the Guardian deserves a larger regular readership over the long term.

Bwithh, thank you for that. I've just gone and registered on the Guardian's website. I'm glad to see it's free, though I would have been willing to pay for access. Other than reading it regularly and clicking on the ads occasionally, I'm not sure how much more I can support them but am open to suggestions.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:09 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fascinating article in the NYT detailing Rebekah Brooks' absent moral compass over the years.
[F]urious that the paper was about to be scooped by The Sunday Times’s serialization of a biography of Prince Charles, Ms. Brooks disguised herself as a Times cleaning woman and hid for two hours in a bathroom, according to [Piers] Morgan. When the presses started rolling, she ran over, grabbed a newly printed copy of The Sunday Times, and brought it back to The News of the World — which proceeded to use the material, verbatim, in its own paper the next day.

[...]

As part of her anti-pedophile campaign, she printed photographs of convicted sex offenders in an effort to “name and shame” them. The campaign backfired when it turned out that some of the photographs showed the wrong people and when vigilantes began harassing and threatening men who they thought were pedophiles.
It also features an anecdote starring Metafilter's Own Tom Watson, MP:
Tom Watson, a Labour member of Parliament, recalled what happened to him in 2006, shortly after he resigned his position in Tony Blair’s government and called for Mr. Blair’s resignation. The political editor of The Sun, George Pascoe-Watson, approached him at the Labour Party conference in Manchester. The Sun was then an ardent Labour supporter.

“ ‘My editor, Rebekah Wade, will pursue you for the rest of your life. You will never escape us, my friend,’ ” Mr. Watson said Mr. Pascoe-Watson told him. “Those were his exact words.”
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:00 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, and let's not forget James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks crashing the offices of The Independent when it ran the headline "Rupert Murdoch won't decide this election – you will" during the 2010 General Election campaign.

[My post on the incident]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:06 PM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pmcp: there's a world of difference between 'I am sickened by these alledged events' and 'I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened'.

Skeptic, I see your point about the first one but in this it makes no sense for her to be denying the allegation of something.

I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations.

She is not accused of reporting, or alleging anything. It is weasly but it's not uncommon to see 'allegations' used to also mean 'the things that are alleged'. For instance if I said 'I deny all the allegations' it doesn't mean I'm denying alleging anything.
posted by pmcp at 7:08 PM on July 7, 2011


Although not as surprised as I am to discover that they have a sub-editing department, obviously.

Are you kidding? To give the obvious example: Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious.

Say what you like about the Sun, but you can't deny that they have great subs. And I'm from the part of the country that's been boycotting the fuckers since 1989.

- The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country;

Part of me wishes that reference wasn't so terribly dated. Still going, mind you, and the telly section is surprisingly readable.
posted by jack_mo at 7:23 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


An Unsympathetic Obituary for "News of the World": "So, after 168 slimy years, News of the World has died, suddenly and unexpectedly. It has not so much suffered from a fall from grace as it suffered from slipping off the toilet seat onto the grimy floor of a public restroom."
posted by dirigibleman at 7:57 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, holy shit. It is that Hugh Grant - I was assuming it was some hard bitten journalist who had the same name as the actor.
posted by never used baby shoes


I'm going to continue to refer to him as "Huge Grant", but no longer pejoratively.
posted by 445supermag at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


pmcp: I think you are probably right, however it did occur to me that they were holding onto the hope that they may still weasel their way out of this, and that they phrased their condemnations as such so they can deny admitting guilt at a later date.
posted by Acey at 12:33 AM on July 8, 2011


The Daily Mash nail it again with More people are going to read the Mail on Sunday.

/shudders.

posted by seanyboy at 1:56 AM on July 8, 2011


Mystic Meg must be wondering what the future holds.
posted by vbfg at 2:26 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


BSkyB shares are falling, down 4.8% this morning.

Legally, the News International bid for BSkyB is fine to go ahead under the current rules.
Politically it would be suicide for Cameron. (the Yellow Tories might be able to save a bit of face with the whole "Vince Cable was right!" angle)

News International have to save the bid at all costs. The revenues from Sky dwarf the press operations. Whether this means Murdoch realises this and falls on his sword is another thing, but as someone who grew up watching that poisonous little shit destroy the UK Media landscape it's glorious to see him squirm.

He's an evil clever bastard though, so part of me is interested to see how he gets out of this.
posted by fullerine at 3:08 AM on July 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


At this point I'm sort of hoping he's been coasting for long enough he's forgotten how to be an evil clever bastard, and muffs it. It's about all I've got though.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:16 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian confirms that Andy Coulson has been taken into custody.
posted by PenDevil at 3:19 AM on July 8, 2011




If you needed any more proof of how out of touch with reality News Corp is, you need only look at the banner of newsinternational.co.uk, where the phrase "each of our newspapers is a leader in its field and offers world-class journalism" appears opposite a picture of The Sun headline "UFO hits wind turbine".

Sublime.
posted by Acey at 5:03 AM on July 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


According to the Guardian's live blog, they've re-arrested the royal editor, Clive Goodson, who some jail time over this previously. Also: Operation Elveden?
posted by Diablevert at 5:23 AM on July 8, 2011




Also: Operation Elveden?

Elveden's a place in Suffolk. There's an Operation Weeting as well, named for a place in Norfolk. Weeting has an annual steam rally and Elveden's near Thetford, which does also. In conclusion, someone at the Metropolitan police really likes steam rallies.
posted by permafrost at 5:30 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]




What are people's thoughts on the two separate inquiries Cameron has announced? Will they be robust enough or should citizens be asking for more?
posted by Jehan at 6:15 AM on July 8, 2011


Elveden's a place in Suffolk...In conclusion, someone at the Metropolitan police really likes steam rallies.

Ah, I see. I thought it was some obscure pun on the nature of the scandal or something. Never occurred to me it was a place name.
posted by Diablevert at 6:23 AM on July 8, 2011


Are you kidding? To give the obvious example: Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious.

They stole that.

In truth, though, the gag could most charitably be described as a homage, given that the Liverpool Echo had beaten the Sun to the pun(ch) by nearly three decades, reporting a 1970s Ian Callaghan masterclass against Queens Park Rangers thus: SUPER CALLY GOES BALLISTIC, QPR ATROCIOUS.
posted by dng at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2011




Will they be robust enough or should citizens be asking for more?

I'm not sure we know enough yet to say. I am very pleased though that the inquiry into the police's role will be headed by a judge. I have yet to see anything that says it will have the power to compel witnesses to attend or that lying would be considered perjury. I am hoping that is implicit in there being a judge heading it, but I do not know.
posted by vbfg at 6:27 AM on July 8, 2011


Guardian: BBC Radio Five Live is reporting that the offices of the Daily Star have been raided by police.

Daily Star is not owned by NewsCorp.
posted by PenDevil at 6:33 AM on July 8, 2011


Clive Goodman (the other arrest today) works at the Daily Star
posted by pixie at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2011


And now it's breaking that a News International executive may have deleted millions of e-mails in the wake of the phone hacking investigation.

I have to wonder whether they are at all competent enough to have erased those emails securely.
posted by Anything at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2011


From the article about the deleted e-mails:

News International originally claimed that the archive of emails did not exist. Last December, their Scottish editor, Bob Bird, told the trial of Tommy Sheridan in Glasgow that the emails had been lost en route to Mumbai. Also in December, the company's solicitor, Julian Pike from Farrer and Co, provided the High Court with a statement claiming that they were unable to retrieve emails which were more than six months old.

There are so many things wrong with that, I don't know where to start.
posted by ukdanae at 6:48 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


that the emails had been lost en route to Mumbai

I've seen that happen myself. Somebody's sending you half a terabyte of important files over the internet. You forget to plug in your end of the cable. Next thing you know, there's bits all over the carpet. Bugger to clean up afterwards.
posted by veedubya at 6:54 AM on July 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have to wonder whether they are at all competent enough to have erased those emails securely.

I was thinking the exact same thing. Here's hoping for incompetence!
posted by ob at 6:54 AM on July 8, 2011


Remember A Bit of Fry and Laurie?

Here's Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry's take on Murdoch back in the early 90s.

(Not captioned, unfortunately.)
posted by humph at 7:09 AM on July 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



To anyone who believes that petitions achieve nothing: Jeremy Hunt says judgement on BSkyB deal will be delayed due to the volume of public objections:


Well... it's an official public consultation process rather than a petition process. Government civil servants are obligated to read every single submission (which are supposed to be reasoned opinions submitted by members of the public and interested organizations, not just a name and "Murdoch suckz!!") to the official consultation process, hence the delay. They wouldn't do the same for any old random petition.
posted by Bwithh at 7:16 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian liveblog: Renault has become the first advertiser to publicly extend its advertising boycott to cover all News International newspapers despite the publisher's decision to close the News of the World, Brand Republic reports.

bwahahahahahaha
posted by Bwithh at 7:20 AM on July 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Renault has become the first advertiser to publicly extend its advertising boycott to cover all News International newspapers despite the publisher's decision to close the News of the World

Uh-oh, NewsCorp about to embark in one of its regular anti-French campaigns in 3...2...1...
posted by Skeptic at 7:27 AM on July 8, 2011


Taiwan's world-famous Next Media Animation has its own take on the News Of The World saga: with English subtitles
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:48 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


"A number of Journalists at the News of the World have downed tools at the London office this afternoon as two former staff are questioned by police about the telephone hacking scandal."

I would laugh hard if this "historic final News of the World" is four pages thick and written entirely by Brooks.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:07 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, filthy light thief, this about-to-be-executed paper has been raking muck from the start. And thank god they did! Until quite recently, exploitative crime news was the one of the only places that the stories of the underclasses have been told with any sympathy, accuracy or depth. Anyone who consumes mass media gossip in the U.K. is complicit in the current rigmorole, and heads will roll and should, but let us not forget the historical value of trash journalism. I, for one, mourn this very old journal and curse the creeps who are killing it.
posted by Scram at 8:14 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]




I would laugh hard if this "historic final News of the World" is four pages thick and written entirely by Brooks.

it sounds like it will even be empty of charity ads - according to the Guardian blog:

RNLI, RSPCA, The Brooke, Care International, Thames Reach, Action Aid, WaterAid, Salvation Army, VSO, RSPCA, Oxfam and Barnardo's have all rejected the offer.
posted by ukdanae at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2011


Oxfam: We Tap People's Villages
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:53 AM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


you may also want to consider becoming a regular Guardian reader (whether you're in the UK or the US or elsewhere)

I have to say, their iOS app is disturbingly well-designed, particularly in comparison to the feeble, twitchy disaster released by the NYT (which the Guardian app just replaced on my home screen). Plus: Charlie Brooker!
posted by Lazlo at 8:57 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah! Telegraph wins the headline game: Goodbye Cruel World
...although The Economist should feel fine about "The end of the World as we know it".
posted by rongorongo at 9:40 AM on July 8, 2011


Brooks is now not going to lead the NI investigation/clean-up. They'll do anything to save her, it seems.
posted by ob at 10:00 AM on July 8, 2011


Also at The Economist:
Amidst all this grisly murk, the day has at least seen a couple of moments of unintended comedy to lighten the gloom.

The first is this detail from the Guardian, which I shall treasure for a while:

News International (NI) continued its internal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World. Senior sources said they were examining whether former News of the World journalists may have kept money claimed on company expenses instead of passing it on to police officers in exchange for stories. Paying police officers is itself illegal.
Bagehot's notebook
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised that News Corporation hasn't just jettisoned Brooks. Doing so would certainly be convenient, and I can't think that loyalty to their employees is high on their priorities as they nonchalantly laid off hundreds of News of the World employees instead. Does she have some sort of dirt on the corporation or their leadership?
posted by grouse at 10:06 AM on July 8, 2011


grouse, Brooks and Murdoch have an odd quasi-father/daughter relationship apparently. From what I've read, he would not tolerate her sacking/resignation.
posted by humph at 10:08 AM on July 8, 2011


If that 5:48 update on the Guardian live blog is the goods, they may have just bagged themselves a Prime Minister. If they can prove Cameron knew his chief of communications was involved with a murderer and hired him anyway? Especially when Cameron went on tv this morning and refused to apologize for hiring him? Jaysus.
posted by Diablevert at 10:23 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems weird that such a whim could be entertained in a profit-seeking corporation, but Rupert Murdoch definitely seems to have a lock on the way the place is run. Reading the Wikipedia article, it seems they have separate classes of voting and non-voting shares, with the Murdochs controlling an enormous portion of the voting shares. Out of the 17 directors, four of them are Rupert Murdoch and his children. An additional three are employees of News Corporation. That's a remarkable lack of independence for the board of an enormous corporation.
posted by grouse at 10:31 AM on July 8, 2011


Podcast: Alan Rusbridger, Nick Davies, Roy Greenslade and Janine Gibson discuss the closure of the News of the World and the impact of the phone-hacking scandal on News International and the British newspaper industry.
posted by adamvasco at 10:50 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]




Also: an archive of the BBC's Murdoch coverage from the 60s onwards. Fascinating stuff.
posted by ob at 12:19 PM on July 8, 2011


It is worth remembering how Cameron cosied up to Murdoch & Son.
posted by adamvasco at 12:30 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Renault has become the first advertiser to publicly extend its advertising boycott to cover all News International newspapers despite the publisher's decision to close the News of the World, Brand Republic reports.

Go Renault! Go Renault!

That's a remarkable lack of independence for the board of an enormous corporation.

The old shitbag is both a remarkably successful businessman, and a vindictive son of a bitch who controls a media empire, British politics, and has corrupt police on his payroll. If other investors aren't interested in the first clause, they may have to fear the latter ones.
posted by rodgerd at 1:24 PM on July 8, 2011


Worth reposting Jarvis Cocker, if only to act as a soundtrack while reading this thread.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:06 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]




Guardian reports Rupert Murdoch is flying in to London on Saturday.
posted by PenDevil at 2:50 PM on July 8, 2011


BTW, I'm still not 100% sure this is genuine or not, but here goes: Ex-NotW journo on twitter -plans to release inside details on blog tomorrow. Also says they've heard rumours that NotW closure was planned back in November.
posted by ob at 2:54 PM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


My goodness, Steve Coogan on Newsnight right now is even better than he was in Sherlock Holmes in Miami.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:02 PM on July 8, 2011


Also says they've heard rumours that NotW closure was planned back in November.

"...as a possible sop to ease BSkyB deal." But that doesn't make much sense. The consultation period ended today, and an announcement on the deal could have been expected quite swiftly before this scandal broke. When was the closure to happen? Maybe it was only considered but not actually planned, especially given the mess they've made with redundancies.



In other news, the Guardian is reporting that a 63 year old man has been arrested in Surrey linked to payments to police. There's no word who that is, however, but I can only think of one News of the World person that age.
posted by Jehan at 3:04 PM on July 8, 2011


And who is that? Nobody else seems to know, or want to say.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:13 PM on July 8, 2011


The twitters say he's a private eye working for the tabs.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:17 PM on July 8, 2011


Guardian reports Rupert Murdoch is flying in to London on Saturday.

If you wake tonight, and hear the sound of scaly, leathery wings overhead, don't look out your window. Pull the covers tight, and pretend you are asleep.
posted by reynir at 3:21 PM on July 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


I thought he was arriving on the Demeter.
posted by Anything at 3:25 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The twitters say he's a private eye working for the tabs.

I wonder if he's a new name or somebody already known.


Also, the Guardian is reporting that News International did register sunonsunday.co.uk.
posted by Jehan at 3:29 PM on July 8, 2011


Phone hacking: David Cameron is not out of the sewer yet by Peter Oborne in The Daily Telegraph.
posted by Jehan at 3:36 PM on July 8, 2011


from the NYT coverage of the latest Brooks briefing to NotW staffers:
According to the staffer, she said she did not think that she would be arrested for what had happened under her leadership. But, she warned, “this is only going to get worse.” One part of the criminal investigation, she said, would lead to “a very dark day for this company.” On that day, she said, News of the World staffers would finally understand why their newspaper had to be shut down. She declined to provide further details.

So there's something waaaaaay worse and darker that we don't know about that NotW did than the horrible scandals that have already been revealed or hinted at?
posted by Bwithh at 4:01 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So there's something waaaaaay worse and darker that we don't know about that NotW did than the horrible scandals that have already been revealed or hinted at?

Jesus, were the editorial staff bathing in the blood of virgins on a nightly basis or something?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:06 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I correct in thinking that the meaning of the word "arrest" is different in UK-English than in US-English? In the US, if the police arrest someone, it means they are being charged with a crime and held for (or let out on bail until) trial. But, my impression from what I've read on the internet or gleaned from fiction, is that in UK-legalese being arrested means being held by the police for questioning only, where they hope/expect that the interrogation will provide evidence of criminal acts.

(Sorry if the question is a derail, I'm just a little confused as to what the 7:41 Guardian update Coulson has been released on police bail to return on a date in October means. Why October?)
posted by oh yeah! at 4:14 PM on July 8, 2011


I think it's pretty clear that Brooks is a terrible narcissist and liar. If she predicts a dark day for the company, what she MEANS is a dark day for her, if she isn't simply prevaricating to try and get sympathy from the people she's putting the boot into. Trying to divine the truth from the words of thorough-going liars like this is a fool's errand.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:14 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus, were the editorial staff bathing in the blood of virgins on a nightly basis or something?
It would have to be criminal, it would have to be heinous (basically kids) and the paper would have to be working with the police otherwise it would've come out by now. Something along the lines of they knew about Huntley, passed it to the police and both kept quiet in the interests of profit.
If she predicts a dark day for the company, what she MEANS is a dark day for her
There's been rumours about some very nasty goings-on at News International for a good few years, and this last couple of days a few people (journalists) have said this (Dowler) isn't the worse thing they've heard.

Omg! I worked it out!! They killed Kenny Diana!!
posted by fullerine at 4:21 PM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a theory on what happened to Madeleine McCann. I'd best not share it.
posted by vbfg at 4:43 PM on July 8, 2011


A profile of "Rebekah Brooks: A ruthless, charming super-schmoozer":
Can it really be the case, as Friday's Independent put it, that the News of the World has been "sacrificed to save one woman"? And if so, why?
posted by grouse at 4:49 PM on July 8, 2011


I have a theory on what happened to Madeleine McCann.

I don't have a theory, but her name definitely comes to mind, given the way that so many tabloid causes célèbres have been tied with phone-hacking, and especially hearing that Brooks talked about things getting much worse for NI.

oh yeah! -- police bail means no charges or restrictions on movement, but you have to come back in when the police say so. October just gives the ongoing investigations sufficient headroom.
posted by holgate at 5:04 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian reports Rupert Murdoch is flying in to London on Saturday.

"Who the fuck do you think you are, Cameron? Becky's got your balls in her purse, you cunt. Don't you start fucking imagining you've got some sort of fucking independence. You'll fall back into line or the next election will be next fucking month and I'll give it to someone else. No, not you Milliband, you miserable little shit-stain, I'd rather put that fucking jizzmop Clegg in charge. Give me a month and I'll have the sheep voting for the BN fucking-P if I want."

"You've forgotten who you are. You're fucking nothing. I own this country. Pull your fucking heads in."

OK, so Murdoch may not actually speak like a Guy Ritchie character, but I'm willing to bet it'd be the substance of a number of the discussions...

So there's something waaaaaay worse and darker that we don't know about that NotW did than the horrible scandals that have already been revealed or hinted at?

And yet, on the other hand, she claims she knew nothing about any of it. She's losing track of her own lies.

It would have to be criminal, it would have to be heinous (basically kids) and the paper would have to be working with the police otherwise it would've come out by now. Something along the lines of they knew about Huntley, passed it to the police and both kept quiet in the interests of profit.

Given their investigation teams included murderers and kiddie-fiddlers it could be quite nasty indeed.
posted by rodgerd at 7:26 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, so Murdoch may not actually speak like a Guy Ritchie character

And still I sit yearning for Malcolm Tucker's analysis.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:36 PM on July 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Another vote for that Guardian video that humph linked to, thanks for that.

The closure is a cynical damage limitation strategy. Good riddance, but I expect little change as the Sun steps into the gap left.
posted by arcticseal at 11:05 PM on July 8, 2011


she warned, “this is only going to get worse.” One part of the criminal investigation, she said, would lead to “a very dark day for this company.” On that day, she said, News of the World staffers would finally understand why their newspaper had to be shut down. She declined to provide further details.

There is a rumor that Brooks gave a cell phone to at least one victim of a sex offender (a few years ago, when the phones were less common, more expensive) "to keep in touch" and the paper monitored calls to/from the phone(s).
posted by ambient2 at 11:24 PM on July 8, 2011


And still I sit yearning for Malcolm Tucker's analysis.

"Ho ho ho, you've really fucked the goose now, people. We're not so much through the looking glass here as right on the other side of whatever passes for reality inside your tiny, stunted little brains. I mean, come on, this is basic stuff we're talking about here. First rule: don't get caught. Second rule: definitely don't get caught with your fucking investigative knickers round your bloody ankles. Third rule: definitely definitely don't get caught hiring some swivel-eyed goon to poke about in the bins and voicemail messages of some murdered wee girl who you've decided is some fucking emblem of lost innocence. Fourth: Rebekah Brooks? Really? You stupid buggers thought that someone who knowingly and voluntarily shagged Ross Fucking Kemp for fun and pleasure was someone with sound judgement? You might as well go ahead and put James Murdoch in charge of the entire thing and hope that the speccy twat doesn't fuck it all up by appearing on the news bleating like some weirdo-accented sheep whilst Paxo fires daggers into those funny bulging eyes of his. Not that he'd let Paxman get anywhere near him, because if Murdoch junior is one thing, besides being some robotic corporate automaton, he's not nearly as fucking daft as you lot.

I don't know which one of you decided to give Coulson that job, but I'll tell you this: when the press officer becomes the story, you have to sack him. When the press officer is the story before you've even given him the fucking job, don't give him the fucking job, no matter how much time it saves you when it comes to giving blowjobs to Rupert Murdoch. Honestly, this is fucking amateur hour here; I've seen better damage limitation from Myra Hindley's legal team, and at least she had the good grace to be a boring old serial killer, and not the kind of idiot who flicks through her CV and then employs her to babysit the kids."
posted by Len at 12:23 AM on July 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


There is a rumor that Brooks gave a cell phone to at least one victim of a sex offender (a few years ago, when the phones were less common, more expensive) "to keep in touch" and the paper monitored calls to/from the phone(s).
That would be Sara Payne.
"One example of their support was to give me a phone to help me stay in touch with my family, friends and support network, which turned out to be an absolute lifeline.
Hmm, I'm assuming this is now being seen as less helpful than first thought.

There's a level of exploitation here which is bordering on the insane. I honestly don't think I'd be surprised to find out the ties which bind these people is some sort of serial-killing/paedophile ring. The whole thing is beginning to go beyond simple greed or corruption.

"The North South, where we do what we want"
posted by fullerine at 2:06 AM on July 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


That last bit was mostly tongue in cheek, mostly.
posted by fullerine at 2:14 AM on July 9, 2011


The point is that with the closing of the News of the Screws, they can take the opportunity to destroy all the evidence. In effect, the closure is an admission that something worse than anything we've previously suspected is true.

Given the level of cynicism that many of us have towards Murdoch, NI and the Screws, we ought to have imagined it already, but I've got nothing.

Perhaps David Icke is right about the lizard thing. That would be something.

I need to get more popcorn in.

(It might be Diana - the outpourings of sanctimony after her death have tended to obscure the fact that immediately before it, the tabloids were involved in a feeding frenzy of extraordinary prurience and savagery regarding her. On the Friday before the regrettable traffic incident, I was sitting in an office with someone who had a number of tabloid newspapers scattered around, who said "What could possibly happen next?" So they might not have killed her, but there may be something there.)
posted by Grangousier at 2:21 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]




Does McMullen ever look like he didn't wake up in that suit after a massive bender in the pub the previous night?
posted by PenDevil at 3:22 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Part of his schtick, presumably.
posted by Anything at 3:26 AM on July 9, 2011


The point is that with the closing of the News of the Screws, they can take the opportunity to destroy all the evidence. In effect, the closure is an admission that something worse than anything we've previously suspected is true.

That was only suggested by one lawyer, and several others have said that it wouldn't be possible. Besides, if it were to happen, it would only take the scandal further up the News International (or even News Corp) chain.
posted by Jehan at 6:00 AM on July 9, 2011


Yes, of course. I got a bit carried away. I suppose I couldn't think of a rational reason to trash as valuable a brand as the NOtW (however tarnished it might seem at the moment) unless it afforded that opportunity to shred everything. In addition, I find the idea of Murdoch actually losing very difficult to imagine (not that I wouldn't want it). I suppose Gandalf felt that way about Sauron, but that didn't stop him trying.
posted by Grangousier at 6:49 AM on July 9, 2011


Family feuds at the heart of the Murdoch empire.
posted by adamvasco at 7:07 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]




idiomatika, your linked is borked.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:10 AM on July 9, 2011


make that: link
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:11 AM on July 9, 2011


Some of the comments on the twitpic of the NotW last-day staff group photo (via today's Guardian liveblog) are priceless.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:29 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was spot on, Len, thanks.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:14 AM on July 9, 2011


"Some of the comments on the twitpic of the NotW last-day staff group photo (via today's Guardian liveblog) are priceless."

Classy to the end! Blond women lined up in front, and the 2-3 possibly black employees carefully obscured behind everyone else and/or halfway out of the frame.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:25 AM on July 9, 2011


For those of us who experienced a surge of naive hope that News International have been referred to Ofcom for a ruling on the “Fit and Proper Persons” test, here is a bucket of cold water
posted by adamvasco at 10:22 AM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh yeah! - Yes, arrest in England and Wales is exactly that - they keep you in for questioning, and in normal circumstances have up to 24 hours of that before they have to release you or charge you. See here for details.

Police bail can be used whenever there's a police investigation ongoing and they want you back at some time in the future. [on preview: what holgate said] -
posted by penguin pie at 10:55 AM on July 9, 2011


Amy Davidson makes an important point in the New Yorker:
But one should be wary of the response to the News of the World scandal, especially in terms of how it affects press freedoms going forward. David Cameron announced two inquiries Friday, including one that

should look at how our newspapers are regulated and make recommendations for the future…it should be truly independent…independent of the press, so the public will know that newspapers will never again be solely responsible for policing themselves.

Did self-policing fail, and, if so, on whose part? It looks from here like the Guardian, another newspaper, did the tireless investigative work that exposed the News of the World’s practices, while public officials at every level were intimately involved in them. If the Guardian did the work that the government failed to do, is the lesson there really that the press should have less power, and the government more? British newspapers are not “solely responsible for policing themselves”: the News of the World engaged in activities that are criminal under existing laws, and that those who enforce laws were well positioned to reveal and put an end to. They did not. The list of the complicit starts with the first policeman who was offered money, but it extends to David Cameron.
The public outrage over the Dowler voicemails shouldn't obscure the fact that the police were paid off and that Cameron is deeply implicated in the scandal-- that his ties with Murdoch are part of the larger issue. If what comes out of this is tighter regulation of the press, rather than full inquiry into police corruption, that's a win for Murdoch and a loss for the rest of us.
posted by jokeefe at 12:22 PM on July 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


It looks from here like the Guardian, another newspaper, did the tireless investigative work that exposed the News of the World’s practices, while public officials at every level were intimately involved in them.

And it looks from here like the PCC, the actual "independent self-regulatory body" failed miserably. I take the point about needing a wider investigative focus -- as Nick Davies noted, this is not primarily about journalistic practices, but about the power elite playing by their own rules -- but it's a strange bit of parsing to say that if a competitor exposes the impotence of the industry's standards commission, it still counts under the umbrella of self-policing.
posted by holgate at 12:35 PM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]




A supportive tweet from the politics team at The Sun:

"NotW - RIP. A loss to 1st class journalism. Ed Miliband, Guardian and BBC; how proud you must be of your work this week."

No, it's not a spoof account.
posted by reynir at 1:09 PM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The public outrage over the Dowler voicemails shouldn't obscure the fact that the police were paid off and that Cameron is deeply implicated in the scandal-- that his ties with Murdoch are part of the larger issue. If what comes out of this is tighter regulation of the press, rather than full inquiry into police corruption, that's a win for Murdoch and a loss for the rest of us.

Well, having used Blair and Cameron to first neuter and now start gutting the BBC, one fears that Murdoch's revenge will be a change in rules that will hammer the Guardian in some way.

Oh, and this emphasises my earlier comments; hacking or no hacking, NotW were and are scum:
Frankie’s headmaster told me he had NotW (and doubtless other newspaper) hacks skulking in bushes in the school grounds and brazenly marching straight into his office demanding comments and answers with impunity.
posted by rodgerd at 1:09 PM on July 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


From my Craig Murray link above: the Chairman of Ofcom, Colette Bowe is a director of the Wincott Foundation, a “charity” whose purpose is to spread the far right economic doctrines of Milton Friedman in Eastern Europe – to the benefit, ultimate if incidental, of Morgan Stanley and Electra Private Equity, in which she also also holds directorships.
Ofcom is a fucking joke.
posted by adamvasco at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


If what comes out of this is tighter regulation of the press, rather than full inquiry into police corruption, that's a win for Murdoch and a loss for the rest of us.

Good point
posted by KokuRyu at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2011


Sunday Telegraph: "Rebekah Brooks to be questioned by police over phone hacking"

That Sun tweet has been removed, by the way, with a weak excuse about it not being "authorised".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:43 PM on July 9, 2011


The shape of press regulation that may come out of this scandal is a worry. However, depictions of the scandal as merely a problem of journalistic continence would be greatly off target, and obviously so. Any analysis of the situation that doesn't recognize the ecology of media ownership and practices within our society would be too shallow. Police corruption has enabled such practices to thrive while political supineness allows it to survive. The truly scandalous aspect of this affair is how broad and deep the problem is across several institutions. The most politically aware and active won't forget that. But it may not help matters that there is an ongoing privacy/libel debate which can also be pitched into the analysis. Journalism is often so poorly regarded that restrictions are likely to be popular to some degree.

Hopefully this scandal still has a long way to run and in time all the aspects will be uncovered and understood. If any inquiry is prevented from reporting until after the police investigation has finished, it will at least be an obvious omission should the inevitable discovery of police corruption not feature strongly. There is also the possibility that political change will occur at some point and create a new political landscape within which the inquiries findings are implemented. The current government may wish to divert anger into a narrow focus on just one paper and a few journalists due to their complicity, but the next government—whenever it may come—might be much less willing. Once you break with opponents such as Murdoch or corrupt police, you would be a fool to let them survive.

In short, I think the size of this scandal will prevent it being swept away as merely a need for "better" press regulation.
posted by Jehan at 5:13 PM on July 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


BILLY BRAGG - NEVER BUY THE SUN

Filmed live in the dressing room at Garforth Academy during Garforth Festival, Yorkshire, Saturday 9th July 2011 by Stephen Grubb
posted by Sailormom at 8:58 PM on July 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


That was great, thanks Sailormom
posted by Bwithh at 11:41 PM on July 9, 2011


for those wondering about the Scousers (Liverpudlians) reference in the Billy Bragg song: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster#The_Sun_newspaper
posted by Bwithh at 12:09 AM on July 10, 2011


The crossword clues on page 47 look intersting.

Across
• Brook (6)
• lamented (8)
• Prestige (6)
• Stink (6)
• Catastrophe (8)

Down
• Digital protection
• Less bright
• Chair
• Pest
• Cease
• Criminal enterprise

Now, if this were a spy novel, they would have hidden a URL within the puzzle page...
posted by run"monty at 5:50 AM on July 10, 2011


The ExNotW twitter account has been shut down.
posted by ob at 6:47 AM on July 10, 2011


Sorry, linkage and spelling borked.

NOTW current print issue online. (Crossword on page 47)
posted by run"monty at 7:33 AM on July 10, 2011


Has this youtube channel been linked to yet? NOTWPhoneHacking has been posting snippets from the 7/7 Question Time and other news shows.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:54 AM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The leader of the Labour party is due to put up a motion for the BSkyB deal to be suspended until the phone-hacking inquiry has ended. Many Lib Dem MPs are likely to support the motion, putting pressure on the coalition government. Conservative aligned commentators have painted the motion as a party political trick, but rank and file opinion seems to be split, with many Conservative supporters unwilling to trust the assurances of Murdoch. It could be that a number of Conservative MPs also vote for the motion, and this week might see Cameron isolated. Given the pretty strong accusations that he knew of Coulson's activities and links to private investigators while at the News of the World (and further that he accepted a personal recommendation for Coulson from Murdoch), things look bad. I don't know if there is yet enough to push the issue to breaking point, but Cameron's resignation has become a possibility. It might not be very probable, but the situation is changing so quick.
posted by Jehan at 8:14 AM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Cameron resigns, the Con-LibDem coalition may not survive... early general elections?
posted by Bwithh at 8:22 AM on July 10, 2011


I realise that this is just melodramatic fantasizing, but that's not stopping me from doing it...

In addition to Sky TV, Sky also off bundles including broadband and telephone. Has anybody raised the spectre of a company such as NI, which operates an explicitly propagandist "news" station (Fox) and has also been associated with the mobile hacking campaign (along with all the other Murdoch nastinesses) having direct access to the emails, internet habits and telephone calls of an increasing number of people?
posted by Grangousier at 8:32 AM on July 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Murdoch needs to start a war with China stat!
posted by PenDevil at 8:34 AM on July 10, 2011


Lots of great stuff. . . . oh yeah, thanks for the youtube NOTWPhoneHacking link.
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:56 AM on July 10, 2011


If Cameron resigns, the Con-LibDem coalition may not survive... early general elections?

I can't imagine the coalition surviving without Cameron. David Davis was the runner-up at the last leadership election, and he still has a lot of support. But he's not been in the coalition government, and isn't a likely partner for the Lib Dems.

Besides, Cameron's response to the BSkyB deal could further strain the coalition, leading to a split even if he remains as Prime Minister. I do think his resignation is an outside chance, but it's not impossible.
posted by Jehan at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2011


I don't know. The most realistic scenario for early elections is for the Lib Dems to withdraw support for the government, IMO, and I don't think they would want to do that, being in a rare position of power for them and being so low in the polls currently. Perhaps if Con-Lib relations have soured to the point that they make a deal with Labour to form a new coalition government, but that seems a bit far-fetched to me.

As for the prospect of Cameron's resignation, he either needs to become a bit more deeply embroiled in the controversy, or there needs to be a deep rift within the Tory ranks. It's possible, but I don't see it happening just yet.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:35 AM on July 10, 2011


NotW's farewell statement starts with this:
"It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose and open the News of the World."

These are the words of the great writer George Orwell. They were written in 1946 but they have been the sentiments of most of the nation for well over a century and a half as this astonishing paper became part of the fabric of Britain, as central to Sunday as a roast dinner.
Of course, in the original, Orwell, continues:
Roast beef and Yorkshire, or roast pork and apple sauce, followed up by suet pudding and driven home, as it were, by a cup of mahogany-brown tea, have put you in just the right mood. Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what is it that you want to read about?

Naturally, about a murder…
The quotation is from Orwell's essay "Decline of the English Murder" and few would characterize the study of the English gutter press as complimentary to the NotW.

Out-of-context reporting to push their own interests to the very end! I'd miss this bulwark of consistency if their mantle weren't already taken up by The Sun.
posted by grouse at 11:17 AM on July 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Charlie Brooker analyzes the final NOTW issue:
Having fashioned a disguise from dirt and wool, I cycled to the newsagents at 7.30am, to find they were already selling fast. Clearly the boycott was having an effect. Having secured a copy, I made my excuses and left – after hiding it inside a necro-zoophiliac porn mag, so any passers-by outside wouldn't judge me too harshly.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:17 AM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]




The quotation is from Orwell's essay "Decline of the English Murder" and few would characterize the study of the English gutter press as complimentary to the NotW.

hmmm... I dunno - I always thought that Orwell essay was one of his that's basically about Britishness rather than murder or the press primarily. In that sense, NotW is using the quote to show the longevity of its central place in British life historically.
posted by Bwithh at 11:34 AM on July 10, 2011


From Bwithh's link: "Murdoch, who flew into Britain earlier on Sunday to deal with an escalating phone-hacking scandal at his News of the World tabloid that Brooks used to edit, answered: "This one," gesturing at Brooks, when asked what his first priority was."

Well, I'm glad he's got his priorities straight! Wouldn't want him being overly concerned with the victims of the hacking or anything like that, would we?

The mind boggles. Boggles and then boggles some more.

(Also, does this mean he's planning on throwing his son to the wolves? Because the way this is going no one is going to be content with just Coulson's head. They're going to want a more senior executive.)
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:37 AM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Mail on Sunday snaps out of being paralyzed with worry about its own dubious practices and piles on: "Insider reveals: PR men would think up a story and Rebekah's Sun and News of the World would run it, word for word. Some were complete fiction"
posted by Bwithh at 11:49 AM on July 10, 2011


The Independent on Sunday has a piece alleging that Rupert Murdoch personally assured Cameron that Coulson was clean.
posted by Jehan at 12:40 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I am reading about the vile, lying practices of the News of the World in the fucking Mail. Is this still the same planet?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:49 PM on July 10, 2011




Telegraph: 'Former News of the World journalists' silenced on Twitter
@EXNOTWjourno had been promising to release a series of PDFs and evidence of wrongdoing at News of the World at midnight last night but said in one tweet that she had postponed the disclosures following advice from lawyers.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:05 PM on July 10, 2011


Purported front page of Monday's Mirror: "Murdoch rides into town as it's revealed 9/11 victims targeted". Via @SkyNews
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I am reading about the vile, lying practices of the News of the World in the fucking Mail. Is this still the same planet?

I imagine that the Mail hopes that if enough of the problem is seem to Murdoch they'll escape scrutiny.
posted by rodgerd at 2:31 PM on July 10, 2011


Does anyone know what time of night the Mirror updates its website?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:49 PM on July 10, 2011


Slate's Anne Applebaum on how there's nothing new here for the British media
posted by Bwithh at 2:50 PM on July 10, 2011


I assume if that Mirror story is true then Fox News and Rupert Murdoch will have to get a divorce.
posted by dng at 3:07 PM on July 10, 2011


Time to start repeatedly using the phrase "News of the World, sister company to Fox News"...
posted by PenDevil at 3:13 PM on July 10, 2011 [4 favorites]




Maybe they're going to offer her a job.
posted by dng at 3:27 PM on July 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here is the mirror article
posted by pixie at 3:45 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Murdoch: the network defeats the hierarchy

I read that and thought it was a smart and interesting piece in many ways, but as far as the titular conclusion, if by "network" he means "Nick Davies," then yes. Otherwise, no.

To be sure, I think the amplification of outrage provided by Twitter et al has been part of what turned this into such a crisis the past few days. But if it hadn't been for Davies' dogged work over the past four years the whole thing would have been buried successfully.
posted by Diablevert at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


From the archives: Pottergate.
Charles Begley became [The News of the World]'s official Harry Potter correspondent as part of a campaign in the run-up to the launch of the movie [in November 2001], which involved him changing his name to Harry Potter by deed poll and dressing up as the youthful wizard.

He initially went along with the stunt, but claimed he was horrified when he was ordered to put on his costume less than 90 minutes after the collapse of the second World Trade Centre tower.

Begley alleged that at 4.30pm on the day of the terror attacks his news editor approached him and told him that [Rebekah] Wade wanted him to come to her office dressed as JK Rowling's fictional schoolboy wizard.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:10 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The onstage version of Billy Bragg's "Never Buy The Sun" is up on youtube - the cheer that goes up when he gets to the first chorus is heartening.

I must admit, I can't get through either version of the song without tearing up. For most of these threads & links, I think I'm just too mind-boggled to be upset - like reading some internet thread that has gone into train wreck territory. But that song just cuts right to the heart, and it gets me every time.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:15 PM on July 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Mirror article is very carefully not committing to the 9/11 story: "may have", "claimed", the second-hand source-of-a-source.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:50 PM on July 10, 2011


Yes, it certainly seems they backed off between the front page initially posted by Sky News and the article as posted on the Mirror website. I expect the distributed print version will be equally cautious, but I have no way to confirm.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:57 PM on July 10, 2011


Via my internet friend Juha Saarinen, What if Rupert had never been born?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:51 PM on July 10, 2011


following up from goodnewsfortheinsane's post above.... From the Telegraph archives: transcript of the Pottergate secret tapes

is this a parody or real? at first I thought it might be but it doesn't seem to try to be humorous? I can't tell
posted by Bwithh at 9:11 PM on July 10, 2011


Sacked News of the World staff appear to have fired a parting shot at their former editor Rebekah Brooks, disguising mocking messages in the crossword of the tabloid's final edition.

Brooks, now the chief executive of News International, reportedly brought in two loyal proofreaders to sanitise Sunday's final edition of any jibes directed at her following the newspaper's spectacular demise during the phone hacking scandal.

But they failed to detect the not-so-cryptic clues that appear to savage her in the crosswords on page 47.

posted by UbuRoivas at 10:27 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


CB: Well, to be frank, Greg, as far as my future at News International is concerned, I haven't toed the line for the editor's pet project. I didn't prance around while the World Trade Centre was being bombed, for her personal amusement. I can't just stroll in.

GM: Why not? Charles, that is what we do - we go out and destroy other people's lives.
Well, quite.
posted by rodgerd at 11:47 PM on July 10, 2011




Vanity Fair (July 2011) issue, NOWT et al: The Dark Arts
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:56 AM on July 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Q&A with Alan Rusbridge, Guardian Editor.

The topical news shows were fun to watch this week as well. Sean Lock on 8 out of 10 Cats about editors denying culpability:
"It's like a butcher holding a leg of lamb going 'You mean to tell me this came from an animal?!? What??? That's disgusting, I had no idea!!"
posted by like_neon at 5:07 AM on July 11, 2011


That's a good synopsis from Vanity Fair.
posted by vbfg at 5:33 AM on July 11, 2011


Queen's police sold her details to News of the World from The Evening Standard (London paper)
posted by like_neon at 6:25 AM on July 11, 2011


John Finnemore's excellent monologue from Friday's BBC Radio 4 The Now Show

Wow, NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me fans _and_ Now Show fans on Metafilter! What next, Buglers as well?
posted by the cydonian at 6:49 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, on reflection that came off too sardonic than I intended. Loved the monologue while I was listening to it earlier in the day.
posted by the cydonian at 6:51 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Michael Wolff, the author of a Rupert Murdoch biography, tweeted that Murdoch is considering selling all of News International.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:59 AM on July 11, 2011


What next, Buglers as well?

*raises hand*

The Now Show gets on my wick, usually, but I did enjoy the aforelinked rant.
posted by jack_mo at 7:06 AM on July 11, 2011


So would hacking the Prince Charles voicemail be treason then?
posted by PenDevil at 7:28 AM on July 11, 2011




Bugle fan here (and I sometimes listen to the Now Show). They do a bit on NotW but not a ton.
posted by X-Himy at 7:55 AM on July 11, 2011


GRILLS? More like, rebuffed, Fox News reporter backs off in terror.
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:59 AM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ex-PM Gordon Brown saying that Sunday Times targeted him and may have obtained private medical records of his family.

The BSkyB deal would be politically impossible now. That's not to say that it won't go ahead, but if that it does then it will mean the end for the coalition.

The share price seems to be reflecting that.
posted by fullerine at 8:02 AM on July 11, 2011


Guardian:
The sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual, with evidence of attempts to obtain his legal, financial, tax, medical and police records as well as to listen to his voicemail. All of these incidents are linked to media organisations. In many cases, there is evidence of a link to News International.
Full report here
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:07 AM on July 11, 2011


From Mister Bijou's link:

In October 2006, the then editor of the Sun, Rebekah Brooks, contacted the Browns to tell them that they had obtained details from the medical file of their four-month-old son, Fraser, which revealed that the boy was suffering from cystic fibrosis. . This appears to have been a clear breach of the Data Protection Act, which would allow such a disclosure only if it was in the public interest. Friends of the Browns say the call caused them immense distress, since they were only coming to terms with the diagnosis, which had not been confirmed. The Sun published the story.

Why is this woman not in jail already??
posted by like_neon at 8:17 AM on July 11, 2011


Why is this woman not in jail already?? Exactly. But she never will be, I think Murdoch will do anything and everything in his power to prevent anything happening to her.
posted by humph at 8:21 AM on July 11, 2011




If News International is sold, that could actually mean the end of The Times as it's not profit-making. If the News of the World folding was big news, this is much more important given its age and former importance.

Also, David Camerons has been issuing a non-denial denial, saying that nobody told him Coulson knew about phone-hacking. Of course, nobody has said they told him anything of the sort. Rather Camerons was told that Coulson hired Rees who had been found guilty of one criminal conspiracy and was on trial for another.
posted by Jehan at 8:36 AM on July 11, 2011


And now the Sunday Times.
Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a "blagger" acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account; and
Brown's London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times.
posted by adamvasco at 9:18 AM on July 11, 2011


Zoe Margolis, author of Girl With A One Track Mind on Twitter:

"So, it looks like Sunday Times possibly attempted to hack both my & @belledejour_uk's email via trojans; am *definitely* contacting the Met."
posted by humph at 9:24 AM on July 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow, these people are monsters.
posted by Scram at 9:28 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm also finding it very weird that #NOTW is not trending on Twitter anywhere, similar to the superinjunction scandals. How and why do they decide what to suppress?
posted by like_neon at 10:13 AM on July 11, 2011


I'm waiting for the FCPA to kick in, and following that, RICO. And following that, schadenfreude so sweet it gives me diabetes.
posted by mullingitover at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




Wait Wait Don't Tell Me fans _and_ Now Show fans on Metafilter! What next, Buglers as well?

I'm a three-fer here. Although I thought the Bugle pulled its punches slightly on NotW; they did acknowledge at the end that they were biting the hand that feeds them.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:06 AM on July 11, 2011


The most sickening detail from the Brown file:
Five years earlier, when their first child, Jennifer, was born on 28 December 2001, a small group of specialist doctors and nurses was aware that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage and was dying. By some means which has not been discovered, this highly sensitive information was obtained by news organisations, who published it over the weekend before Jennifer died, on Monday 6 January 2002.
posted by rodgerd at 11:36 AM on July 11, 2011








...this highly sensitive information was obtained by news organisations, who published it over the weekend before Jennifer died

This is my astonished face. That there would be people out there with such a completely warped moral compass as to even consider this, let alone actually doing it, is nothing short of breath-taking; in a "oh my god, I'm having problems breathing" kind of way.

Seriously, figure out who they are, give them a fair trial, and if at all possible, put them somewhere where they can feel really, really lonely for a long while.
posted by quin at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2011


Live-updating summary of coverage, c/o the Telegraph.

Former royal protection officer Steven Parks is saying he think it's "very unlikely" that a rank-and-file officer would have sold the information about the royals to a newspaper.

"You're at the top of your game. It's expected that that you're going to get a decent job after leaving the police force and you're risking a very good pension."

He adds that rank-and-file officers would not be privvy to the Prince of Wales's phone number and suggests that that sort of information would need to come from someone more senior.

posted by kagredon at 12:44 PM on July 11, 2011


This is my astonished face. That there would be people out there with such a completely warped moral compass as to even consider this, let alone actually doing it, is nothing short of breath-taking;

I went back and read the stories. Many of the London papers had stories about Brown's daughter's premature birth and the family's fears for her survival. Her prognosis was bad from the beginning and the stories were sympathetic.
Then again, why doctors shared details instead of the family, I don't know.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2011


David Cameron had a 5 or 6 year old son, Ivan, who was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and died in 2008 (i think) . I guess it's reasonable to assume now that Ivan's records were hacked too
posted by Bwithh at 1:03 PM on July 11, 2011




Fox News reporter GRILLS Rupert Murdoch on the New of the World scandal

"No worries, Mr. Chairman, that's fine with me. . . . That's alright, sir . . . So Mr. Chairman, your corporate expansion seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?"

(Seriously, that clip is marvelous. Waylon Smithers wishes he could back off a line of inquiry with that much clumsy obsequiousness.)
posted by gompa at 1:14 PM on July 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


A rather good piece by Hitchens.
posted by rodgerd at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


List of Newscorp assets.

spoiler: it's long.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:29 PM on July 11, 2011


my earlier comment: David Cameron had a 5 or 6 year old son, Ivan, who was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and died in 2008 (i think) . I guess it's reasonable to assume now that Ivan's records were hacked too
also bearing in mind that Sarah Brown thought she was friends with Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs too
posted by Bwithh at 2:40 PM on July 11, 2011


also bearing in mind that Sarah Brown thought she was friends with Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs too

It's a perfect crash course from News International in how to antagonise absolutely everybody.

Before the expose about hacking the dead girl's phone, I'd bet that a straw poll of the public would have agreed that it's not only justifiable, but more or less expected for investigative journalists to operate as cowboys on the fringes of the law.

After all, they're not going to be uncovering the big stories with just a bit of googling for information already on the public record. A bit of street-savvy, using not-entirely-legitimate sources is required to pull those stories off.

However, their indecent pursuit of prurient personal stories instead of ones that might actually be worthwhile (corruption, political scandals, backroom deals etc) led them to alienate:

1. The entire general public - any one of whom could place themselves in the shoes of the friends or relatives of the murdered girl (or terrorism victims, or dead soldiers)

2. The MPs who they thought could be cowed by fears of negative press. After all, the MPs would realise, if extremely personal details of Gordon Brown's life could be stolen & published with impunity, nobody even in Westminster could consider themselves safe, and everybody has some kind of skeleton in their closet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:12 PM on July 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


More.

I really can't think of anyone I would wish this on other than Rupert Murdoch.
posted by gingerest at 5:59 PM on July 11, 2011


Interestingly, the World Service are running a regular item on the Sun's disgusting coverage of Hillsborough and the resulting boycott of the paper on Merseyside, introduced with a line explicitly comparing it to the current News Corp. scandal.

If it's an anniversary thing they're four months late, which makes me think it's a signal that the Beeb are about to really stick the boot in.
posted by jack_mo at 8:18 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Beeb are about to really stick the boot in
about time!
posted by Bwithh at 8:22 PM on July 11, 2011


here's the BBC Hillsborough link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hpfqh
yes, you can listen to this outside the UK

Much more on this 20th anniversary memorial site from the Beeb: http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2009/04/14/hillsborough_bbc_feature.shtml
posted by Bwithh at 8:37 PM on July 11, 2011


The life and times of private investigator Jonathan Rees:
Rees's relationship with journalists was a two-way street. An executive from the News of the World developed a corrupt source in the Passport Office who could provide home addresses, personal details and photographs of anybody who applied for a passport. Rees was paying the executive £100 a time for information from the source (although the executive was passing the source only £25 a time).
Guardian
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:02 AM on July 12, 2011


The New York Times has a scary aspect to this story:

Separately, an inquiry by The New York Times, which included interviews with two former journalists at The News of the World, has revealed the workings of the illicit cellphone tracking, which the former tabloid staffers said was known in the newsroom as "pinging." Under British law, the technology involved is restricted to law enforcement and security officials, requires case-by-case authorization, and is used mainly for high-profile criminal cases and terrorism investigations, according to a former senior Scotland Yard official who requested anonymity so as to be able to speak candidly.

According to Oliver Crofton, a cybersecurity specialist who works to protect high-profile clients from such invasive tactics, cellphones are constantly pinging off relay towers as they search for a network, enabling an individual's location to be located within yards by checking the strength of the signal at three different towers. But the former Scotland Yard official who discussed the matter said that any officer who agreed to use the technique to assist a newspaper would be crossing a red line.

"That would be a massive breach," he said.

A former show business reporter for The News of the World, Sean Hoare, who was fired in 2005, said that when he worked there, pinging cost the paper nearly $500 on each occasion.


(via the Guardian live blog)
posted by ukdanae at 4:40 AM on July 12, 2011


The Daily Show is back from vacation, so, Jon Stewart & John Oliver have finally had a go at it: Have No Fear, England's Here. (Sorry if this is a US-only site, I'm a technical noob. It's the opening segment in the 7/11 Denis Leary episode, if anyone needs to search elsewhere).
posted by oh yeah! at 4:49 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dammit, US-only :( And recently TDS became only the weekly headlines episode so we're unlikely to get this. Stupid Channel 4.
posted by like_neon at 5:10 AM on July 12, 2011


This clip works in the UK:

http://gawker.com/5820243/jon-stewart-tackles-the-news-of-the-world-scandal
posted by vbfg at 5:15 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This copy of the video on gawker works from the UK
posted by pixie at 5:16 AM on July 12, 2011


heheeee thanks guys!
posted by like_neon at 5:28 AM on July 12, 2011


The testimony from the Met officers at the select committee is astonishing.
posted by pixie at 5:34 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ex-Met Officer (and current Journalist for the Times) Andy Hayman seems to also want a career in theatre - here's his reaction when the committee asked him if he had accepted any money from journalists while at the Met.
posted by ukdanae at 7:17 AM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not sure why i capitalised Journalist there, sorry
posted by ukdanae at 7:18 AM on July 12, 2011


ukdanae: "Ex-Met Officer (and current Journalist for the Times) Andy Hayman seems to also want a career in theatre - here's his reaction when the committee asked him if he had accepted any money from journalists while at the Met."

I'm glad he got smacked down by the chairman. What an idiot.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:30 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are you insufficiently repulsed by the Sun's mysteriously-obtained exclusive on Brown's son's cystic fibrosis? Don't worry - like everything about the hacking scandal, there are always more details to emerge to compound the horror. I've been speaking to a source close to Gordon Brown at the time of the story, who recalls that it was served up with a chaser of threat.
Marina Hyde.

"Gordon insisted - despite a heavy brow-beating from Rebekah - that he was not willing to let his son's medical condition be the stuff of a Sun exclusive," recalls this source. "So he put out a statement on PA to spike their scoop and make clear that despite his condition, Fraser was fit and healthy. The Sun were utterly furious, and Brown's communications team were told that if Gordon wanted to get into No10, he needed to learn that was not how things were done."

Yes, how DARE the then-chancellor refuse to accept that his child's health was not technically a commercial Murdoch property? I'd like to tell you there's a sick bag located in the rear pocket of the seat in front of you. But I'm afraid you're on your own.
From the Guardian's live blog.
posted by grouse at 7:42 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


BBC's Laura Kuenssberg: "Government will support Labour's motion tomorrow."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:55 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the text of the motion, by the way, via the Guardian:
This House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw their bid for BSkyB.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:56 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Paul Staines aka "Guido Fawkes", well-known UK political blogger, on Twitter:
Stand by folks, story coming detailing @PiersMorgan's complicity in phone hacking. We're naming names and places. #CircularFiringSquad
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:09 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, how DARE the then-chancellor refuse to accept that his child's health was not technically a commercial Murdoch property? I'd like to tell you there's a sick bag located in the rear pocket of the seat in front of you. But I'm afraid you're on your own.
God, I think I actually threw up a little. Damn, I had this wee-bit of a hope that the Murdoch's didn't control everything, that may be there was some amount of hyperbole. Apparently not.

This is way beyond a Stasi-level of control. This actually is beginning to feel like a Roman circus.
posted by the cydonian at 8:17 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Although considering Jeremy Clarksons closeness to Brooks/Cameron I hope it doesn't balls up Top Gear.
posted by PenDevil at 8:17 AM on July 12, 2011


It's Fitzmas!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeremy Clarkson being destroyed would be the perfect bonus, I'd have thought.
posted by dng at 8:51 AM on July 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


Stand by folks, story coming detailing @PiersMorgan's complicity in phone hacking.

please let it be true pleasepleaseplease
posted by permafrost at 8:56 AM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Paul Staines aka "Guido Fawkes", well-known UK political blogger,
incidentally, I read in one of the major broadsheet newspaper sites that News International journalists may have been leaking political stories to Guido in the past. Can't remember where I read that at the moment though. Maybe it's in the coverage of Brown
posted by Bwithh at 8:57 AM on July 12, 2011


Ex-Met Officer (and current Journalist for the Times) Andy Hayman seems to also want a career in theatre - here's his reaction when the committee asked him if he had accepted any money from journalists while at the Met.

That video misses off Keith Vaz's withering put down at the end:
"Mr Hayman, I normally sum up people's evidence but on this occasion I think your evidence speaks for itself."
posted by dng at 9:06 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read in one of the major broadsheet newspaper sites that News International journalists may have been leaking political stories to Guido in the past.

The Draper emails. Staines is a tawdry little shit, and blogs can easily be used to launder stories that you don't want to run under your own masthead: you leak something to a blog, then report on how the blog is making the claim.
posted by holgate at 9:09 AM on July 12, 2011


Oops: Link.
posted by holgate at 9:10 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]




'Piers Knew'
posted by pixie at 9:31 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


That ExNOTWjourno2 account is like the clavdivs of Twitter.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:50 AM on July 12, 2011


RUPERT MURDOCH'S News Corp is facing legal fallout in the US from the British phone hacking scandal with a lawsuit alleging the company has a ''culture run amok'' and a board which failed to properly investigate criminal conduct.

The lawsuit also accused Mr Murdoch of treating the company like a ''family candy jar''.

The company faces the possibility of a separate investigation by US authorities under laws banning US companies from paying bribes in foreign countries.

posted by UbuRoivas at 2:00 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]






Roger Ebert: The Dirty Digger
It is therefore with a great deal of satisfaction that I observe the Alien's current troubles. This man has done more to harm journalism in America and Britain than any other person.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:13 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


News Corp just dropped the bid for BskyB and they can't re-bid for at least 6 months, which is tactically prudent. I'm sure they're just hoping this all blows over and they try again in a year when everyone's too busy moaning about the Olympics and the Queen's jubilee. Is this a fair bet? Should I be buying BskyB stock soon? ;)
posted by like_neon at 6:32 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've dropped the bid:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14142307
posted by vbfg at 6:33 AM on July 13, 2011


News Corp just dropped the bid for BskyB and they can't re-bid for at least 6 months, which is tactically prudent.

I call this the "Sun on Sunday" strategy.
posted by ob at 6:50 AM on July 13, 2011


I'm allowing myself exactly 20 seconds of grim satisfaction before asking myself whether the dropped bid was the result of a deal being cut and, if so, what the old bastard got in exchange.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:02 AM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


A fresh body and eighty more years of life.
posted by permafrost at 7:43 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]




News Corp just dropped the bid for BskyB

How convenient to do so just hours before the "not in the public interest" motion inevitably passes.

(Pallas: while we're speculating, I've found myself wondering if Brooks has some horrendous dirt on Murdoch that's keeping her safe. Doesn't quite square with Cameron's assertion that she offered to resign but was refused.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:09 AM on July 13, 2011




I went to buy a paper just a few minutes ago. Given that it's relatively late here, I was expecting the stock of papers to be low. However, in the first shop I went in most national papers were sold out, except the Sun and Times. The second shop had a better stock, with remaining copies of all papers. But the pile of the Sun news paper looked almost untouched. Maybe it was replenished at some point, but it didn't look good.

Also, Cameron's dodged the danger zone, the lucky bugger. I don't know how this story is going to develop politically now, as the main action is in the media and police areas.
posted by Jehan at 9:17 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


A fresh body and eighty more years of life.

Sounds like a deal the Time Lords would make.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:47 AM on July 13, 2011




Sounds like a deal the Time Lords would make.

Murdoch's in league with the Master? Makes sense.
posted by orrnyereg at 11:46 AM on July 13, 2011


Sounds like a deal the Time Lords would make.

Ahem.

(Several minutes' work in Photoshop, there. But The Sun regularly prints photoshopping that crappy, so think of it as an homage.)
posted by Grangousier at 11:56 AM on July 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Re-listed Due to Time Waster
posted by titus-g at 12:00 PM on July 13, 2011


News Corp withdraws bid for BSkyB
News Corp already owns 39% of BSkyB, but may be compelled to give up even this minority stake if it is deemed not to be "fit and proper" by regulator Ofcom following the conclusion of current police investigations.
posted by Lanark at 1:10 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Important headline on Fox News

Bonus: view HTML source.
posted by catchingsignals at 1:35 PM on July 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Bonus: view HTML source."

Did I forget to say that? Eeek! Thanks catchingsignals!
posted by humph at 1:53 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm on a mobile style device, what's the source code say? (also for posterity)
posted by Brainy at 2:40 PM on July 13, 2011


Brainy: "I'm on a mobile style device, what's the source code say? (also for posterity)"

So, so much:
Fox News UK: Fair & Balanced - This site shits unicorns that weep rainbows
 
secret message is secret
YOU CAN'T HAVE IT MR MURDOCH
HA HA HA HA HA HA
NO FOX NEWS UK FOR YOU
HA HA HA HA HA HA
Piss off Murdoch.
 
 
 Books you should read: Nicholas Shaxon - Treasure Islands --> 
                        Nick Davies - Flat Earth News --> 
 Both go a long way in explaining the the world we live in. --> 
 
 Don't get apathetic, get angry. You have the power and tools --> 
 to change the world for the better. Use them. --> 
 

 
 
                        .---------------------------.
                       /,--..---..---..---..---..--. `.
                      //___||___||___||___||___||___\_|
                      [j__ ######################## [_|
                         \============================|
                      .==|  |"""||"""||"""||"""| |"""||
                     /======"---""---""---""---"=|  =||
                     |____    []*          ____  | ==||
                     //  \\               //  \\ |===||  
                     "\__/"---------------"\__/"-+---+'
                     
				  Catch the fail bus to the Murdocholypse!
 
 
 
                                 _
                                | \
                                | |
                                | |
           |\                   | |
          /, ~\                / /
         X     `-.....-------./ /
          ~-. ~  ~              |
             \             /    |
              \  /_     ___\   /
              | /\ ~~~~~   \ |
              | | \        || |
              | |\ \       || )
             (_/ (_/      ((_/
		ASCII cat says, "Meow meow read Chomsky meow"
 
 
 
 
 
   /\   /\   
  //\\_//\\     ____
  \_     _/    /   /
   / * * \    /^^^]
   \_\O/_/    [   ]
    /   \_    [   /
    \     \_  /  /
     [ [ /  \/ _/
    _[ [ \  /_/
 
  "la la la la - can't catch me!", says the naughty UK fox.
 
 
  __  __ _____ ____    _    _     ___  _     ______ _ _ _ 
 |  \/  | ____/ ___|  / \  | |   / _ \| |   |__  / | / | |
 | |\/| |  _|| |  _  / _ \ | |  | | | | |     / /| | | | |
 | |  | | |__| |_| |/ ___ \| |__| |_| | |___ / /_|_|_| |_|
 |_|  |_|_____\____/_/   \_\_____\___/|_____/____(_|_)_(_)
                                                          
 
  __  __ _____ ____    _    _     ___  _     ______ _ _ _ 
 |  \/  | ____/ ___|  / \  | |   / _ \| |   |__  / | / | |
 | |\/| |  _|| |  _  / _ \ | |  | | | | |     / /| | | | |
 | |  | | |__| |_| |/ ___ \| |__| |_| | |___ / /_|_|_| |_|
 |_|  |_|_____\____/_/   \_\_____\___/|_____/____(_|_)_(_)
                                                          
 
  __  __ _____ ____    _    _     ___  _     ______ _ _ _ 
 |  \/  | ____/ ___|  / \  | |   / _ \| |   |__  / | / | |
 | |\/| |  _|| |  _  / _ \ | |  | | | | |     / /| | | | |
 | |  | | |__| |_| |/ ___ \| |__| |_| | |___ / /_|_|_| |_|
 |_|  |_|_____\____/_/   \_\_____\___/|_____/____(_|_)_(_)
                                                          
 
 
 
                        _        UP YOURS         _
                       |_|                       |_|
                       | |         /^^^\         | |
                      _| |_      (| "o" |)      _| |_
                    _| | | | _    (_---_)    _ | | | |_
                   | | | | |' |    _| |_    | `| | | | |
                   |          |   /     \   |          |
                    \        /  / /(. .)\ \  \        /
                      \    /  / /  | . |  \ \  \    /
                        \  \/ /    ||Y||    \ \/  /
                         \__/      || ||      \__/
                                   () ()
                                   || ||
                                  ooO Ooo
                                  
                          To James, Rupert, Rebekah 
                          and their office junior,
                                   David.
 
 
 
                  /^----^\
                  | 0  0 |
                  |  \/  |
   Whoo!!         /       \
    Free         |     |;;;|
     Bradley     |     |;;;|          \   \
      Manning!!  |      \;;|           \\//
       Whoo!!    \       \|           / /
 ------------------(((--(((------------\ \----------,
  --  ___  ----  __ ---   ____   ---- _____ -- __ - \
  __ --   __ -- _____ --- __  ----  ___  ---- __ -- /
 ---------------/ /---------------\  \--------------`
                \ \               / /
                 //\             //
                 \               \\
                                 /
                                 
  Naughty ASCII owl! We've told you before about
  trying to slip political messages into cheap
  domain grabbing stunts. No Hogwarts for you!
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 #  #     #    #  #     #    #  #     #    #  #     #
 #  #    # #   #  #    # #   #  #    # #   #  #    # #
 ####   #   #  ####   #   #  ####   #   #  ####   #   #
 #  #   #####  #  #   #####  #  #   #####  #  #   #####
 #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #
 #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #  #  #   #   #
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
  Shout outs to the crew:
 
  Tom Watson - not all MPs are rotten
 
  UKUncut - great work despite the METs utterly
            devious attempt to blacken your
            name on March 26
  
  New Statesmen - for running great politically
                  biting stuff like interviews  
                  with the bass player in Blur.
                  
  Hugh Grant - if we have to be ruled by Tories
               then we'd rather it be you than
               the current lot.
               
  Kate Bush - not sure remaking the your old
              songs is the best use of your time.
              Just sayin'
  
  Little Nicky Clegg - go on, pull out, send them
                       crashing down. 
  
  Fred West as played by the bloke from The Wire 
  (looking forward to this - aren't you?)
  
  istyosty - saving us from increasing the ad revenue of 
             the Daily Mail since 1873. Love to you.
 
  Dappy of the So Solid Crew - big love to the man.
  R3m3mb3r h8ers h8 & lov3rs lov3.
 
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ 
  _    _    _       _              _         _    _   _ 
 |_)  / \  |_  |   (    /\   | |  (    /\   /_   |_  (  
 | \  \_/  |   |_  _)  /--\  \_/  _)  /--\  \_|  |_  _) 
                                                        
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ 
 
  ()-()     Squeak. Squeak. We're Anonymouse,   ()-() 
  (o o) --  we're everywhere. But mostly in     (o o)
  /\o/\     your cheese. Squeak. Squeak.        /\o/\ 
         
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------  ------   
    
-->

posted by Rhaomi at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


Former Wall St Journal owners: 'We wouldn't have sold if we had known'

I don't believe them. The Bancrofts should have known that Murdoch's company was not exactly a paragon of journalistic ethics. Even if they had no idea what was going on in the UK, Fox News and the New York Post should have been enough.
posted by grouse at 9:31 PM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile in Hollywood...

(money quote: "The reporter told Grant that at the precise time Hollywood star Nicole Kidman was promoting the News Corp. movie Moulin Rouge!, he was assigned to see who she was "shagging" and "what she was doing, poking through her bins and get some stuff on her" at the Cannes premiere.... Kidman reportedly became godmother to Rupert Murdoch's two youngest daughters in 2010, when the girls were baptized beside the River Jordan.")


and Down Under...

posted by Bwithh at 10:37 PM on July 13, 2011


Murdoch's News Corp. Received Billions in U.S. Tax Refunds: Investigation shows the media company made $4.8B over four years with aggressive accounting practices.

Or not: How I misread News Corp’s taxes
posted by homunculus at 11:13 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it ironic that my response to this headline is a voice in my head doing a Nelson "Ha-ha"?

(Ironic because The Simpsons is one of the few positive things News International has done for the world.)
posted by Grangousier at 11:30 PM on July 13, 2011




They've added more stuff:


REPLIES TO COMMENTS

We've been reading what you've said about our prank,
and 99% of you get it, but some of the responses
niggled.


1. Wouldn't Fox News UK actually use foxnews.co.uk,
foxnews.com/uk or uk.foxnews.com ?

Probably. This isn't a really domain squatting
attempt but a burst of joy created when News Corp
pulled out of the BSkyB buyout.

We are dreadfully worried for our democracy in the
UK, and the creation of a rabid, right wing agenda
resetting TV station on our gentle shores is too
horrid to contemplate.

We've seen the damage Fox News has done in the US.


2. Anonymous have done a great site. LOL!!!

No. Anonymouse (note the e) was a joke so we could
use an ASCII mouse. We love explaining jokes, they
become so much funnier.


3. Your HTML is shit!

The site was stuck up in 5 minutes to catch a bit of
public mood. Not to win Young HTML Coder Of The Year 1997.


4. Idiots! You know that Dappy isn't in So Solid Crew?

Ok ok, he's in Blazin' Squad.


5. How much traffic has it had? Ok, no one asked that.

+ Over 6,500 shares on Facebook in less than 24hrs.

+ There was a time around 3pm UK time on the 13th July
when pressing refresh on a search for 'foxnewsuk'
on Twitter produced an extra 5 or so references
every time.


6. OMG, FOX NEWS UK HAS BEEN HACKED.

No. We simply bought a domain name and stuck up a message,
we haven't taken or hacked into any website.


-->
posted by like_neon at 2:07 AM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the Telegraph live blog:
11.52 John Whittingdale, the chairman of the DCMS committee, says that they will be sending summons for both Murdochs to compel them. Still some confusion over whether they have the power to force them to attend.

11.53 Whittingdale: "The advice we have is that if they [the Murdochs] are in the country, they can be served with a summons". Hat-tip to PoliticsHome's Paul Waugh for that.
posted by Anything at 4:35 AM on July 14, 2011


also from the Telegraph Top BSkyB investor calls for chairman James Murdoch to resign.
posted by adamvasco at 5:40 AM on July 14, 2011


I was joking with my dad last night that "even worse" activities from the News of the World would have to be spectacularly bad, such as hacking the phone of Jean Charles de Menezes.

It turns out it was so.
posted by Jehan at 5:48 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


How I misread News Corp’s taxes

The tl;dr explanation: in 2007 the company switched its convention for reporting positive and negative numbers.

I suppose a Pulitzer prize doesn't make for proficiency with numbers.
posted by exogenous at 6:22 AM on July 14, 2011


B3ta is now doing investigative journalism (in their own fashion) on the NOTW. Funny old world.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]




But despite the News of the World’s sins, and bearing in mind its 168-year-old history, are these figures really good news? I’m not sure that the gloating Left, whose own newspapers are in a shaky state, have really thought this one through.
People reading newspapers is not a beneficial thing in and of itself, especially when that includes the kind of unethical bad "journalism" produced by the News of the World or The Sun. So yeah, this is good news. It'd be better if they switched to The Observer, but switching to no paper at all is a net positive.
posted by grouse at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]




That's amazing, Busy Old Fool.

AP: "A law enforcement official says the FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:40 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


11.52 John Whittingdale, the chairman of the DCMS committee, says that they will be sending summons for both Murdochs to compel them. Still some confusion over whether they have the power to force them to attend.

I just learned today that Rupert Murdoch is a U.S. citizen and there was the issue of whether he could be compelled to appear before Parliament based on that status.
posted by ericb at 1:13 PM on July 14, 2011




I just learned today that Rupert Murdoch is a U.S. citizen and there was the issue of whether he could be compelled to appear before Parliament based on that status.

This doesn't make any sense to me. Parliament is sovereign and can do whatever it wants. They won't be able to extradite him from the U.S., but they should be able to summon any person presently in the UK.
posted by grouse at 1:28 PM on July 14, 2011


That seems to be moot since both Murdochs have apparently decided they'll show up.
posted by Anything at 1:46 PM on July 14, 2011








Ruh-Roh

FBI to probe reports of 911 hacking

Did someone just shout bingo?

Surely there's only the boxes marked "we know where Maddie is" and "we knew where Bin Laden was" to complete the full set.

Hacking dead schoolgirl's phones, sure the outrage would be a horror show. Poking the 911 bear? That shit is beyond dumb. Can you invade a company?
posted by fullerine at 1:10 AM on July 15, 2011


Twittersphere reports Brooks has resigned.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:08 AM on July 15, 2011


Confirmed on the BBC.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:13 AM on July 15, 2011


Resignation statement:
At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.

The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk. As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place. I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate. This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.

Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted. Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship. I would like to thank them both for their support.

I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world. News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives. I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.

As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive. My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance. I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.

I wish every one of you all the best.

Rebekah

posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:18 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Has Rebekah Brooks Been Sacked Yet? has been updated
posted by PenDevil at 2:22 AM on July 15, 2011




So Murdoch has lost his second red top this week, then.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:37 AM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.

I have grown way too cynical; the very fact that this weasely phrase appears in her resignation makes her seem even more complicit to me.

I look forward to a full investigation revealing that her, James and Rupert "now" knew from the very beginning.
posted by quin at 7:34 AM on July 15, 2011


That jumped out at me too; such blatant weasilry (is that a word? seems apt) from someone who I am certain not only knew about it but instigated, ordered and benefited from the results of the worst of what went on.
posted by humph at 8:02 AM on July 15, 2011


Rupert Murdoch attacks 'total lies,' says he is 'getting annoyed' in interview with WSJ.

Annoyed?

Christ, what an asshole!
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM on July 15, 2011


The Guardian reports that David Cameron hosted Andy Coulson at Chequers this spring after Coulson's resignation in January. No details yet.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:09 AM on July 15, 2011


Telegraph: U.S. President Obama is expected to comment on the phone scandal this afternoon.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:15 AM on July 15, 2011


I am so grateful for all the messages of support.

I wonder how many there actually were.
posted by grouse at 8:24 AM on July 15, 2011


FBI to probe reports of 911 hacking


Not to say that there's no possibility of this, but the 9/11 angle of this investigation seems to have been triggered by a very thinly sourced and somewhat dubious Mirror story. So that's a big ninja win for The Mirror then.
posted by Bwithh at 9:03 AM on July 15, 2011


Murdoch Scandal Roils WSJ -- "Faced with sleazy corporate cousins, reporters at the august Wall Street Journal are grappling with how to cover their boss’s scandal—and their own survival."
posted by ericb at 9:20 AM on July 15, 2011


I am so grateful for all the messages of support.

I wonder how many there actually were.


At least three, assuming she knows her grammar.
posted by philip-random at 9:20 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]






Brooks' resignation finally being accepted has got to be a response to the terrible reaction Murdoch's cronyism-not-contrition "this one" comment received -- to the point it was called out as "chilling" in the Commons debate.

He's been caught on his back foot the whole way through this, reacting rather than pre-empting. The select committee hearing next week should be interesting.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:52 AM on July 15, 2011


Yes, Tuesday's hearing should be riveting. I'm so glad they stream Parliament proceedings live.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2011


Speaking of which, you can watch all kinds of hot UK legislative action live online through BBC Democracy Live. Presumably the committee hearings as well, but you'd have to try to make sure.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:01 AM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Rupert Murdoch attacks 'total lies,' says he is 'getting annoyed' in interview with WSJ.

It's annoying when people lie about you, isn't it, Rupert? Irksome. Frustrating. Drives you up the wall. If only there were other people out there who had been lied about in public, they would no doubt be queuing up to express their sympathy for you.

I am so grateful for all the messages of support.

I wonder how many there actually were.


I'm assuming that any parcel of dogshit that didn't have a note attached explicitly stating that it was meant as a gesture of opposition was counted as a message of support.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:16 AM on July 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Scotland Yard's most senior officers tried to convince the Guardian during two private meetings in 2009/10 that its coverage of phone hacking was exaggerated and incorrect without revealing they had hired Neil Wallis, the former deputy editor of the News of the World, as an adviser.

Now that the worst of the stomach-turning NOTW antics have probably come to light, I think the Met/NI connection is the one to pursue; that's where we could see some serious convictions and 'not fit & proper person' judgments.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:59 AM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not to say that there's no possibility of this, but the 9/11 angle of this investigation seems to have been triggered by a very thinly sourced and somewhat dubious Mirror story.

This is true, but I do find it hard to imagine - given they hacked the phones of lots of other people/relatives following a tragedy - that they would have somehow made an exception in the case of one of the biggest news stories of the century so far.

Awful to say, I guess, but I very much hope it does turn out to be true.
posted by reynir at 11:53 AM on July 15, 2011


At least Fox news is onto it now.
posted by ob at 11:59 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actor Jude Law is now suing The Sun for alleged phone hacking. This is significant, because a) it is the first paper outside the News of the World to face legal action for the practice since the whole kerfuffle erupted and b) the hacking is alleged to have taken place at a time when Rebekah Brooks was editor of the Sun.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:14 PM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rupert Murdoch attacks 'total lies,' says he is 'getting annoyed' in interview with WSJ.

Murdoch's poorly received reactions to this remind me of Tony Hayward.
posted by arcticseal at 1:08 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm hearing on the wires that Les Hinton is going to quit too.
posted by ob at 1:17 PM on July 15, 2011


It has been confirmed [link to live Grauniad stream]. This is a day after Murdoch gave a defiant interview in the WSJ...
posted by ob at 1:25 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]




Rupert Murdoch attacks 'total lies,' says he is 'getting annoyed' in interview with WSJ.

I don't say this often, but: LOL
posted by JHarris at 1:38 PM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Regarding the Law lawsuit:
News Group Newspapers, the publishers of The Sun, said tonight in a statement: "We believe this is a deeply cynical and deliberately mischievous attempt to draw The Sun into the phone-hacking issue."
Hahaha!
posted by grouse at 1:38 PM on July 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Brooks’ resignation heaps pressure on James Murdoch -- "Critics say 38-year-old was too slow to realize enormity of phone-hacking scandal."
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on July 15, 2011


News Group Newspapers, the publishers of The Sun, said tonight in a statement: "We believe this is a deeply cynical and deliberately mischievous attempt to draw The Sun into the phone-hacking issue."

Riiiiiight. Because with evidence of hacking from the NOTW and The Times, The Sun wouldn't have indulged in anything nefarious, would it? I'm having great fun watching Murdoch's empire falling into even greater trouble. I very much hope it will continue and the world's media won't get bored of the story in the coming weeks.
posted by TheDonF at 2:48 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Faced with sleazy corporate cousins, reporters at the august Wall Street Journal are grappling with how to cover their boss’s scandal—and their own survival."

At other places the way to cover it is to report it, period, and add a disclaimer saying "(workplace) is owned by (owning company)." That there is a question at all about this signifies that something seriously stinks over there.
posted by JHarris at 2:53 PM on July 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I very much hope it will continue and the world's media won't get bored of the story in the coming weeks.

I think the schadenfreude alone will keep it fueled for a while. News Corp has been eating these companies alive. CNN and company must have been at least a little rankled from the ratings Fox News pulls in from its dronelike audience.
posted by JHarris at 2:56 PM on July 15, 2011


"Faced with sleazy corporate cousins, reporters at the august Wall Street Journal are grappling with how to cover their boss’s scandal—and their own survival."

Before Murdoch bought the WSJ, its journalism was considered (in a very Ivy League elitist kind of way, admittedly) the best of the best. The NY Times was much more influential and international; the Washington Post was more connected to the political elite, but WSJ was the gold standard for quality newspaper journalism in the US. After Murdoch bought the paper, despite his usual claims that he wouldn't change the WSJ much, there has a been a gradual but perceptible shift downwards in the WSJ's standards. It's still a great newspaper though. But now this...
posted by Bwithh at 3:18 PM on July 15, 2011




Les Hinton sacrificed, but the worst is yet to come for News Corp

We can only hope.
posted by grouse at 4:16 PM on July 15, 2011


Michael Wolff, who wrote a biography of Rupert Murdoch, observes on the possibility of Murdoch selling his other UK papers: "So far everything they say won't happen, happens."

Also, after news of the Hinton resignation broke: "James Murdoch is next."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:38 PM on July 15, 2011


That jumped out at me too; such blatant weasilry (is that a word? seems apt) from someone who I am certain not only knew about it but instigated, ordered and benefited from the results of the worst of what went on.

So the initial denial itself felt weasly; Brooks didn't say she didn't know, but that it was inconceivable that she would. It would, indeed, be inconceivable coming from a regular (I hate the British usage, but "honourable") company, but News international didn't cover itself in glory, did it.

That Brooks did not say "I didn't know" in itself was a big clue here.

From the Matt Wells piece in the Guardian:
To coin a famous Murdoch newspaper headline: will the last person to leave News Corporation turn off the lights?

Here's hoping it gets there.
posted by the cydonian at 6:10 PM on July 15, 2011


From the Matt Wells piece, I think he's mistaken that the FBI probe into the possible hacking of 9/11 victims' phones (if they can turn up anything more damning than NewsCorp just trying to find a scummy investigator and/or corrupt cop to do the dirty work, since I kinda doubt they could have gotten farther than that stage of their usual practice in the US media spotlight of the day) could bring down Fox News. Fox News spins the truth however it suits them, sadly I can easily imagine them skating on past this by continuing to paint it as something specific to the UK branch of News Corp and/or repudiating the Murdochs and claiming that all attempts to connect it back to Fox US is just another smear campaign from the 'biased liberal media.'

Reading the Guardian liveblog at work, I think I was most shocked by the report that Rupert Murdoch was having a private meeting with the Dowlers to apologize - not so much by him deigning to apologize to anyone after all these decades, but just marveling at the thought that anyone wronged so deeply by him could be in the same room with him and restrain themselves from staking him through the heart and filling his mouth with garlic to keep him from rising again.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:17 PM on July 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fox News spins the truth however it suits them, sadly I can easily imagine them skating on past this by continuing to paint it as something specific to the UK branch of News Corp and/or repudiating the Murdochs and claiming that all attempts to connect it back to Fox US is just another smear campaign from the 'biased liberal media.'

Fox News is powerful in the US but it is not all-powerful and has plenty of competition. There's lots of people in right-wing media too who would love to take a piece of the Fox News pie for themselves (Glenn Beck for instance, now that his role at Fox has ended while he has his own media empire to expand. Beck's online news operations has shown that they are happy to discredit and undermine rival media operations that share Beck's rightwing politics (e.g. the O'Keefe / NPR affair) if it means more credibility and influence for Beck's company ))
posted by Bwithh at 7:24 PM on July 15, 2011


Yes, I personally think the payments made to the police and, presumably, hush money authorized by Murdoch fils would cause a bigger judicial headaches for them stateside. It'd be pretty hard for them to get
just marveling at the thought that anyone wronged so deeply by him could be in the same room with him and restrain themselves from staking him through the heart and filling his mouth with garlic to keep him from rising again.
Was seeing the story on BBC World just now. Now I don't know how they've responded to Murdoch pere's apology, but judging from their facial expressions, it's perhaps obvious that they were trying to contain something, whether it's surprise or revulsion I don't know. It most certainly would have been revulsion, if I was in their situation.
posted by the cydonian at 7:40 PM on July 15, 2011


A venomous Jack Shafer in Slate: Release the Lachlan!
Would Murdoch really sack his son [James]? I don't see why we should rule out infanticide in this case. Writing in the Financial Times [...] former media tycoon and current prison inmate Conrad Black held that "Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company. He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; is an exploiter of the discomfort of others; and has betrayed every political leader who ever helped him in any country, except Ronald Reagan and perhaps Tony Blair."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:05 PM on July 15, 2011


Politico: Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal becomes U.S. political issue (no-print link)
Mainstream American politicians of both parties have generally avoided open combat with Murdoch, with Bill and then Hillary Clinton famously seeking to court him and reach an accommodation. Even Obama, who has warred openly with Fox at times, has more recently pulled back, even after seven-figure contributions to groups tied to the Republican Party were reported last year.

But Murdoch, wounded, suddenly appears mortal, and his enemies are emboldened.

Fox News president Roger Ailes “is going to be hamstrung,” said Murdoch biographer and AdWeek editor Michael Wolff. Ailes “operates independently, but in this context he will not be able to operate independently: This is going to be in the hands of lawyers and higher PR officials, and it will not be about what’s good for Fox, it’ll be what’s good for News Corp. and for an ultimate settlement.”

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:17 PM on July 15, 2011


This, in the Slate piece, is a glorious line:
Evidence that Murdoch is lying in the ad is inscribed in his parting salutation, "Sincerely."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:33 PM on July 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I thought the Guardian response to Murdoch's "I'm sorry" ads was a lovely burn:
News International responded to our original revelations about phone-hacking in July 2009 by telling MPs that we had 'deliberately misled' the British public.

It has taken two years of subsequent reporting by the Guardian to force the truth out. We are happy to accept News International's paid-for advertisements apologising for the reality of what our journalism revealed.

The money we receive from News International will be donated to charity.


Heh. Such a highbrow way of saying 'gotcha.'
posted by oh yeah! at 9:50 PM on July 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh wow, the Guardian rocks.
posted by JHarris at 3:39 AM on July 16, 2011


Rupert Murdoch put full and 3/4 page ads apologies in all of the big newspapers today, even in those of his most hated competitors. Here's a translation.
posted by humph at 6:12 AM on July 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Larry Flynt weighs in:
One cannot live off the liberty and benefits of a free press while ignoring the privacy of the people. People such as Murdoch and I, as heads of publishing conglomerates, have a responsibility to maintain and respect this boundary. While Murdoch may understand the significance of what we do under the umbrella of free speech, he may fail to recognize the liability attached to publication.

...

No matter how offensive or distasteful some people may find Hustler magazine and my other publications, no one has appeared unwillingly in their pages. I do not create sensationalism at the expense of people living private lives.
posted by Anything at 9:11 AM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


From a Telegraph blog post on the difference between the US and UK branches of the Murdoch media:
American news outlets have a far greater sense of separation from the political elite of their country than there is in Britain. In the UK, both parties chased the endorsement of the News of the World. Prime Ministers of left and right invited its editors to cocktail parties and sleep-overs. Its power and importance was reflected in its disturbingly close relationship with the entire political establishment, including Brown and Cameron. That is what made it the British Watergate.

In contrast, no Democrat would bother to court the support of Fox News or the New York Post. They are conservative niche media, which has excluded them from half of the US political establishment and kept them philosophically pure.
posted by Anything at 9:43 AM on July 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


"'This is a man desperately trying to save his company and ditching everybody else in the process,' British parliamentarian says."*
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on July 16, 2011


Aussies gearing up for Senate inquiry into media ownership in Oz

"The full extent of Murdoch’s stranglehold over Australian media is frightening to behold:
• He owns seven of the 11 metropolitan and national dailies;
• He owns 77 per cent of the Sunday newspapers;
• He owns around two thirds of suburban news sheets;
• He owns a big slice of the magazines in Australia;
• He has many TV interests; and
• In Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide you can only pick up a newspaper that’s been printed by Murdoch."
"we don’t have the plurality even of Fleet Street, which enables you to pick up something else. Fairfax owns the other four newspapers so we’ve really effectively got a duopoly and it wouldn’t be legal in the United States but we’ve got it here…"

posted by Bwithh at 12:03 PM on July 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bwith: And the Fairfax CEO for a long time was Kiwi and former National (tory) Party political advicsor David Kirk. So not exactly a diveristy of political opinion.
posted by rodgerd at 12:53 PM on July 16, 2011




The Most Incredible Thing Fox News Has Ever Done

"Or at least the most amazingly brazen I can think of at this moment.

Via Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, the simply unbelievable Fox and Friends segment below. It's about the News of the World hacking scandal.

To the good: they treat hacking as a problem and scandal. To the incredible/bad: they present their (now closed) UK sister publication News of the World as a victim of the hacking problem, rather than as a perpetrator.


They're conflating computer hacking (Pentagon etc.) with cell phone hacking of private individuals in order to derail police investigations, to muckrake and to sell sordid newspapers.

Even for Fox this is... well, words fail me.
posted by humph at 6:34 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yep, humph, clips like that are why I am so pessimistic about the idea that the revelations of 'Hackgate' will have any real effect on Fox News' shameless distortion of reality. This is a personal issue for me - my parents have become Fox News watchers in recent years, despite being previously left wing, and take my refusal to watch it as close-mindedness. Fox News will lie and spin and lie, and play the 'help, help, we are being persecuted by the left' card whenever people call them liars for as long as they continue to broadcast, and I despair of there being anything they can do that is despicable enough to break their hold on the hearts & minds of so many of my fellow Americans. Hearing my parents discuss anything political nowadays makes me feel like I've walked into an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" story, it's beyond depressing. But, I suppose the events of the past couple of weeks would have been inconceivable to a lot of people in the UK only a little while ago though, so, I guess I should try to not to despair too much.

Ok, another language question - the Guardian is saying that "CNN are reporting that according to Brook's PR agent, Dave Wilson Brooks did not know that she was going to be arrested when she turned up to the police station today." But if 'being arrested by appointment' in the UK just means 'you will come to the police station to be questioned for up to xx hours' what else would she have thought her appointment was for?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:32 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh yeah!: I understand that being arrested changes your legal status with regards to an investigation. I don't really know exactly how, but I think the nub of it is that things change from "voluntary" to "involuntary", and you can be required to sit and answer questions (within your right to not incriminate yourself). Hopefully somebody will chip in with a better explanation.

Also, Brooks was due to give evidence to the Commons on this issue, but she may now use this arrest as reason to keep quiet. If I were a cynic, I would see this as a good move by the police.
posted by Jehan at 7:46 AM on July 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Rebekah Brooks arrested over phone-hacking allegations

hasrebekahbrooksbeenarrestedyet.com has been updated.
posted by iati at 7:50 AM on July 17, 2011


Heh. Is there a 'hasrebekabrooksgonetoprisonyet' or something in the works? For another laugh, the 'Hackgate: The Movie' parody trailer is great - watch it somewhere you can't see the comments first, either at thehandface's youtube channel or in the Guardian liveblog, the commenters give away the jokes of the 'starring X as Y' bits, which are hilarious.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:26 AM on July 17, 2011




But if 'being arrested by appointment' in the UK just means 'you will come to the police station to be questioned for up to xx hours' what else would she have thought her appointment was for?

I think Jehan above is on the right lines. The police can ask you to come to the station to have a voluntary interview which is not an arrest situation. But they may also ask you come to the station for an interview without saying that it could start off or end up in arrest, though surely Brooks knew this was a possibility. Coulson was arrested recently by appointment with the police clearly signaling beforehand that the appointment was an arrest situation though
posted by Bwithh at 9:03 AM on July 17, 2011


So the police are investigating NI paying off the police.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 AM on July 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, Brooks was due to give evidence to the Commons on this issue, but she may now use this arrest as reason to keep quiet. If I were a cynic, I would see this as a good move by the police.

Though this would also discredit (some MPs have already questioned the move) the new phase of police investigation of the affair under Sue Akers, who has been so far been presented as the pure copper and clean broom who is determined to restore the Met's reputation. Maybe Akers was pressured by her superiors to do this, but it will be at substantial cost to the Met's attempt to restore its reputation
posted by Bwithh at 9:41 AM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


So the police are investigating NI paying off the police.
that part of the investigation is also being supervised by the IPCC, which (though still a controversial organization) by law does not employ people who have previously worked for the police amongst its commissioners

also, while I think ideally this aspect of the investigation should have been undertaken by another police force rather than the Met (though there may be practical reasons - the Met probably has the most resources), the Met is not a monolithic organization. One of the key points of the recent NYT report on the corrupt links between News Corp and the Met was that the leaks investigation was placed with its counter-terrorism unit ( because it began with a Royal Family security issue; but this also allowed the Met to claim misleadingly that they were too overwhelmed with counter-terror operations to deal with the leaks investigation comprehensively) rather than the Specialist Crime Directorate which had more resources available and was led by Tarique Ghaffur . Sue Akers who runs the current investigations heads the Organized Crime unit at the Met.
Like Tarique (a member of an ethnic minority), Sue (a woman) is probably not "one of the boys"
posted by Bwithh at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2011


Rupert Murdoch put full and 3/4 page ads apologies in all of the big newspapers today, even in those of his most hated competitors.

I apologize! Hey! HEY! ARE YOU LISTENING? I APOLOGIZE, COME SEE HOW SORRY I AM!

The Most Incredible Thing Fox News Has Ever Done

Well Fox and Friends going to bad for Murdoch is bad, but let's remember that this is an organization that, more than once, compared Obama, who's term has mostly been a truckload of bland, who has sought consensus to the extent of infuriating his base, to Hitler.
posted by JHarris at 10:06 AM on July 17, 2011


So the police are investigating NI paying off the police.

And with the arrest of Rebekah Brooks they seem to be interfering with that investigation. Brooks was scheduled to be questioned by the Parliamentary select committee on Tuesday, which would necessarily include questions on police involvement. Now that she's been arrested she'll be much less willing to answer questions or possibly even appear. It's a neat way to cut off the investigation & limit the damage to the department & the government as a whole. Here's a piece by the BBC on the subject: Rebekah Brooks arrested by hacking police.
posted by scalefree at 10:07 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This has been one of the best long threads on MetaFilter. Thanks for keeping up a high quality of updates and discussion.
posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on July 17, 2011 [7 favorites]




Channel 4 News claims the Serious Fraud Office is now involved in investigating News International.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:26 AM on July 17, 2011


Hm. Telegraph: "Channel 4 seems to be slightly back tracking now, stressing that the SFO aren't necessarily investigating but they have been asked to."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:33 AM on July 17, 2011


There's not a mention of it on the Fox "News" front page - the US debt fight, Mubarek in a coma, Casey Anthony and a NY child kidnap are waaaay more important it seems.

Is there any possibility that this whole thing could go far enough to see the demise of Fox News? Pretty please?
posted by humph at 10:57 AM on July 17, 2011


From the Economist: How to lose friends and alienate people.
posted by adamvasco at 11:04 AM on July 17, 2011


Guardian reports Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned.
posted by PenDevil at 11:42 AM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


What? Slow down, slow down, I can't keep up. I was going to watch a stream of the women's world cup final, now I'm manically refreshing the running commentary in the Guardian.
posted by carter at 11:57 AM on July 17, 2011


I really didn't expect Stephenson to resign so soon, but I guess the Wallis story pushed it. I wonder if Yates will go now also. He was defiant in the Committee, but criticism of him is well-founded.
posted by Jehan at 12:03 PM on July 17, 2011


Guardian reports Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned.

Yep.

London police chief quits over hacking ties.
posted by ericb at 12:08 PM on July 17, 2011


The questions hanging over Murdoch, USA -- The spreading contagion may show up the cracks in News Corp's vast American media holdings.
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on July 17, 2011




HACKGATE - the movie

Hilary Swank is Rupert Murdoch
posted by philip-random at 12:22 PM on July 17, 2011


From ericb's "intriguing timing" link:
Police said that a 43-year-old woman was arrested by appointment at a London police station on Sunday on on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption allegations.
Why do the UK police announce arrests in this manner? I can see the desire to avoid prejudicing court proceedings or the public view of the arrested by not giving their name. But what, then, is the justification for giving out age and gender? In this case, that is enough to fairly conclusively determine who was arrested.

Speaking of prejudicing court proceedings, does Brooks's arrest mean that her case is now sub judice, and therefore UK media will have to be extra careful about what they write about her? How convenient.
posted by grouse at 12:25 PM on July 17, 2011


Hilary Swank is Rupert Murdoch

Um, James Murdoch. Playing Rupert Murdoch would be way too bizarre.
posted by Jehan at 12:26 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of prejudicing court proceedings, does Brooks's arrest mean that her case is now sub judice, and therefore UK media will have to be extra careful about what they write about her? How convenient.

Possibly, possibly not. Until now there's just been a steady stream of allegations she's been involved in corrupting police officers. Now she seems to have been arrested for it, which would appear rather more negative.
posted by rodgerd at 12:36 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]




The conservative Telegraph's leader writer thinks there's a small possibility Cameron could resign within the next week
posted by Bwithh at 2:04 PM on July 17, 2011




Damian Thompson in the Telegraph uses some strong words:
The resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is a shocking blow to David Cameron’s credibility as Prime Minister. There’s a sense now of a tidal wave of scandal surrounding the entire British establishment.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:26 PM on July 17, 2011




The reference to Cameron in Stephenson's statement suggests that he thinks the Prime Minister's knowledge of and actions toward Coulson once he was linked to phone-hacking were ill-judged :

Now let me turn to the reported displeasure of the prime minister and the home secretary of the relationship with Mr Wallis.

The reasons for not having told them are two fold. Firstly, I repeat my earlier comments of having at the time no reason for considering the contractual relationship to be a matter of concern. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation.

Secondly, once Mr Wallis's name did become associated with Operation Weeting, I did not want to compromise the Prime Minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson. I am aware of the many political exchanges in relation to Mr Coulson's previous employment — I believe it would have been extraordinarily clumsy of me to have exposed the Prime Minister, or by association the Home Secretary, to any accusation, however unfair, as a consequence of them being in possession of operational information in this regard. Similarly, the Mayor. Because of the individuals involved, their positions and relationships, these were I believe unique circumstances.

posted by Jehan at 2:34 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The funnest thing I've read on this all day: Here's a detail from inside the Murdoch entourage: they are having trouble getting London restaurant reservations. (a tweet from Michael Wolff who wrote a Murdoch biography)

LOL!
posted by Bwithh at 3:18 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Guardian is now also interpreting Stephenson's resignation as an attack on No. 10:
Britain's top police officer has resigned and turned on the prime minister in a dramatic escalation of the phone hacking scandal.

In a carefully-worded resignation speech that appeared aimed directly at Downing Street, Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said the prime minister risked being "compromised" by his closeness to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:30 PM on July 17, 2011


In contrast to Fox, The Bugle Team (another News International property via the Times) is doing sterling satirical work on the hacking scandal in podcasts 160 and 161. They're speculating how long before they are pulled off air for biting the hand that feeds them.
posted by arcticseal at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Worth reading: WSJ plays the victim card.
When News Corp. and CEO Rupert Murdoch secured enough shares to buy Dow Jones & Co. four years ago, these columns welcomed our new owner and promised to stand by the same standards and principles we always had. That promise is worth repeating now that politicians and our competitors are using the phone-hacking years ago at a British corner of News Corp. to assail the Journal, and perhaps injure press freedom in general.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:12 PM on July 17, 2011




Bit of levity: photo of Rebekah Brooks' arrest
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:14 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


that WSJ editorial is just shameful
posted by Bwithh at 6:28 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed. Not to over-analyze, but I don't see how this can reflect well on the WSJ, first publishing the obsequious Rupert "interview" and now defending the paying of sources (which the publication itself, of course, doesn't do).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:33 PM on July 17, 2011


Not to mention the dig it managed to get in at ProPublica, which was largely set up by the guy who ran the WSJ before Murdoch took over:
The prize for righteous hindsight goes to the online publication ProPublica for recording the well-fed regrets of the Bancroft family that sold Dow Jones to News Corp. at a 67% market premium in 2007. The Bancrofts were admirable owners in many ways, but at the end of their ownership their appetite for dividends meant that little cash remained to invest in journalism. We shudder to think what the Journal would look like today without the sale to News Corp.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:41 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


now defending the paying of sources (which the publication itself, of course, doesn't do).

not that just that but it ignores that the deeper issue of the apparent collusion of senior member of News Corp and the police in covering up corruption and even suppressing criticism. It's amazing that the WSJ editorial says that the bigger problem that everyone should be paying attention to is the failure of the police, not News Corp -- even though News Corp's actions appear to be majorly bound up in that failure!
posted by Bwithh at 6:51 PM on July 17, 2011




Is it morning yet in the UK? Do I really have to wait hours longer for the next closet full of shoes to drop, or is something breaking now?
posted by maudlin at 7:36 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


@maudlin I've noticed that the Daily Telegraph liveblog gets turned on at about 8:30am-9:30am London time and the Guardian liveblog about an hour after that (but the Guardian one shuts later too). First few posts on both are generally summarizing the huge breaks in the story which happened yesterday though unless something's happened overnight
posted by Bwithh at 10:01 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


more on the situation Down Under

Ray Martin was only half joking during last night's savage 60 Minutes assault on News Corp when he described Britain as a "Murdocracy".

When it comes to Murdoch media domination, Australia is even worse - the worst in the world, in fact.

A long line of Australian politicians have had unhealthy relationships with the Murdoch and Packer families through the decades.

posted by Bwithh at 10:39 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


@maudlin I've noticed that the Daily Telegraph liveblog gets turned on at about 8:30am-9:30am London time and the Guardian liveblog about an hour after that (but the Guardian one shuts later too). First few posts on both are generally summarizing the huge breaks in the story which happened yesterday though unless something's happened overnight

oh wait, looks like the Telegraph has unexpectedly started at 6:30am this time! which is a sign of a busy week ahead...
posted by Bwithh at 10:45 PM on July 17, 2011


Bwithh, as I've said elsewhere, Orwell and Alan Moore got their chilling visions of jackboot Britain wrong. Moore was perhaps closer, but at the end of the day, the guy who got closest was Bruce Feirstein, who wrote Tomorrow Never Dies. The detail he got wrong, of course, was that MI5 and MI6 would give a clean bill of health to the corrupt media oligarch's man in No 10, rather than lead the charge against him
posted by rodgerd at 11:31 PM on July 17, 2011


(For all non-cricket fans, aka Americans, this is exactly how following a Test match feels like. Log in to work, open a new tab, set CricInfo's live reporting to auto-reload, check every hour or so to see how the Test is progressing. Go on, give it a try; the first test in England v. India will start on July 21st.)
posted by the cydonian at 2:47 AM on July 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Questions that need answering.
posted by adamvasco at 3:47 AM on July 18, 2011


that WSJ editorial is just shameful

Not quite as shameful as the Times editorial this morning. The whole thing is behind a paywall so I can't read it, but the quote that appeared on the Guardian's live blog this morning is stomach-turning in its hypocrisy:
The public may be disgusted by illegal and immoral practices among tabloid journalists, and dismayed by the thought of politicians unbalanced by the urge to keep the favour of newspaper executives. At the point at which this sorry tale touches the police, however, it becomes frightening. Unless a huge amount of what has been alleged these past two weeks is sheer fiction, Britain's police are riven with corruption on an institutional scale. Journalists who bribe policemen are indicative of a flawed industry. Policemen who can be bribed are indicative of a flawed state.
posted by daveje at 4:10 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


(It had to happen...) Hackgate: The Movie
posted by humph at 5:16 AM on July 18, 2011


(um, humph, look up)
posted by oh yeah! at 5:23 AM on July 18, 2011


oh no!

See what I did there? ;-)

I thought I'd been keeping on top of the the comments and links, obviously one sneaked past me while I was napping!
posted by humph at 5:34 AM on July 18, 2011


Is anyone else following @ExNOTWjourno2? I can't decide if she really is prophetic or if she's just calling enough obvious shots to look uncanny. Most of her prophesies have been going over my head because she's very fond of cryptic messages.
posted by like_neon at 5:48 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaand Assistant Metropolitian Police Commissioner John Yates has thrown in the towel....
posted by PenDevil at 6:34 AM on July 18, 2011


Especially in the light of Yates' resignation, this rings especially true: "The number of dead bodies on the stage is beginning to resemble the final scene of a Shakespearian tragedy."
posted by ob at 6:37 AM on July 18, 2011


I'm following her too like_neon. Like you, I can't decide either and, half the time, I don't know what she's talking about.
posted by ob at 6:47 AM on July 18, 2011


ExNOTWjourno2 is a case study in journalism without a sub-editor.
posted by vbfg at 7:12 AM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


The revelations over the hacking of grieving relatives' voicemails were the equivalent of a tornado ripping through an orphanage. "What kind of God would allow such a thing?" asked the villagers, wading through the aftermath. And they started to suspect He didn't exist.
Charlie Brooker: 'Rupert Murdoch: what will MPs do without someone to fear?'
posted by Anything at 7:29 AM on July 18, 2011


London police say senior officer John Yates quits over hacking -- "Lawmakers may delay recess; speculation mounts that James Murdoch could be arrested."
posted by ericb at 7:31 AM on July 18, 2011


Journalists who bribe policemen are indicative of a flawed industry. Policemen who can be bribed are indicative of a flawed state.

Oh wow. I see they're still trying to stick with the shameless barefaced approach. Yeah, they're gonna swing.
posted by JHarris at 8:05 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]




Great news! Filkin's back! She's heading the inquiry on the relationship between the police and the media.
posted by Jehan at 8:36 AM on July 18, 2011


USA Today:
Would you buy a Bible from Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation?

You probably already have.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:39 AM on July 18, 2011


NYT's David Carr draws attention to another part of the News Corp empire

From that article:
And in the most costly payout, it spent half a billion dollars in 2010 on another settlement, just days before the case was scheduled to go to trial. The plaintiff, Valassis Communications, had already won a $300 million verdict in Michigan, but dropped the lawsuit in exchange for $500 million and an agreement to cooperate on certain ventures going forward.
and Valassis is primarily known for their America’s Looking For Its Missing Children program. I'm not sure which is worse- engaging in underhanded business practices in order to undercut a company responsible for running a missing kids program, or joining together with that same company knowing what we do now about their ethics and practices regarding missing kids.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:18 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]




Oh I get it! ExNOTWJourno2's clue-filled tweets are like Jumble clues; the capitalized letters are the letters to be descrambled, while the tweet itself gives a clue.

So she wrote a while back:
OnE Flew East oNe Flew WesT...

One of the many anagrams for:
FNFWT
OEE

.... Is fone weft.

The nursery rhyme she refers to goes a follows:
Three geese in a flock
One flew East
One flew West
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest


So, errr, in addition to phone hacking, Murdoch pere, Murdoch fils and Brooks will be charged with, errr, theft of phones as well?

May be I don't get it as well as I thought.
posted by the cydonian at 9:33 AM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


How Paul Stephenson and PM fell out over hacking scandal:
"Thirdly, the record of meetings between Cameron and News International executives released on Friday does not reveal a modernising prime minister governing in the national interest, but a victim of a vested interest. His meetings with News International executives in a year exceed those with all other news organisations put together. Not a single figure from the BBC was granted an audience. It is one of those assemblages of small facts that change the way a public figure is viewed."
(my emphasis)
posted by humph at 10:08 AM on July 18, 2011


The Guardian:
Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

[...]

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:09 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]




Two interesting pieces about an apparent lack of Conservative voices supporting Cameron, interesting not least because of where they are published: The Spectator and ConservativeHome.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:24 AM on July 18, 2011


Gosh I hope Sean Hoare's death is just an unfortunate coincidence but I my tinfoil hat makes me scared that it's more sinister :(
posted by like_neon at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2011


Gosh I hope Sean Hoare's death is just an unfortunate coincidence but I my tinfoil hat makes me scared that it's more sinister :(
posted by like_neon at 1:42 PM on July 18


I'm not a betting man, but I would put my house on the line for "more sinister".
posted by SPUTNIK at 10:45 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]




Worth a read: Nick Davies on Sean Hoare.
posted by motty at 11:18 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man.
It must have scared the rest of Fleet Street when [Sean Hoare] started talking – he had bought, sold and snorted cocaine with some of the most powerful names in tabloid journalism. One retains a senior position on the Daily Mirror. "I last saw him in Little Havana," he recalled, "at three in the morning, on his hands and knees. He had lost his cocaine wrap. I said to him, 'This is not really the behaviour we expect of a senior journalist from a great Labour paper.' He said, 'Have you got any fucking drugs?'"
posted by jokeefe at 11:23 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


my tinfoil hat makes me scared that it's more sinister :(
I'm sure whatever has led to the closure of a 168 year-old newspaper, the resignation of the top two policemen in Britain, the "daughter" of the most powerful media mogul in the world and maybe the Prime Minister isn't something worth bumping off a showbiz reporter for.

When Stephenson resigned I thought "what the fuck are they hiding", when Cameron resigns I don't think I'll want to know.

Something wicked this way comes.
posted by fullerine at 11:35 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Illuminatus! trilogy is a documentary.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:48 AM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


isn't something worth bumping off a showbiz reporter for

How about a showbix reporter turned whistleblower?
posted by jokeefe at 11:51 AM on July 18, 2011


Not a single figure from the BBC was granted an audience.

Of course not. Uncle Rupe and Junior say they shouldn't exist.
posted by rodgerd at 11:57 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the police say it's non suspicious, then it's not suspicious. Shouldn't you people be going shopping or something?
posted by philip-random at 11:59 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone know how Americans can watch the Murdoch testimony tomorrow? I just tried installing FoxyProxy to allow access to BBC News, but it didn't work.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:38 PM on July 18, 2011


CunningLinguist, see my earlier comment. It works in the Netherlands. If it works in the U.S., I would believe you're good to go.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:42 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


gnfti you RULE!
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:45 PM on July 18, 2011


No problem CL.

Bizarre watching a recorded Sean Hoare on Panorama right now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:48 PM on July 18, 2011


This is getting ridiculous. Looks like maybe Rebekah tried to dump evidence???
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:03 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


goodnewsfortheinsane's link works for me, and Im in the US.
given the large amount of traffic expected tomorrow, here's one alternate backup:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=8910
posted by Bwithh at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the one hands, it sounds like Hoare was not in good health, and had already spilled his particular plate of beans. On the other hand, the timing is extremely suspicious to say the least.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


the timing is extremely suspicious to say the least
hmmmm... I'm not so sure - if he was assassinated, the timing would be "way too late"

I'd bet the poor guy was under a ton of additional mental stress to his poor health now, especially from all his old mates from the NOTW losing their jobs.
posted by Bwithh at 1:08 PM on July 18, 2011


I will be shocked if it turns out that Hoare was killed, because this story is already too much like the fall of some Bond villains, to have them start murdering people to keep the secrets hidden would just push this whole thing into the realms of black-comedy/ absurdest-fantasy.

Which is not to say that isn't exactly what is going to happen, I'm just amazed how far down this rabbit hole we've already gone, and it looks to go deeper and deeper still.
posted by quin at 1:14 PM on July 18, 2011




Oh, it turns out CNN US will simulcast CNN International tomorrow from 9:15 AM ET, which will carry the Murdoch/Murdoch/Brooks hearing.

Here's the schedule, times BST:
12pm Home Affairs
Subject: Unauthorised tapping or hacking of mobile communications
Witness(es): Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner, Metropolitan Police (at 12 noon); and Dick Fedorcio, Director of Public Affairs and Internal Communication, Metropolitan Police (at 12.30 p.m.)
Location: The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

2.30pm Culture, Media and Sport
Subject: Phone-hacking
Witness(es): Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, News International Ltd, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, and James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, International News Corporation
Location: The Wilson Room, Portcullis House
So the Home Affairs Select Comittee hearing is a bit early for our American cousins, but die-hards can set their alarm for 7 AM ET.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


> this story is already too much like the fall of some Bond villains

For those not familiar with the James Bond series, Tomorrow Never Dies, a 1997 film, actually deals with an evil media mogul.
posted by iati at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2011


Oh, it turns out CNN US will simulcast CNN International tomorrow from 9:15 AM ET, which will carry the Murdoch/Murdoch/Brooks hearing.

How many times in the past has Parliament been screened live in the US?
posted by Jehan at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, I don't know everything. Do your own damn research. ;-)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:57 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Look, I don't know everything. Do your own damn research. ;-)

It's an open question, hopefully some US folk will give an answer. Though failing that I expect you to be up all night researching.
posted by Jehan at 1:59 PM on July 18, 2011


The PMQs are screened live on c-span early Wednesday morning (here). Don't know if that counts.
posted by Partario at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that I do think that there must be something up with Sean Hoare's death. I don't actually think that David Kelly was killed either, so you can think of me as a dupe if you like.

What I do think is that it's remarkably irresponsible for someone who would like to be a political leader (Jenny Jones, leader of the Greens in the London Assembly) to express herself like this when talking about the death of a man who was known to be ill. There's a time for that sort of pondering, and it's not within a day of the first reports of a man's death.

What worries me more than all of these things that are flitting past us too quick for us to latch on to is that there may be ten separate enquiries set up on different elements of this whole farrago. It's possible (though this is giving the Tories more credit than I've ever bothered to do in the past) that the thinking is that each different thread here needs its own attention and so this is the only way to do justice to the many angles of the story. The result that seems more likely to me though is that any findings will be diluted and, in the same way that few people picked up on the detailed reporting of the Guardian over the life of the story, few people will manage to keep all the results of all the enquiries in their heads at once. Which is exactly what you might want, if you were keen that nothing changes all that much.
posted by calico at 2:06 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course, now that I look, the Media Committee hearing will also air on C-SPAN.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:07 PM on July 18, 2011


CunningLinguist: This is getting ridiculous. Looks like maybe Rebekah tried to dump evidence???
The Guardian has learned that a bag containing the items was found in an underground car park in the Design Centre at the exclusive Chelsea Harbour development on Monday afternoon.

The car park, under a shopping centre, is yards from the gated apartment block where Brooks lives with her husband, a former racehorse trainer and close friend of the prime minister David Cameron.

It is understood the bag was handed into security at around 3pm and that shortly afterwards, Brooks's husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it.
Oh boy, how he must regret that. What a screwup.
posted by Anything at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2011


I don't actually think that David Kelly was killed either, so you can think of me as a dupe if you like.
sigh - "David Kelly" has been trending on Twitter now - there's a lot of people who still buy the conspiracy theory about his death, no matter how much debunking there has been
posted by Bwithh at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2011


oops forgot to link this in the comment above
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/7947544/David-Kelly-was-not-murdered.html
posted by Bwithh at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2011


Now, come on. Who hasn't accidentally put their laptop and phone in the trash at one time or another.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:20 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or had a friend put it in the wrong garage bin.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:25 PM on July 18, 2011




The Sun's home page current redirects to here.

Golden opportunity to use nyan cat, missed.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can tell that's not a real Sun article because the photo captions don't start with the emotion you're supposed to feel upon viewing them.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


I love the ellipsis: "Media Mogul...Rupert Murdoch"
posted by Partario at 2:43 PM on July 18, 2011


It's some sort of DNS hack, isn't it? www.thesun.co.uk doesn't redirect for me. Is it because I have visited the Sun website recently? *blush*

Anyhow. That tweet doesn't seem to actually say they have obtained emails, Bwithh. Are we sure that that is what they are claiming?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:46 PM on July 18, 2011


GNFTI: Yep, you need to clear your cache.
posted by Jehan at 2:52 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That tweet doesn't seem to actually say they have obtained emails, Bwithh. Are we sure that that is what they are claiming?

True - I was bit hasty and overstated... but it was not my idea, it was based on the tweet mentioning emails from someone else who pointed me to the LulzSec tweet.
I can't remember what the other tweet was so can't evaluate how legitimate that claim was in hindsight
posted by Bwithh at 2:54 PM on July 18, 2011


I can't, Jehan. I need to read "History made as nipple found on foot" first. [NSFW, not going to link to it]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:58 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's a video of the Sun hack. Wish the kids would get their grammar right.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:58 PM on July 18, 2011


Text
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2011




Gizmodo has an article on the Sun hack with screenshots

LulzSec on twitter claiming responsibility, rather than Anon.

Various anons/lulzsec people all over twitter are tweeting what appear to be Sun email/password combinations

and "We're sitting on their emails. Press release tomorrow"

Fun times.
posted by memebake at 3:16 PM on July 18, 2011


Looks like lulzsec have control of atleast the server running extras.thesun.co.uk, earlier the following link was redirecting to the murdoch death site and now it goes to the lulzsec twitter feed

http://extras.thesun.co.uk/sol/breakingnewspage.html
posted by pixie at 3:18 PM on July 18, 2011


Ah, the sun now redirects to LulzSec twitter account.
posted by memebake at 3:19 PM on July 18, 2011


And the previous site it was redirecting to is owned by NI as well:


Domain name:
new-times.co.uk

Registrant:
News International Newspapers Limited

posted by pixie at 3:22 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought LulzSec disbanded. This is quite a comeback.
posted by memebake at 3:24 PM on July 18, 2011


Although with all the police attention, I shouldn't think there's much of interest in the Suns email servers at the moment. Unless the people at The Sun are very stupid indeed.
posted by memebake at 3:27 PM on July 18, 2011


Could Lulsec compromise any police investigation? Could the Sun now claim any incriminating evidence is planted?
posted by PenDevil at 3:30 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So anonymous internet hackers going after super-villain media titan who's empire is descending in ruins due to phone hacking, and threatening to take the upper levels of the police and government with it?

At what point did this become a cyberpunk novel?
posted by quin at 3:33 PM on July 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


@PenDevil: I think most of the police focus is on a cache of emails from 5 to 7 years ago that the police have had for some time. So, probably not.
posted by memebake at 3:34 PM on July 18, 2011


After three everybody - the official motto of 2010/2011 - "Its Like We're Living In A William Gibson Novel"
posted by memebake at 3:34 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Its Like We're Living In A William Gibson Novel"

Gibson himself has been following this story closely. Earlier today, he said on Twitter:
If hackgate were a screenplay, this would be the point where the writers need a firm guiding hand. Laptop in bin feels phoned in
posted by grouse at 3:36 PM on July 18, 2011 [15 favorites]


@PenDevil: Although, on reflection, various new lines of inquiry are coming up all the time, and yes I guess a hacked email system wont help things much.
posted by memebake at 3:38 PM on July 18, 2011


isn't that what back ups are for?
posted by MikeKD at 3:40 PM on July 18, 2011


Add newsint.co.uk to the hacked list:

http://newsint.co.uk/statement_regarding_the_sun.html redirects to lulzsec too
posted by pixie at 3:41 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could Lulsec compromise any police investigation?

If by "compromise" you mean "actually collect some fucking evidence from New International and look at the bastard stuff", then yes.
posted by Jehan at 3:42 PM on July 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


They've deleted it now but about 20 mins ago LulzSec had a tweet saying 'everyone get in here' and redirecting to an Anon IRC channel. So it would seem LulzSec and the wider Anon group are working together to some extent. The logo of the AnonymousIRC twitter account seems to confirm this.
posted by memebake at 3:43 PM on July 18, 2011


What's going on with The Times? It won't load for me.
posted by Partario at 4:12 PM on July 18, 2011


It won't load for me either...
posted by ob at 4:21 PM on July 18, 2011


A friend just noted "this is what happens when you suddenly fire a whole bunch of people with passwords."
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:28 PM on July 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


A friend just noted "this is what happens when you suddenly fire a whole bunch of people with passwords."

Murdoch will note this and next time shoot them all instead. Also much cheaper.
posted by Jehan at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2011


LulzSec: "Thank you for the love tonight. I know we quit, but we couldn't sit by with our wine watching this walnut-faced Murdoch clowning around."

And all this with a giant NyanCat background. Gibson could never have forseen the ubiquity of NyanCat.
posted by memebake at 4:44 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only thing that gives me hope about the people rising up against the plutocrats these days are the lulz groups. Every other organization is demonstrably corrupt. Of course, we'll just be changing one set of plutocrats for another, but it's better that way as the current ones have become far too fat and lazy. We need some new, hungry plutocrats who are willing to show some hustle.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:58 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's going on with The Times? It won't load for me
according to Twitter chatter, News International has pulled all its servers as a precautionary measure
posted by Bwithh at 4:59 PM on July 18, 2011


Bloomberg:
News Corp. (NWSA) is considering elevating Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey to chief executive officer, succeeding Rupert Murdoch, people with knowledge of the situation said.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:09 PM on July 18, 2011


Ah...they're planning to replace Murdoch with a guy who curls his mustache? Really?
posted by anigbrowl at 5:15 PM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah...they're planning to replace Murdoch with a guy who curls his mustache? Really?


Seems like the physical manifestation of the lulzsec mascot. Just add monocle and top hat.
posted by Partario at 5:19 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The linked story suggests they'd just be perpetuating their problems, besides the visual lulz.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:24 PM on July 18, 2011


Seems like the physical manifestation of the lulzsec mascot. Just add monocle and top hat.

Just to bump up the conspiracy theorising a notch.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:26 PM on July 18, 2011


Ah...they're planning to replace Murdoch with a guy who curls his mustache? Really?

There are too few mustaches of note in public life today. Who could naysay the gladness it would bring? Not I, sir, not I.
posted by Jehan at 5:31 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Piers Morgan just said on CNN that he does not believe that any story published under his tenure at NOTW was obtained in an unlawful manner [paraphrased].

Then he plugged his book.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:03 PM on July 18, 2011


The book, we shouldn't forget, in which Piers wrote:
Apparently if you don’t change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and, if you don’t answer, tap in the standard four digit code to hear all your messages. I’ll change mine just in case, but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:06 PM on July 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Inside Rebekah Brooks' newsroom: the dark arts of 'dodgy business HQ'

Journalists who worked there in that period describe an industrialised operation of dubious information-gathering, reporters under intense pressure attempting to land exclusive stories by whatever means necessary, and a culture of fear, cynicism, gallows humour and fierce internal competition. [...]

Four former employees of Britain's best-selling Sunday tabloid have told Reuters that Brooks's denials are simply not credible.

They say people on the paper's newsdesk, the hub that directs news coverage, were regularly grilled about the top stories by Brooks and later by her successor Andy Coulson, who resigned over the phone-hacking scandal in 2007 and went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman.

"They went in and they were cross-examined for two hours every day. And it was all about the genesis of all the stories," the first ex-reporter, who worked at the paper for seven years, told Reuters [...]

It became practically a matter of honour not to use respectable journalistic methods, the reporters said.

posted by UbuRoivas at 7:13 PM on July 18, 2011


Journalists who worked there in that period describe an industrialised operation of dubious information-gathering, reporters under intense pressure attempting to land exclusive stories by whatever means necessary, and a culture of fear, cynicism, gallows humour and fierce internal competition. [...]

Sounds like most organizations with a head count of more than 20 people.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:19 PM on July 18, 2011


This whole thread is keeping me by turns gleeful, appalled, gleeful again, and horrified.
It's like something from Donald Westlake's "Trust Me On This" (a fun read even without the Dortmunder crew) brought to life.
posted by dolface at 7:34 PM on July 18, 2011


This whole thread is keeping me by turns gleeful, appalled, gleeful again, and horrified.

This is so horribly funny:

We are battling with The Sun admins right now - I think they are losing. The boat has landed... >:]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:46 PM on July 18, 2011


We are battling with The Sun admins right now - I think they are losing. The boat has landed... >:]

Worth checking out for deeply WRONG yet strangely benign comic relief: the Best/Worst Older Sister Extracts Brother’s Tooth with a Motorcycle link off the gizmodo.com sidebar. Now this is the future of journalism.
posted by philip-random at 8:25 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Both News Corp and Lulzsec pay lip service to 'catching the bad guys' while having no qualms about fucking with ordinary peoples' private info for fun and profit. They are both scum.
posted by Anything at 11:30 PM on July 18, 2011


More officers face allegations. Hopefully the Augean stable cleaning will continue.
Still to be further uncovered why did Judge Paul Darlow issue a ruling which effectively covered up evidence of illegal data checks on Gordon Brown. Keep on digging UK journalists. The Guardian is so living up to its name.
posted by adamvasco at 12:29 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]




Still to be further uncovered why did Judge Paul Darlow issue a ruling which effectively covered up evidence of illegal data checks on Gordon Brown.

Something stinks there, but not necessarily the carcass you would expect. From earlier in the same article -

Gordon Brown's office were privately warned in 2003 at the time of discovery of the illegal data checks

In 2003, the article states, the Murdoch press were on Blair's side in the New Labour power struggle and presumably looking for dirt on Brown. Come 2005, when Darlow issued the ruling, Blair had already said that he would not stand for a fourth term. Brown would have been seeking the endorsement of the Murdoch press for his own premiership. If Brown did indeed know about the data checks, it would be naive to suppose that the sitting Chancellor and likely-next-PM would have no influence on the decision taken by Darlow.

Still, when legal justice eludes us, we have the poetic variety to fall back on. From the same article:

The first [data check], on 13 September 2000, was on Martin Salter, the Labour MP for Reading West.

Salter had displeased Rebekah Brooks, then News of the World editor. He refused her request to support her notorious campaign for Sarah's Law to "protect us from pervs". Shortly afterwards, on 24 September 2000, NoW readers were urged to pillory him personally in a "naming and shaming" stunt.

Salter says: "She responded with some foul personal attacks so typical of the bullying style of the former NoW. I remember canvassing that Sunday morning and it was particularly unpleasant."


From yesterday:

Rebekah Brooks's arrest damaged her reputation, says her lawyer

Hopefully that damage will be furthered at the select committee today: (From the BBC profile of Brooks: '...but when it comes to being in the public eye and having to think on your feet, I don't think she's that good.")
posted by Jakey at 2:04 AM on July 19, 2011


Brit law aficionados: Is there an equivalent of 'pleading the 5th' when appearing before a select committee?
posted by PenDevil at 2:09 AM on July 19, 2011


According to the House of Commons Guide for witnesses (pdf)

When hearing oral evidence, committees have the power to require witnesses to answer questions. In practice, evidence-taking before committees is conducted with a degree of informality and such powers are seldom used. A committee also has power to take evidence on oath. This rarely happens but, if the procedure is used, witnesses are liable to the laws of perjury.

But, there is also this...

If you know that matters which may arise during oral evidence are currently before a court of law, or court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the clerk of the committee how this might affect the oral evidence you can give.
posted by Jakey at 2:24 AM on July 19, 2011




Legal justifications Brooks may invoke if she refuses to answer questions about phone hacking
posted by adamvasco at 3:11 AM on July 19, 2011


Both News Corp and Lulzsec pay lip service to 'catching the bad guys' while having no qualms about fucking with ordinary peoples' private info for fun and profit. They are both scum.

The difference is, of course, that the full weight of the law is and has been brought to bear on Anon and Lulzsec ops whenever they're caught, with substantial amounts of specialist police departments' time and money being spent to track their members down where possible, and the book being thrown at them when caught.

Actually, the other difference is that they sometimes do something approximating investigatice journalism on matters of public interest, such as exposing the corrupt activities of which HB Gary was a nexus. I am not aware of News Limited's forays in this field, unless gratuitous cruelty to grieving parents, panty-sniffing, and making me think about Max Mosely fucking hookers is in some way in the public interest.
posted by rodgerd at 3:19 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

Popcorn popcorn get yer popcorn!
posted by PenDevil at 4:07 AM on July 19, 2011


Via the beeb:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_8167000/8167512.stm
posted by Mister Bijou at 4:14 AM on July 19, 2011


And here, with added text commentary.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:15 AM on July 19, 2011


A little irony in a sea of wtfs: if Rupert Murdoch is indeed hard of hearing but won't wear aids, the best live coverage of the parliamentary hearings will not be on any of his network output but on the 100% captioned BBC.
posted by humph at 4:17 AM on July 19, 2011


Wow! A Tory just said "I would like to pay credit to the Guardian newspaper". DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER!
posted by PenDevil at 4:19 AM on July 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


(Should add that I meant the televised BBC coverage of the hearings, not on the live streaming coverage on the website.)
posted by humph at 4:21 AM on July 19, 2011


BBC: Phone hacking was not a priority for the Met, admits Sir Paul, unlike the "night stalker" rapist case, the murder of Stephen Lawrence and other "major, major cases".

That would be a good argument if they only had three police officers for all of London.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Murdoch bingo! (I didn't make it.)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:46 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Keith Vaz just got more plummy. I think he's levelled up. Gz d00d!
posted by emmtee at 4:48 AM on July 19, 2011


As an American, it's so bizarre to hear articulate politicians. They can actually formulate intelligent questions! Why can't we have nice things?
posted by orrnyereg at 5:04 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tweet from @williamhillNews (large British betting organisation):
@williamhillNews William Hill Bookies
We're 16/1 that David Cameron is no longer Convervative Leader by midnight on Sunday. #hackgate #notw #tories
posted by humph at 5:21 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Any British Mefites want to comment on their thoughts of Stephenson before this scandal broke? Was he well respected?
posted by Partario at 5:27 AM on July 19, 2011


@Partario: You generally only hear about senior policeman in the news when someone or other is calling for their resignation or defending them from calls for their resignation. Sir Ian Blair departed in Dec 09 and Stephenson took over then. So he hasn't been in the role for long.
posted by memebake at 5:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Partario: Stephenson has had, I believe, a lower profile than Yates over previous years - which equates to more respect. He also gets further credit for realising he ought to resign given the situation and his position. For me he comes across as more naive than anything else. [I also thought there is a kind of pathos in the guy turning up in his uniform even after he had resigned - sort of expected him to be golf clothes].
posted by rongorongo at 5:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Both Stephenson and the Met PR man Fedorcio are trying to throw Yates under the bus. Yates is up next. It might be interesting to see if he takes one for the team or if he's going to go down fighting.......
posted by Jakey at 5:47 AM on July 19, 2011


Stephenson has resigned but is staying on until his successor/interim is appointed.

As overtly political as the Met Commissioner job is, he does still have enough access and responsibility that a "peace out" and dropped microphone is best avoided.
posted by fullerine at 5:57 AM on July 19, 2011


That painting/tapestry/whatever it is on the wall is distractingly ugly. The whole setup looks like a bland, 1990s office park. Grim!
posted by orrnyereg at 6:14 AM on July 19, 2011


Thanks guys. As a non-Brit it's nice to get some context. I like the sassy old man...what's his name?
posted by Partario at 6:16 AM on July 19, 2011


Names of players.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:35 AM on July 19, 2011


WE ARE GO!

Watch the stocks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:36 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


@MohammedReuters: Campaigners holding "Murdoch wanted for news crimes" posters ejected.

So that was the ruckus.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:38 AM on July 19, 2011


This is the most humble day of my life
posted by KokuRyu at 6:39 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Murdoch on C-SPAN 3.
posted by PenDevil at 6:42 AM on July 19, 2011


Yo James, Imma let you finish, but today was the most humble day of all time.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:43 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


James Murdoch's creepy mid-Atlantic accent - like an English actor impersonating a serial killer played by Kevin Spacey.
posted by Mocata at 6:43 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


At this stage, father and son Murdoch's performance is beginning to feel like a real-life version of Fierce Creatures being played out.
posted by the cydonian at 6:47 AM on July 19, 2011


Mefi's own!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. James is way out of his depth.
posted by orrnyereg at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2011


His stutter is hard to listen too.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2011


Go Tom!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:48 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tom Watson must have been fantasizing about this moment for years.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:49 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go Tom, go! *cheering*
posted by orrnyereg at 6:50 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile Rupe's got a kind of Clive James meets John-Huston-in-Chinatown thing going on.
posted by Mocata at 6:51 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like Murdoch is invoking the Reagan defence.
posted by Partario at 6:52 AM on July 19, 2011


Soon: the Khrushchev defence
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:54 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile Rupe's got a kind of Clive James meets John-Huston-in-Chinatown thing going on.

Except that John Huston's character in Chinatown gets the girl in the end. Heroic. Murdoch has lost Rebekah
posted by KokuRyu at 6:55 AM on July 19, 2011


Be sure to keep an eye on Wendi Deng, it's fascinating and painful to watch.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:56 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


James Murdoch's creepy mid-Atlantic accent - like an English actor impersonating a serial killer played by Kevin Spacey.
posted by Mocata at 6:43 AM on July 19 [+] [!]

I caught a quick look at Murdoch junior a few minutes ago on a big screen tv and my first thought was that he looks like someone the neighbours describe as "Such a quiet man, but we always knew there was something odd about him" as the police lead him away in handcuffs and CSI get to work digging up the bodies in the cellar...
posted by humph at 6:58 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, Charlie Brooker says there's a satellite delay in the room.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:59 AM on July 19, 2011


I'm gonna have to miss the rest of this. Are there any other questioners (a la Tom Watson) who are expected to really go after Murdoch?
posted by Partario at 6:59 AM on July 19, 2011


Can he be as senile as he's acting? And James, cringing like a salted snail. What a pair.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:01 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


James Murdoch's creepy mid-Atlantic accent

It belongs to an imaginary country. Like Orwell's Oceania.
posted by holgate at 7:01 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's great about Tom is he's simply carrying on a line of questioning, instead of making grandstanding speeches for political gain.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:03 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can he be as senile as he's acting?

No. 'Twas clever, though. And if he pulls it off---somehow walks out of that room leaving the impression that the MPs were haranguing a broken old man---we'll know he's a genius.
posted by Diablevert at 7:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


How does the old man make such a noise banging the table with merely his fingertips? Is he a cyborg?
posted by Scram at 7:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


James Murdoch's creepy mid-Atlantic accent

It belongs to an imaginary country. Like Orwell's Oceania.


What's that joke about Kissinger? He doesn't actually have an accent, he just talks like that because he's never listened to anybody else?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:06 AM on July 19, 2011 [14 favorites]


Well, the mic is on the table I suppose, but it's not great PR anyhow.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:07 AM on July 19, 2011


if he pulls it off---somehow walks out of that room leaving the impression that the MPs were haranguing a broken old man---we'll know he's a genius.

Really? If the aim is to leave Newscorp in the hands of Smithers James, then I'm not sure that this particular spectacle fills the shareholders with confidence.
posted by holgate at 7:07 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh, that's funny, Lentroetc.
posted by goofyfoot at 7:08 AM on July 19, 2011


Rupert Murdoch made it very clear that the buck stops with someone way beneath him.
posted by ob at 7:18 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like ol' Rupe is nodding off. Nap time!
posted by Acey at 7:19 AM on July 19, 2011


Splendid performance from Tom Watson (who I always think of as the internet's constituency MP) - just the right blend of polite enquiry and withering raised eyebrow.

jack_mo: "The fucker is going to make money off this."

I'm just quoting myself because I've never been so happy to be proved so completely, utterly wrong.
posted by jack_mo at 7:30 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well the share price is holding up...
posted by PenDevil at 7:35 AM on July 19, 2011




Nooooooooo C-SPAN!
posted by orrnyereg at 7:37 AM on July 19, 2011


I would imagine that Brooks' appearance will be delayed by some time, maybe an hour at the least?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2011


Guardian is also providing live feed: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2011


Names of players.

Well, Watson's the best hope there. I'd prefer it if there was someone with a strong background in criminal law. Just because the Murdochs are playing a weak hand, you still need someone with skills and experience in ripping someone's reputation to shreds in six questions or less.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:51 AM on July 19, 2011


Newscorp shares soaring. Maybe he lanced the boil.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2011


But they're not testifying under oath, so, other than being entertaining what is this going to accomplish?
posted by orrnyereg at 7:55 AM on July 19, 2011


But they're not testifying under oath, so, other than being entertaining what is this going to accomplish?

The superficially-dull stuff about corporate governance may create opportunities to weigh NI and Newscorp's decision-making against the Companies Act 2006, which in turn has bearing on the BSkyB takeover and its existing licence with Ofcom.
posted by holgate at 8:04 AM on July 19, 2011








God, this thread has woken right back up.

Ah...they're planning to replace Murdoch with a guy who curls his mustache? Really?

It's nice to see Chef Boyardee is back in the news.

We're 16/1 that David Cameron is no longer Convervative Leader by midnight on Sunday. #hackgate #notw #tories

How does he sleep at night?
posted by JHarris at 8:19 AM on July 19, 2011


News burial watch: NHS services to be opened up to competition
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:23 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]




Newscorp shares soaring. Maybe he lanced the boil.

News Corp stock price could be rising because investors think the Murdochs are doing badly.
there is an oft-discussed "Murdoch discount" to News Corp stock valuation - some analysts think the company would be worth 50% more without Rupert Murdoch at the helm, because he has a reputation of making rash major acquisitions that do badly
posted by Bwithh at 8:29 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]




Newscorp shares soaring.

Jesus, so they are. Seems I'm wrong about being wrong. I'm not sure I understand why they're soaring.

On preview - ah, that's interesting Bwithh.
posted by jack_mo at 8:32 AM on July 19, 2011


"Rupert, would you like a cup of tea?" "No." Bangs table. Pauses. "What's tea?"
posted by Elmore at 8:34 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


News Corp stock price could be rising because investors think the Murdochs are doing badly.
there is an oft-discussed "Murdoch discount" to News Corp stock valuation - some analysts think the company would be worth 50% more without Rupert Murdoch at the helm, because he has a reputation of making rash major acquisitions that do badly


Oh, and the other thing is that the other major investors (and James Murdoch) hate the newspaper business (even before this scandal) because its in decline and doesnt make much money. They want News Corp to focus on TV. Rupert loooooooves newspapers because that's the business he came from and he likes the power leverage they can give him. If Rupert is seen as doing badly and likely to go, the investors may be thinking: "Oh cool, then we get to dump the stupid newspapers now the old man's gone"
posted by Bwithh at 8:37 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Elmore, I LOL'd out loud.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2011


Comment at BBC:

"I'm watching the Murdoch 'GRILLING' by MPs......more like a gentle poaching if you ask me!"
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:40 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Je suis pas une pipe: I'm sitting in the office listening to a wicked old man lie and bang tables while watching in the the other room a Masai Warrior do extraordinarily well on Deal or No Deal.
posted by humph at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2011


gnfti, it's a shame Channel 4 didn't include the word no in the word cloud CunningLinguist posted above, as the centre of the cloud would read "No Company."
posted by Elmore at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2011


Comment at BBC:

"I'm watching the Murdoch 'GRILLING' by MPs......more like a gentle poaching if you ask me!"


Actually, I'm glad that the MPs are not grandstanding and showing off for the cameras generally.

When the Wall St banking chiefs went up in front of the US Congressional committee, the politicians took their chance to shout and rage and moralize "on behalf of the people" at the bankers in front of the TV cameras... and then much less than expected in the way of reform happened (e.g. underfunding the SEC even more)

I'd rather the MPs give the Murdochs a gentle poaching and then a satisfyingly wide-ranging and meaningful level of reform to happen
posted by Bwithh at 8:47 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm watching the Murdoch 'GRILLING' by MPs......more like a gentle poaching if you ask me!"

Heh. The questioning has been increasingly toothless since Tom Watson (who wasn't exactly rabid himself).

Actually, I'm glad that the MPs are not grandstanding and showing off for the cameras generally.

They're also completely failing to extract much in the way of useful information, and failing to press the Murdochs when they're being evasive (which is almost all the time). I'm glad they're not grandstanding, but it'd be nice if they'd show a bit of backbone.
posted by jack_mo at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


I missed it!! What happened?
posted by orrnyereg at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


What just happened?
posted by IanMorr at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


MAN ATTACKS RUPERT MURDOCH
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


Holy crap! Someone just went for Murdoch!
posted by jack_mo at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


Protester, egg thrower or something. Suspended for 10 minutes.
posted by Elmore at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


What?
posted by ob at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011


What the fuck just happened?
posted by goofyfoot at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2011


OK what the hell just happened? I scroll down the Guardian liveblog for one second and then a kerfuffle breaks out the moment I can't see the live TV screen, and the meeting is suspended...
posted by Bwithh at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2011


It's OK, Wendi got the protestor.
posted by Elmore at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2011


"Murdoch was punched in the face by as of yet unidentified man at hearing"

Wendi Deng appeared to defend Rupert

-- journos on Twitter
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:55 AM on July 19, 2011


"Young man in chequered shirt in handcuffs"
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:56 AM on July 19, 2011


I've already forgotten what kind of shirt JM was wearing.
posted by vbfg at 8:56 AM on July 19, 2011


GOTCHA!
posted by Elmore at 8:57 AM on July 19, 2011


Looks like it was a cream pie. The young man is covered in cream as is a policeman (on Sky news).
posted by Elmore at 8:58 AM on July 19, 2011


Yeah, Wendi has lightning reflexes.

The handcuffed bloke seems to be covered in foam - failed pie in the face attack? Also, I'm pretty sure I saw a woman lunging for Murdoch, not a chubby fellow in a check shirt?
posted by jack_mo at 8:59 AM on July 19, 2011


Wendi Deng tried to slap his head. Can this whole thing get any more wierd?
posted by humph at 8:59 AM on July 19, 2011


It looks like Rupert got covered in it. I'd find it funny if I didn't want to get to see Brooks.
posted by Elmore at 9:01 AM on July 19, 2011


That's what this movie needed at this point. Custard pie throwing and dragon lady ninjas.
posted by Bwithh at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is totally fucking bizarre.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2011


Wow. This guy will be a hero to a lot of people.
posted by futz at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2011


Wendi Deng tried to slap his head. Can this whole thing get any more wierd?

Pie man revealed as former NotW Private Investigator, recently re-hired by Brooks?
posted by jack_mo at 9:03 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what will happen now? Is all video feed off air right now?
posted by futz at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2011


Humble pie.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. This guy will be a hero to a lot of people.

I think he's an idiot. He's just shifted the focus from Tom Watson's excellent questioning and Murdoch's bizarre "humble" comment to a fucking comedy moment that humanises both Murodch and makes a hero of his wife. Thanks a lot, dick.
posted by ukdanae at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


No press, no public, and maybe no TV cameras when it reconvenes.
posted by Elmore at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011


The phrase "media circus" just took on a new meaning.
posted by ob at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011


Looks like it was a cream pie. The young man is covered in cream as is a policeman (on Sky news).

Just a regular old cream pie, or a special cream pie?
posted by homunculus at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2011


Clear the room, sure, but don't cut off the cameras!
posted by orrnyereg at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least he didn't throw a shoe.
posted by Elmore at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2011


If you want to be an unhelpful arsehole, join LulzSec.
posted by holgate at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2011


Wow, it's back. The room looks empty.
posted by Elmore at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2011


This guy claiming he did it.
posted by pixie at 9:09 AM on July 19, 2011


Wow. This guy will be a hero to a lot of people.

Or seen as a complete dick who interrupted the best telly in years, and granted Rupert Murdoch at least a shred of public sympathy.

Nick Robinson reporting that Wendi whacked the attacker with his own pie tin, shouting 'I got him! I got him!'. Which is... amazing.
posted by jack_mo at 9:09 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. This guy will be a hero to a lot of people.

Especially people who run Murdoch newspapers who can now justifiably write sympathetic headlines about an old man getting attacked in public.
posted by daveje at 9:12 AM on July 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


here is the video clip
posted by Bwithh at 9:13 AM on July 19, 2011


Especially people who run Murdoch newspapers who can now justifiably write sympathetic headlines about an old man getting attacked in public.

...because, as we all know, Murdoch newspapers are tightly constrained by the limits of the justifiable.
posted by gerryblog at 9:15 AM on July 19, 2011


My journo wife came home at 11pm after a 14-hour shift, took one look at BBC World, and immediately said: "I'd be careful of that China woman. She's ready to pounce"

Took me a bit to understand she was referring to Wendi Deng, but quickly brushed her off, said I'd been watching her complexion drained steadily in the last one hour. Exactly five minutes later, this happens.

I suppose that's why I'm a tech consultant, while she's a journo.
posted by the cydonian at 9:16 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dear Ms Deng,

I have most urgent need for a woman of your formal physical talents.

Regards,
Muammar Gaddafi
posted by PenDevil at 9:16 AM on July 19, 2011


aaaaaaand the live streaming is back. i missed this but according to the twitters, James just had trouble remembering Milly Dowler's name.
posted by Bwithh at 9:17 AM on July 19, 2011


formal = formidable (Dammit!)
posted by PenDevil at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2011


Louise Mensch MP, who is currently doing the questioning, is married to the manager of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, incidentally
posted by Bwithh at 9:22 AM on July 19, 2011


Louise Mensch is good. Shame that idiot stalled it.

On preview, damn, I should have said she rocks.
posted by Elmore at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The pie man, Johnnie Marbles is part of UK Uncut apparently.
posted by memebake at 9:25 AM on July 19, 2011


She's a Mensch.
posted by COBRA! at 9:25 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The pie man, Johnnie Marbles is part of UK Uncut apparently.

UK Uncut is now denying this was a UK Uncut action. Chris Bryant MP is calling the piethrowing contempt of parliament
posted by Bwithh at 9:26 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


re: "Jude Law is alleging that his phone was hacked on American soil." (part of a question put to the murdochs)

I saw much being made of this earlier - if Jude's phone was hacked on 'american soil' then its a matter for the FBI, etc.

But if a UK citizen with a UK phone travels to the USA, and someone leaves them a voicemail (which, remember, is stored on a server somewhere and not on the phone) and then someone in the UK hacks into the voicemail and gets the message, how is this happening on 'American Soil' exactly?

just a little technology point to ponder.
posted by memebake at 9:27 AM on July 19, 2011


Better known by her pre-recent-marriage name of Louise Bagshawe, and seen recently trying to breach a superinjunction on HIGNFY.
posted by holgate at 9:27 AM on July 19, 2011


UK Uncut is now denying this was a UK Uncut action.

ah yes, so they are:
http://twitter.com/#!/UKuncut/status/93352208820748288
posted by memebake at 9:28 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Guardian liveblog:
Wendi was on her feet lobbing the plate back at her husband's assailant before James got up. Another woman – small and dark-haired – was the one who accosted the assailant first.

multiple dragon lady ninjas?!?!?
posted by Bwithh at 9:30 AM on July 19, 2011


No. 'Twas clever, though. And if he pulls it off---somehow walks out of that room leaving the impression that the MPs were haranguing a broken old man---we'll know he's a genius.

Or Keyser Soze.
posted by reynir at 9:34 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pie man's ex-girlfriend just changed her bio to 'Not funny. Not clever. Not your girlfriend.' Her recent tweets are funny reading - from 'OH GOD', to 'Just got an email from CNN...' via 'Um. Yes. Yes that was my ex-boyfriend who just custard pied Rupert Murdoch.'.

Louise Mensch is good. Shame that idiot stalled it.

Yeah, shame she had such a short stint - defo the most sturdy questioner after Watson. (She's been top of my 'Tories it's sort of okay-ish to begrudgingly like a tiny bit, oh dear I feel sick' list since that HIGNFY appearance. Well, I say 'top', she is the list.)

I'd be careful of that China woman

multiple dragon lady ninjas?!?!?

Um, call me a hyper-sensitive Grauniad-reader, but... 'China lady'? 'Dragon lady?'. Come on.
posted by jack_mo at 9:37 AM on July 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah the pie was a big mistake. Direct action is to bring attention to things, but everyone was already watching anyway. Rupert will get more sympathy now. He'd also just delivered his best line: "I wish politicians would leave me alone".

And I have to admit that I'm kindof touched by the angry, protective look on James Murdochs face in the split seconds when he sees someone going for his dad (see start of video)
posted by memebake at 9:40 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like Brooks is up after the break.
posted by futz at 9:42 AM on July 19, 2011


News Corp shares went up over 5% during that hearing, if I'm reading this right.
posted by memebake at 9:44 AM on July 19, 2011


Did Brooks bring her lawyer with her?
posted by orrnyereg at 9:44 AM on July 19, 2011


And there seems to be a large jump in the share price right after the pie incident (5pm bst, midday est)
posted by memebake at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2011


Did Brooks bring her lawyer with her?

Yep, to stop her from saying anything that might have an impact on the police investigation into her. Translation: to stop her from saying something spectacularly stupid, like the admission of paying police officers she made in 2003.
posted by jack_mo at 9:47 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, she said she'd answer all questions openly and honestly but didn't want to impede the case against her... I can only roll my eyes so many times per day.
posted by Elmore at 9:47 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did Brooks bring her lawyer with her?

Yes, she said so just now. Does anyone know who he is?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:47 AM on July 19, 2011


James Murdoch's creepy mid-Atlantic accent

It belongs to an imaginary country. Like Orwell's Oceania.
posted by holgate


Not Oceania, Atlantis. The guy's a pure blood grey alien. He serves masters that wish to eat us all. Our souls that is.
posted by philip-random at 9:47 AM on July 19, 2011


Pie man's ex-girlfriend just changed her bio to 'Not funny. Not clever. Not your girlfriend.'

The bio wasn't changed; it had been like that for a while. I'd still advise her to check that her voicemail PIN isn't set to the default.
posted by holgate at 9:48 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, she said so just now. Does anyone know who he is?

Does anyone know who's paying for him?
posted by IanMorr at 9:48 AM on July 19, 2011


Okay, look alive, Tom vs. Rebekah now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:49 AM on July 19, 2011


I bet Louise Mensch is wishing she'd got her roots done at the weekend.
posted by essexjan at 9:49 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Um, call me a hyper-sensitive Grauniad-reader, but... 'China lady'? 'Dragon lady?'. Come on.

I grew up with two chinese dragon ladies so it just came out. but I will be more sensitive for the Grauniadistas going forward
posted by Bwithh at 9:50 AM on July 19, 2011


@essexjan Miaow! (nice one!)
posted by humph at 9:50 AM on July 19, 2011


The guy's a pure blood grey alien. He serves masters that wish to eat us all. Our souls that is.

David Icke's been on top of this shit for years.
posted by philip-random at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2011


I'd still advise her to check that her voicemail PIN isn't set to the default.

This reminds me of something I've been wondering. If a phone is not set to the network's default, is it possible to just try all 10,000 combinations to brute force it? Or is there a lock-out after n tries? Seems like even if this would take a lot of time it would have been worth it for them for a good "source".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:52 AM on July 19, 2011


She's doing a better job of appearing contrite than the Twa Murdochs.
posted by orrnyereg at 9:52 AM on July 19, 2011


Brooks weaseling away about payments. I'm torn between admiring her hair-- evil pre-raphaelite curls and all-- and being disgusted at the prevarication.
posted by jokeefe at 9:56 AM on July 19, 2011


She's the offspring of an unholy union between Aslan and Medusa.
posted by Elmore at 9:58 AM on July 19, 2011


as penance for my orientalist slurs:
hey guys, everyone check out Wendi's new (first) movie. She executive produced, I think.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
posted by Bwithh at 9:58 AM on July 19, 2011


I can't look at Brooks without thinking of this cartoon and the one from the day before (The "I always enjoy a spot of necro!" bit is just vintage Steve Bell.)

I grew up with two chinese dragon ladies so it just came out. but I will be more sensitive for the Grauniadistas going forward

Why thank you, I almost had to employ my smelling salts ;-)

Oof, the BBC just interrupted Brooks' testimony to say that Neil Wallis was apparently advising Andy Coulson when the latter was working for Cameron. That should shift the William Hill odds on Cameron a bit.
posted by jack_mo at 10:00 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently Neil Wallis "informally" advised Andy Coulson before the election, Conservatives are to say. (BBC)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:00 AM on July 19, 2011


For those not watching the BBC stream, their reporter broke in to say there was breaking news that the Conservative party were about to admit that Wallis (former deputy editor of NotW, then part time PR guy for PC Plod) was working "informally" with Coulson when Coulson was advising Cameron. The shit, it is sticky, so sticky.

Cameron's odds on the bum's rush cut to 14's

on preview, what they said!
posted by Jakey at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2011


This reminds me of something I've been wondering. If a phone is not set to the network's default, is it possible to just try all 10,000 combinations to brute force it? Or is there a lock-out after n tries?

My understanding is that they impersonated users and had the passwords reset.
posted by jokeefe at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2011


Ooh, on to Piers Morgan now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:04 AM on July 19, 2011


What does 'informal' advice mean? That he just had a word with them in the pub? Or were they paying him (informally) for it?
posted by memebake at 10:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a tangled mop of curls we weave, when first we practise to deceive.
posted by Elmore at 10:13 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What does 'informal' advice mean? That he just had a word with them in the pub? Or were they paying him (informally) for it?

In practical terms, I imagine it means there's no paper trail, so Cameron can deny any knowledge and blame it all on Coulson.

Mensch was good, again. Career-making performance, even (she's was always seen as a bit suspect/a joke by her fellow Tories, I think - brief flirtation with Labour, chick-lit author, &c..)
posted by jack_mo at 10:15 AM on July 19, 2011


"Plausible deniability" is a phrase given to civil discourse by the Reagan administration. AFAIK.
posted by goofyfoot at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2011


Talking about plausible deniability, what about dodgy Dave? No 10 have just released the emails mentioned by Yates in his evidence about discussions with No 10 chief of staff about briefing the PM:


10 September 2010: John Yates to Ed Llewellyn:

Ed,
Hope all well.
I am coming over to see the PM at 12.30 today regarding [redacted: national security] matters. I am very happy to have a conversation in the margins around the other matters that have caught my attention this week if you thought it would be useful.

Best wishes,
John

10 September 2010: Ed Llewellyn to John Yates:

John -
Thanks – all well.

On the other matters that have caught your attention this week, assuming we are thinking of the same thing, I am sure you will understand that we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject.

So I don’t think it would really be appropriate for the PM, or anyone else at No 10, to discuss this issue with you, and would be grateful if it were not raised please.


But the PM looks forward to seeing you, with Peter Ricketts and Jonathan Evans, purely on [redacted: national security] matters at 1230.

With best wishes,
Ed



Emphasis mine
posted by Jakey at 10:31 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


[redacted: national security] = swingers party, by the way.
posted by Elmore at 10:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


*nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* say no more, say no more.
posted by PenDevil at 10:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


All mistakes in meaning and rhyme are not Chaucer's, but solely mine.
Whan that Scandal, with his shoures soote
The droghte of Trewth hath perced to the roote
And bathed every manne in swich licour,
Of which Vertu Engendred is the flour;
Whan Grauniad eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre coppes, and the yonge sone
Hath in Downing Street his halfe cours yronne,
And smale twitteres maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So priketh hem Outrage in hir tweetinges);
Thanne longen folk to goon committee hearinges
And politicians for to seken straunge crimes
To ferne justice, kowthe in sondry tymes;
And specially from every parties ende
Of Engelond, to Westminster they wende,
The hooly blisful Rupert for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were meeke.
posted by Jehan at 10:39 AM on July 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


That's good Jehan, you should email it to The Sun.
posted by Elmore at 10:42 AM on July 19, 2011


Odds now at Ladbrokes:
Cameron to quit as PM before 31st July 2011 10/1
Cameron to quit as PM before 31st December 2011 4/1
David Cameron to be replaced as Conservative Leader before the Next General Election 2/1
David Cameron to be Conservative Leader at Next General Election 1/3
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:43 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha, good, I got 7/1 on him quitting by 31st December last night on Paddypower.
posted by Elmore at 10:44 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mensch was good, again. Career-making performance, even (she's was always seen as a bit suspect/a joke by her fellow Tories, I think - brief flirtation with Labour, chick-lit author, &c..)

I know someone who went to school with her actually. I hear from them that she's always been VERY ambitious and very smart and self-confident. Her flirtation with New Labour under Blair was just about if that was a faster, more reliable route to the top levels of power than the Tories. The chick lit thing was conceived, in a Jeffrey Archer way, as a quick route to make a fast buck and get financial independence to pursue her political career. She wants to be PM.
posted by Bwithh at 10:45 AM on July 19, 2011


Cameron to curl up in the foetal position on the plane home from South Africa, crying and rocking back and forth gently 32/1 on.
posted by reynir at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow for the first time ever in my US viewing experience, the BBC news liveblog web TV feed is smooth. It's always been choppy/jerky before
posted by Bwithh at 10:50 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Ms. Brooks insisted that she had no idea that Milly Dowler's voice mail was intercepted until it was first reported by The Guardian two weeks ago.

According to that Guardian article, Ms. Brooks must not have been reading her own newspaper closely at the time if she was unaware that her reporters had gained access to the missing girl's voice mail. Nick Davies and Amelia Hill reported:

The paper made little effort to conceal the hacking from its readers. On 14 April 2002 it published a story about a woman allegedly pretending to be Milly Dowler who had applied for a job with a recruitment agency: "It is thought the hoaxer even gave the agency Milly's real mobile number the agency used the number to contact Milly when a job vacancy arose and left a message on her voice mail it was on March 27, six days after Milly went missing, that the employment agency appears to have phoned her mobile."

The newspaper also made no effort to conceal its activity from Surrey police. After it had hacked the message from the recruitment agency on Milly's phone, the paper informed police about it.

Ms. Brooks told the committee she had no idea that Milly Dowler's voice mail had been hacked at the time and said that no one "in their right mind" would have authorized that hacking.""
posted by futz at 10:56 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pie guys blog?
posted by futz at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2011


She wants to be PM.

Thanks for that background, Bwithh. A quick search on Public Whip shows she's been crazy-loyal since being elected, and her written questions are all on very safe subjects. Terribly dull in Parliament until she takes a polite pop at Jeremy Hunt over phone hacking.

I wonder if she's limbering up for the role of Tory Murdoch-botherer in chief, which increasingly looks like a very canny way of clambering off the back benches.
posted by jack_mo at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had the slightest acquaintance with Louise Bag^H^H^HMensch back when she was just starting her book career -- friends of mine in the politics-media nexus know her a lot better -- and I concur with Bwithh. Smart and driven.
posted by holgate at 11:15 AM on July 19, 2011


Pie man's ex-girlfriend just changed her bio to 'Not funny. Not clever. Not your girlfriend.'

I wonder if he was working for Murdoch when she was going out with him?
posted by Grangousier at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2011


From the New York Times:
Over the last several months, Ms. Brooks spearheaded a strategy that seemed designed to spread the blame across Fleet Street, interviews show. Several former News of the World journalists said that she asked them to dig up evidence of hacking. One said in an interview that Ms. Brooks’s target was not her own newspapers, but her rivals.

Mr. Dacre, the editor of The Daily Mail, told his senior managers that he had received several reports from businesspeople, soccer stars and public relations agencies that two News International executives, Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg, had encouraged them to investigate whether their phones had been hacked by Daily Mail newspapers.

This strategy of blame-spreading continues today: Brooks' answers to the Select Committee includes references to the Observer newspaper, as well as deflecting from Cameron by emphasizing her relationship with Blair and Brown. Rupert Murdoch made a similar remark about his closeness to Brown. Diluting the blame is a way of lessening the total condemnation that falls only on them.

Also, is that Will Lewis the one who is bezzy mates with Robert Peston? Maybe we should check his reports to ensure that he's not partaken in this strategy.



I wonder if [the pie thrower] was working for Murdoch when she was going out with him?

I don't think this scandal can get any bizarrer than if that were true.
posted by Jehan at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2011


Pie man's ex-girlfriend just changed her bio to 'Not funny. Not clever. Not your girlfriend.

The twitters say she changed that ages ago.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2011


In case anyone missed the significance of Jakey's comment above, David Cameron's Chief of Staff, Ed Llewellyn, stopped John Yates, Scotland Yard's assistant commissioner, from briefing the Prime Minister on the hacking investigation.

When Llewellyn, as his Chief of Staff makes the statement "we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject", isn't David Cameron part of that 'we'?
posted by IanMorr at 11:56 AM on July 19, 2011


I might be getting carried away by the melodrama and absurdity, but I can't shake the feeling that everything NI are doing is trying to avert something coming out that's so appalling that all the firings and closings and shenanigans are worth it. Something so big even Rupert is prepared to take a custard pie for it. Sadly, I don't have enough imagination to even have an inkling of what it might be.
posted by Grangousier at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like Murdoch is invoking the Reagan defence.

Might keep him out of jail, hard to see it keeping him in charge of his company. Perfect leverage for shareholders to be rid of him.
posted by rodgerd at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Grangousier, you mean like evidence that NI supplied illicitly obtained information to the Conservatives when in opposition, which they then knowingly used in order to help win the election? That would do for both Murdoch and Cameron. Now if it could only be proved that Jeremy Clarkson was the bagman, and Toby Young held their coats, then that would ice that cake and put a cherry on top.
posted by reynir at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2011




This is all so complex and weird since all I've read are a few headlines before today. I need either a play by play or a Taiwanese satirical cartoon.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:25 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Grangousier, you mean like evidence that NI supplied illicitly obtained information to the Conservatives when in opposition, which they then knowingly used in order to help win the election?

Are you referring to something in particular? Do share.

(If not, please make something up for the sake of posterity.)
posted by Jehan at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2011


I need either a play by play or a Taiwanese satirical cartoon.

Ask, and ye shall receive
posted by Acey at 12:37 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I might be getting carried away by the melodrama and absurdity, but I can't shake the feeling that everything NI are doing is trying to avert something coming out that's so appalling that all the firings and closings and shenanigans are worth it.

"Jesus fucking Christ, they must have killed a tramp."
posted by jack_mo at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jehan, wishful thinking. But what seems like an absurd fantasy, day by day edges closer and closer.
posted by reynir at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2011


Interesting, just watching Louise Mensch being interviewed by Jon Snow – she's coming out against the 1922 Committee, saying that it's a widely held view in the House that even though they claim to represent backbenchers, they don't. Can't for the life of me think of any Tory MP feeling comfortable enough coming out with that sentiment. It felt like a big fat warning that change is coming, like it or not ...
posted by Len at 12:56 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since I didn't see it: did anyone ask him how he reconciles his defence of complete and profound ignorance with what's going on in his company with the family's previous scathing attacks on the Guardian et al? Seems a bit odd you can claim people are lying about you and then, when caught, claim you didn't know what was going on.

(Also, does admitting you have no control over or even knowledge of your company act as a hit against you in the Fit and Proper test?)
posted by rodgerd at 12:58 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, anything from the hackers today?



You know nothing Jon Snow.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:00 PM on July 19, 2011


Wait, what? Are we into some kind of sick Game of Thrones/spy novel crossover now?

Rebekah = Cersei, Rupert Murdoch = Tywin Lannister?
posted by jokeefe at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Doddering,' 'foggy' Murdoch raises questions -- "Media experts find News Corp. chief's claims of ignorance unconvincing."
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on July 19, 2011


So, anything from the hackers today?

Random punter @ciaranmurphyads asks AnonymousAbu: "Dude you were clearly trolling when you said you'd release NI emails. Where are they?"

AnonymousAbu replies "No offense mate, but I don't work on YOUR schedule. I work on anonymous'. So relax."

ciaranmurphyads says "Well...you did say today. Is that still the ETA?"

AnonymousAbu says "I did. And if you keep being a twat about it I'll make sure to release next year."
posted by memebake at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


Pie-thrower no match for Murdoch's 'tiger wife'.

Interesting tidbit: "She played volleyball in China."
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on July 19, 2011


and that should be anonymouSabu not anonymousAbu, wrong caps
posted by memebake at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2011


and definitely not anonymousUbu, which would be a bit counterproductive
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't shake the feeling that everything NI are doing is trying to avert something coming out that's so appalling that all the firings and closings and shenanigans are worth it
What is worth giving up NoTW and BSkyB for? As heinous as it is, being repentant over hacking Milly Dowler's voicemails isn't worth a few billion of anyone's money. There has to be a body somewhere in all of this.
watching Louise Mensch being interviewed by Jon Snow – she's coming out against the 1922 Committee
Bloody Hell. I'd stake my house on Mrs Mensch knowing where it's fucking buried.
posted by fullerine at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is worth giving up NoTW and BSkyB for?

This. And I want to know the answer. The worst part about wanting to know is knowing that the desire to know just feeds into the tabloid horrorshow that enabled these creeps to do terrible things in order to sell papers in the first place. That's democracy for you. So what is it?

It's something bad. I reckon it has to point at Coulson, which means that the pressure is coming from Number 10. Why else would the Murlocks have even turned up today?
posted by Elmore at 2:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Painkilllers and a long day mean that was a very poor choice of analogy.

Like Grangousier I think NI have to be responsible for an actual death (Kellly?), or some collusion in perverting the democratic process. Because the response (effectively risking the whole Murdoch empire) isn't merited by the accusations. It may be overtly cynical to think this, but these people are the world champions of cynicism.

This is without the resignations from the Met. The fucking Met! They've got thicker skins than Cheney and normally don't resign after actually killing people.
posted by fullerine at 2:20 PM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Random punter @ciaranmurphyads asks AnonymousAbu: "Dude you were clearly trolling when you said you'd release NI emails. Where are they?"

AnonymousAbu replies "No offense mate, but I don't work on YOUR schedule. I work on anonymous'. So relax."


For maximum lulz impact, it would be best to release the e-mails on a day that isn't already chock-full of News Corp. news.
posted by grouse at 2:21 PM on July 19, 2011


I think there's more of the same to come, bits and pieces, but I don't think you need a hidden body to account for the Murdoch's behaviour. Their company has lost $7 billion in value since this story broke - they're just doing what they can to save their share price and their own careers and reputations.
posted by memebake at 2:23 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


How bad could it be? Seriously, the only things missing from this grand stew that could possibly top things are:

* involvement with foreign powers
* Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

There are some things that cannot be forgiven and I am wondering what is worth the crumbling of an empire.
posted by jadepearl at 2:24 PM on July 19, 2011


(to which I'd add - they started on the usual tactic of deny everything, but to everyones suprise that didn't work this time and so now they're scrambling to catch up)
posted by memebake at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2011




Gah, the bookies will suspend all bets now.
posted by Elmore at 2:32 PM on July 19, 2011


Sky News live, when The Sun was redirected to "The Lulz Boat" yesterday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG7IURgryjA

Presenter: "Who is Louise Boat?"

(via LulzSec twitter ... "Doing it for the Louise since 2011.")
posted by memebake at 2:53 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


calico's Pretentious Thought of the Day:

Everyone keeps saying about how this is just like the Wizard of Oz, only a tiny man pulling levers etc, but I keep thinking about Ragnarok

Looming larger than life as they stood upon the dais, their heads thrown back and their chests thrust forward, they haughtily received our homage. One of them was holding a branch (which belonged, no doubt, to the simple botany of dreams); another, with a sweeping gesture, held out a hand that was a claw; one of Janus' faces looked mistrustfully at Thoth's curved beak. Perhaps excited by our applause, one of them, I no longer remember which, burst out in a triumphant, incredibly bitter clucking that was half gargle and half whistle. From that point on, things changed.



It all began with the suspicion (perhaps exaggerated) that the gods were unable to talk...

...Suddenly, we felt that they were playing their last trump, that they were cunning, ignorant, and cruel, like aged predators, and that if we allowed ourselves to be swayed by fear or pity, they would wind up destroying us.

posted by calico at 3:12 PM on July 19, 2011


animated gif of the piethrowing incident

keep your eyes on the MP seated on the far right of the picture, at the end of the committee table
posted by Bwithh at 3:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


News Corp board shocked at evidence of payments to police, says former DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions]:
Explaining how he had been called in by solicitors acting for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation board, Lord Macdonald said that when he inspected the messages it took him between "three to five minutes" to decide that the material had to be passed to police.

"The material I saw was so blindingly obvious that trying to argue that it should not be given to the police would have been a hard task. It was evidence of serious criminal offences."

He first showed it to the News Corp board in June this year. "There was no dissent," he recalled. "They were stunned. They were shocked. I said it was my unequivocal advice that it should be handed to the police. They accepted that."

That board meeting, the former DPP said, was chaired by Rupert Murdoch. [Emphasis mine]
posted by Len at 3:19 PM on July 19, 2011


Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

Yeah, jadepearl, this is what keeps popping into my mind when I wonder if there's a body buried somewhere. Especially when thinking about Brooks' comment to staff that in a year's time they'd all understand why NotW had to close, which makes it sound like there's some huge bombshell still to come.

But then again, the tabloids (or at least their paps) don't exactly have a clean sheet anyway over Diana's death, given the way they were chasing down her car when it crashed.
posted by penguin pie at 3:34 PM on July 19, 2011


Louise Mensch vs Piers Morgan on CNN

(I think Chris Bryant MP (Labour) tweeted that Mensch's questions about Piers Morgan were a distraction during the committee inquiry - took the spotlight off Murdoch)
posted by Bwithh at 3:51 PM on July 19, 2011


Diana or Madeliene McCann. Something big - as in big enough to impact on the NOTW readers/buyers. Either of those would be the 'body' alluded to above. Or, of course, 911 hacking - that would kill them.
posted by Elmore at 3:57 PM on July 19, 2011


If it weren't for the fact it's the real world and real people's lives involved, it'd actually be quite fun to try and imagine the worst thing it could possibly be and see if they can top it. Eg - They hacked Bin Laden's phone and knew where he was all along but didn't tell anyone.
posted by penguin pie at 4:13 PM on July 19, 2011


Um, call me a hyper-sensitive Grauniad-reader, but... 'China lady'? 'Dragon lady?'. Come on.
Wife is Chinese herself but not from China. Wouldn't use the term myself - think it's ungrammatical - but that's how most Chinese Singaporeans refer to their cousins from the mainland, even in the local papers.
posted by the cydonian at 4:30 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian: News International 'deliberately' blocked investigation
Rupert Murdoch's News International has been found by a parliamentary committee to have "deliberately" tried to block a Scotland Yard criminal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World, the Guardian has learned.

The report by MPs from the all-party home affairs committee will be released on Wednesday and its publication has been moved forward in time for today's statement by prime minister David Cameron on the scandal.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


My beanplating on the question of what's to come -- on the one hand, I think it's entirely possible that whatever else comes out will be just more of the same dirt that has already been uncovered - just an expanding of the web of corruption & details of the cover-ups. On the other hand, Brooks' anti-pedophile campaign + the phone hackery leads me to wonder if they were keeping anyone under surveillance so that they could wait for them to commit a crime for the paper to cover, or have the scummy investigators set up the circumstances to make a crime inevitable. I mean, I just keep wondering whether the deletion of the Dowler voicemails was done because they were indifferent to the fact that they were interfering with an ongoing police investigation for a missing girl and they didn't give a damn if it contributed to her death and was a cruelty to her family, because nothing mattered to them but their story, or if they were indifferent to the cruelty & interference because they knew that she was already dead. If not Dowler, then one of the other prominent missing and/or murdered child cases. I hate it when I read people on the internet going all tin-hat conspiracy theory, so I've been hesitant to write that out, but, the question has been haunting me.

On another note, the Guardian link to the Sunlight Foundation report saying that "News Corp's political givings are actually split pretty evenly between Democrats (51 percent) and Republicans (49 percent)." reminded me of how on the nose Eddie Murphy's "The Distinguished Gentleman" was. (youtube link)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:15 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


News Corp board shocked at evidence of payments to police, says former DPP

Shouldn't it be "shocked, shocked"?
posted by grouse at 6:18 PM on July 19, 2011


I admit to a horrid fascination to it all. I am wondering if the outrage will continue now that you had that git try to pie him and his humble apologies to Millie Dowell's family and a mock outraged Parliament. If people perceive that the piss has been taken out of him or is there enough blood in the water that the sharks will not abate.

I could not for the life of me figure out what comes next besides treason and murder to up the ante. It seems the convenient death of the former journalist, Hoare, may cause a chilling effect amongst would be whistle blowers. We shall see.
posted by jadepearl at 6:24 PM on July 19, 2011


What happens when David Cameron is forced out? Who takes over and are there new elections?
posted by euphorb at 6:57 PM on July 19, 2011


Especially when thinking about Brooks' comment to staff that in a year's time they'd all understand why NotW had to close, which makes it sound like there's some huge bombshell still to come.

Another interpretation is simply that BSkyB is more important to News Corp than a newspaper.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:04 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happens when David Cameron is forced out? Who takes over and are there new elections?

If Cameron were to resign (or fail a vote of no confidence within his parliamentary party), three things would need to happen:

1) A new leader of the Conservative Party would need to be elected, with the presumption that they would also seek the role of Prime Minister. The election can take up to a month if there are several candidates, though perhaps less than a week if there is only one. There are no definite rules on who would be Prime Minister during this time if Cameron refused to continue, as the office of Prime Minister is conferred by the head of state not by the party or Parliament. There can technically be a break without a Prime Minister, but that hasn't happened since 1924. I assume that Cameron could officially continue as Prime Minister while passing most of his duties (though not powers) to others.

2) The current coalition Government would need to be reaffirmed. After the last election no party had an overall majority and the Liberal Democrats agreed to join with the Conservative Party to create a functioning majority. The coalition agreement has no legal standing and can be rejected at any time. Were the new Conservative Party leader unsatisfactory to the Liberal Democrats (or indeed the Liberal Democrats unsatisfactory to the new leader) there is no reason why they could not dissolve the coalition immediately.

3) A new Prime Minister would need to be appointed. But the loss of the majority in the House of Commons would make appointment of a new Prime Minister difficult, as they are called by the Queen on the basis that they can command the confidence of the house. A minority government is possible, but a motion of confidence (or, I believe, a clear indication that such a thing is likely) would cause a dissolution of Parliament and a new election. Even if a minority government were to be successfully formed, its strength is likely to be poor and dissolution of Parliament would happen before long, probably called for by the Prime Minister.

I'm sure there are some details I've missed (or even gotten wrong), but it should be clear that Cameron's resignation could cause a new election. Normally the situation wouldn't be so critical, but the coalition Government makes the process more complex. My own opinion is that the Liberal Democrats couldn't work with any of the people likely to succeed Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party. I wonder what the difference between the odds that Cameron will resign and the odds that there will be a new election? Probably not much.
posted by Jehan at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


On another note, the Guardian link to the Sunlight Foundation report saying that "News Corp's political givings are actually split pretty evenly between Democrats (51 percent) and Republicans (49 percent)."

Peter Chernin, who has left News Corp to run his own company but was Rupert Murdoch's righthand man for more than a decade (with roughly the status in the corporate hierarchy of News Corp that James Murdoch has had more recently ), was a notable liberal Democrat and a major fundraiser for Hilary Clinton. (and um... two of Chernin's kids are writers for It's Always Sunny For Philadelphia on FX?? Make of that what you will...)

Anyway, Murdoch was never really ideological in any strong sense - not really interested in being a deep and true conservative or anything else; hes much more pragmatic politically. If you seemed the best at making him money and/or giving him power, he'd employ you, or donate to your cause, whatever your political stripe.
posted by Bwithh at 8:16 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope this brings him down, but it won't.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:26 PM on July 19, 2011


Bwithh: " Anyway, Murdoch was never really ideological in any strong sense - not really interested in being a deep and true conservative or anything else; hes much more pragmatic politically. If you seemed the best at making him money and/or giving him power, he'd employ you, or donate to your cause, whatever your political stripe."

Yeah -- the real driving force behind Fox News, for instance, has always been Roger Ailes; in fact, I've heard he's such a firebrand that Murdoch would dump him if his programming wasn't so profitable. I wonder if that's the case for other News Corp. properties... I don't think there's a left-leaning one among them.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:59 PM on July 19, 2011


Murdoch's the last of the twentieth century press barons, in a world where the one bit of his media empire that he truly engages with is increasingly marginal. He leaves the TV networks and the movie studios to their own devices; the internet is approached as a delivery system for other media, not as a thing in itself [1]; the papers, and to a slightly lesser degree, the subscription broadcasting wing, are what matter.

That's why trusted editors went from British and Australian papers to the New York Post, why the family business element of Newscorp runs through the papers, and why the WSJ was such a prize.

[1] Though many leading lights of the UK online scene cut their teeth at the NewsInt-owned Delphi in Camden Lock.
posted by holgate at 9:38 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rupert Murdoch and his robot sidekick steal the show as Cameron sweats it out - Marina Hyde in the Guardian:
...with BBC2 clearing the afternoon schedules to live stream the committee. And so it was that those who'd tuned in hoping to catch a repeat of A Place in the Country [sic*] found themselves serving as the test audience for the trial of two new Fox shows: Embarrassing Dads Say the Darndest Things, and Are You Smarter Than A Selectively Deaf Media Mogul?
and
Yet perhaps the most telling vignette came shortly after Rupert had confused Alastair Campbell with David Cameron - possible confirmation that the change of prime ministers is to Murdoch Snr the mere shuffling of junior personnel - when he revealed insouciantly that he always went in the back door of Downing Street because Cameron and others insisted on it. As Rupert put it with a studiedly powerless smile: "I just did what I was told." And if that little detail doesn't betray the arse-about-titness of the way this country has been doing business for decades, then heaven knows what will. Truly, it was the most faux-humble day of his life.
* that should be Escape to the Country /pedant
posted by humph at 1:46 AM on July 20, 2011


How bad could it be? Seriously, the only things missing from this grand stew that could possibly top things are:

* involvement with foreign powers
* Death of Diana, Princess of Wales


* Madeleine McCann in the corporate HQ dungeon.
posted by vbfg at 3:25 AM on July 20, 2011


Not to make light of the tragedy of Madeleine McCann (which I just Googled), I for one second thought you meant Madeline Kahn in the dungeon.

Which, you know, would really add a new twist.
posted by Skygazer at 6:47 AM on July 20, 2011


* Madeleine McCann in the corporate HQ dungeon

At this point it would seem odd if they weren't doing dodgy stuff involving McCann family phones, paying UK and Portuguese police for info, &c..

Anything worse than that and we're looking at paedogeddon-style riots in the streets/ritual sacrifice of Rupert Murdoch in a giant wicker man/all redheads with curly hair forced into hiding. Unless it's evidence that Kate & Gerry done her in, I suppose.
posted by jack_mo at 7:34 AM on July 20, 2011


Your reporters failed because your police failed. Media conglomerates are not meant to be grown on these islands. It's against nature. Don't you see that killing me is not going to bring back your newspapers?
posted by stinkycheese at 8:20 AM on July 20, 2011


Hackers still working on the emails .... presumably preparing them for release in some way (decrpyting or making them searchable or something?)

5 hours ago @quarsan asks "@anonymouSabu Roughly how many Sun emails do you have ?"

@anonymouSabu replies "@quarsan About 4 gigs worth."

Also, a few minutes ago from anonymouSabu: "I'm quiet because I'm busy working on my next dump."
posted by memebake at 11:52 AM on July 20, 2011


I'm not totally down with the pieman but he has written an explanation of his actions at the Guardian, thats worth reading:
If you're of sound mind, you might quite reasonably ask what possessed me to smuggle a shaving-foam pie into Portcullis House and throw it at (though, alas, not into) the face of one of the world's richest and most powerful men. I didn't do it because I wanted more Twitter followers. Simply put, I did it for all the people who couldn't.

It's not difficult to find reasons to dislike Rupert Murdoch. His reach is one of the most insidious and toxic forces in global politics today. The phone-hacking scandal, despicable though it is, barely scratches the surface of the damage done by News International. It is a media empire built on deceit and bile, that trades vitriol for debate and thinks nothing of greasing the wheels of power until they turn in its favour. What's more, no matter what the grievances he wreaks on those he has never met, his power and money keep him forever safely out of their reach.

Yes it's true that Murdoch's power is waning. But it's also true that he will never face real justice. Yesterday's select committee hearing was a farce before the foam ever left my fingers: a toothless panel confronting men too slippery to be caught between their gums.

I was filled with hope as Tom Watson questioned Murdoch Sr relentlessly with the passion and vigour we might expect to be the norm when our elected representatives face down the perpetrators of a modern Watergate. For a few bright moments I thought I might see justice done, keep the pie in my bag and spare myself a night in jail. Those moments were short lived: as committee member after committee member feebly prodded around the issues and Murdoch Jr began to dominate, I knew I was going to have to make a massive tit of myself ...
posted by memebake at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oops sorry, here's the link for the above
posted by memebake at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2011


I am not so sympathetic with the pieing of the old man however odious his machinations may be. The younger one would have been a far better target especially if the pie had a brick in it.
posted by adamvasco at 12:29 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Guardian has a good write up of the contortions that James Murdoch had to bend himself into at the select committee - "He had paid out more than £1m in damages and legal fees without knowing what evidence compelled him to do so."
posted by memebake at 1:57 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Marbles' explanation

I worried, too, that my clowning would detract from the scandal, or provide sympathy for Murdoch.

Which is exactly what happened. Eight of the front pages I saw had a prominent picture of the pie attack and a headline related to it instead of the real story. The press coverage would have been entirely different without his clown show.
posted by IanMorr at 2:22 PM on July 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Last night I picked up Mx - a small free Murdoch newspaper they give away to commuters in Melbourne & Sydney. Normally it's mostly infotainment lite: wacky stories from around the world, celebrity gossip, what's on around town, and some sports.

Yesterday, however, they had three pages on the Parliamentary questioning. On the front page was a story about how awesome Wendi Deng is, with her right hook and superfast reactions. Inside, there was a piece on what a loser the pie guy is, and a "what they said" section.

The quotes consisted of an MP saying (again) how awesome Wendi is, followed by about a dozen quotes, all from Murdoch Snr & Jnr: "I'm so sorry; this is all very humbling; we never knew anything; we're launching a full investigation etc".

It was nice to see how amidst all the controversy, Mx didn't abandon their professionalism, and stuck to the textbook journalistic practice of showing both sides of the story: they told us what both Rupert and James said.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:38 PM on July 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


bleh, I found Jonnie Marble's account kind of incoherent and weird. He had clearly not really thought this action or his message out. "I did it for all the people who couldn't" - wtf?
posted by Bwithh at 6:44 PM on July 20, 2011


I read his explanation. He is still a git.
posted by jadepearl at 7:33 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could not for the life of me figure out what comes next besides treason and murder to up the ante. It seems the convenient death of the former journalist, Hoare, may cause a chilling effect amongst would be whistle blowers. We shall see.

The real question is did Coulson or Wallis use improperly obtained information from phone hacking or other illegal techniques during the period Coulson was the head of communications for the Tories from 2007-2010. Did they use such information politically and in the 2010 election? Cameron was very tight on his responses to the time Coulson was at Number 10. We'll see.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:38 PM on July 20, 2011


If by that you mean listening in on the voicemail of opposition candidates to gain an advantage in election tactics, then that would obviously be Britain's own Watergate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:03 PM on July 20, 2011


If by that you mean listening in on the voicemail of opposition candidates to gain an advantage in election tactics, then that would obviously be Britain's own Watergate

Yes. It would. I watched a good hour of questions today and Cameron did well on an emotional level, but the lawyer in me was struck by his constant focus on Coulson's work after Cameron won. Its as if Coulson never ran the Tories' messaging for two plus years before the election.

There's more there there, the question is will we see it? Cameron's government is weak and a few Lib Dems took runs at him.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:31 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: Interesting point, thanks for sharing. While I've already proven my face-reading chops in this thread :) , must say he did look shifty in the Commons debate. Was wondering why; this could be it.

Here's where I go into conspiracy territory, but ExNOTWJourno2 has been insisting that David Cameron is toast now, and that there'll be a shocker on Thursday. Let's see what happens today then, I'm ready with my popcorn. :)
posted by the cydonian at 12:36 AM on July 21, 2011


I still wonder about the 'accidentally-left-on' microphone, from Sky News, that caught Brown's "Biggoted old woman" rant in his privacy of back of his car. That was a nice bit of happenstance that killed any chance of a Labour fight back in the last days of the election.
posted by couch at 12:43 AM on July 21, 2011


James Murdoch appears to have given misleading parliamentary testimony about a key phone-hacking cover-up.
The details of the negotiations between Taylor and the News of the World also show that James Murdoch was incorrect in assuring MPs that the confidentiality deal was normal.
posted by adamvasco at 1:19 AM on July 21, 2011


Just witnessed the News International strategy for moving past this on Lorraine Kelly this morning - she opened with "We're getting feedback that people are tired of the News of the World Story" then one of the colleagues says, "yes, now it's just getting down to political minutae, there are so many names now, it's just getting confusing -- the Sun has pointed out that there is a famine in Somalia right now and we should be focusing on that. And the Times wrote a moving piece about the famine..."

I think I woke up my neighbours screeching at the telly.
posted by ukdanae at 1:30 AM on July 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


couch: "I still wonder about the 'accidentally-left-on' microphone, from Sky News, that caught Brown's "Biggoted old woman" rant in his privacy of back of his car."

Yeah, at this point I don't trust any UK journalism, and I may never again.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:14 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, at this point I don't trust any UK journalism, and I may never again.

If anything this mess has restored my faith in UK journalism. Good old-fashioned dogged investigative journalism at the Guardian brought the whole thing to light, after all.
posted by jack_mo at 3:18 AM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of want to exclude the Graun from that, but there are disquieting rumours about the Observer (and every other paper except possibly the Torygraph) floating around twitter this morning.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:31 AM on July 21, 2011


Andy Coulson didn't have DV clearance. What. The. Fuck.
posted by fullerine at 3:38 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great quote from Tebbit. "He's the Prime Minister, not a bloody probation officer".
posted by vbfg at 5:00 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


vbfg: Great quote from Tebbit. "He's the Prime Minister, not a bloody probation officer".

Pedantic nitpick: Tebbit was actually quoting a "senior fellow colleague in the Lords". Still, strange days indeed, when Norman Tebbit writes a column taking some pretty specific potshots at a serving Tory PM. In the Grauniad, no less. To misquote the KLF ... 2011: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?
posted by Len at 5:10 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Update from the hackers on twitter:

26 mins ago: LulzSec member anonymouSabu "We're releasing something we found in The Sun's mail server, shortly. Ouch. Ready for the media storm?"

Shortly after that, (on a different account) anonymousIRC tweeted links to a couple of nato pdfs that I havent looked at yet. Its not clear whether thats the material from the Sun server or not.

But at the same time anonymousIRC also said: "We think, actually we may not release emails from The Sun, simply because it may compromise the court case. But ... (nato link)"

(Whether or not the Sun hack would compromise the investigation was a concern raised by pendevil above. Interesting that LulzSec/anon seem to be taking that seriously)

There was also a lengthy argument between anonymouSabu and The Guardian's Technology editor, Charles Arthur. You can read the thread here. Charles Arthur is now talking to Topiary (apparently another member of LulzSec) and just got Bel-Aired by him much to Topiary's amusement.
posted by memebake at 5:26 AM on July 21, 2011


Technology Editor?
That looks like it stings.
posted by fullerine at 5:44 AM on July 21, 2011


To be fair to Charles Arthur, I don't think that being a technology editor also requires being aware of all internet traditions, even if that might get in the way of his ability to discuss matters with the petulant children of LulzSec.
posted by holgate at 6:00 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was referring to the twirly moustache pseudo-gotcha of asking someone to prove they're not a dog. The fact it came off a childish prank was the bit that stung. He sounds as out of his element as a hoodie-hugging Tory and as an editor I would assume better judgement.
posted by fullerine at 6:17 AM on July 21, 2011


fullerine: wait, what do you mean dog? I thought he was asking him to prove he wasn't a sockpuppet of Topiary?

Anyway, LulzSec just said this:
We're currently working with certain media outlets who have been granted exclusive access to some of the News of the World emails we have.
posted by memebake at 6:23 AM on July 21, 2011


This is some build-up...

Hope it's not someone's idea of a bullshit prank.
posted by Skygazer at 6:54 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


A cartoon in today's Times (via Twitter)
posted by humph at 7:26 AM on July 21, 2011


A cartoon in today's Times (via Twitter)

Incredible chutzpa - Murdoch clearly feels as if this is just a game he can keep playing.
posted by ukdanae at 8:03 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


That cartoon is wrong on so many levels, I wish that Johnny Marbles guy had used a puke pie instead of foam.

What repulsive BS. What I read in that cartoon makes me semi-violent. Somehow the egregious repugnant acts of hackgate are supposed to take a backseat to the kneejerk bleeding heart, that Murdoch and his people think are a method to distract and confuse those who are "out to get him"?

Amazing. Really amazing and hypocritical. After unleashing so much bad blood towards his political enemies, it would seem that now Murdoch thinks he can ask for some sort of sympathy? By pointing out "priorities"? After being judge and jury and propaganda mouthpiece for some of the most unforgiving and uncompassionate opinions and poison unleashed on the world, he expects to be forgiven?

This reminds me of that seen in Miller's Crossing with the Turturro character begging for his life to be spared because he thinks he can get away with it by asking "Look into your heart...please look into your heart..." and he's saying it because that's a weakness he's used to manipulate others because he has no heart, He is pure sociopath.

And I guess that's the word I would use to describe that cartoon: Sociopathic.


News Corps/International business strategy is sociopathic.


I really hope these emails on the way from LulzSec destroy the monstrous Murdoch, and his oily ingratiatingly glib son.

I feel sorry for Wendy Deng though. SHe really believes in the guy and will stop a bullet for him if necessary.

posted by Skygazer at 8:04 AM on July 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Or anyway, at least a pie...

But it could've been anything in that split second...

posted by Skygazer at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2011


UK hacking probe reportedly widens beyond Murdoch titles -- "Officers added to investigation as Cameron faces renewed pressure over News Corp. ties."
posted by ericb at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2011


Les Hinton faces US calls for Dow Jones inquiry over phone hacking -- "Senators press Dow Jones to investigate whether Les Hinton had any knowledge of or role in alleged illegal activities."
posted by ericb at 8:09 AM on July 21, 2011


Murdoch Papers Set To Lose 2012 Olympics Deal -- "Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers are set to lose exclusive access to British athletes ahead of the 2012 London Olympics after the phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World."
posted by ericb at 8:10 AM on July 21, 2011


The full parliamentary report into phone hacking -- "The report from MPs on the all-party home affairs committee into phone hacking."
posted by ericb at 8:12 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Andy Coulson didn't have DV clearance. What. The. Fuck.

Given that we also now know: 1) Downing Street was amply informed of Coulson's history, and 2) Ed Llewellyn didn't want the matter of phone-hacking discussed in Downing Street, it's fair to assume that they knew about the allegations from the start and simply tried to work around and then deny the problem.
posted by Jehan at 8:25 AM on July 21, 2011


How could they possibly have thought this wasn't going to blow up in their faces? And why would Coulson draw more attention to himself by taking the job in the first place? Who are these clowns?
posted by orrnyereg at 8:35 AM on July 21, 2011


This article has an excellent comprehensive look at why it's so incredibly awful that News Corp is employing this "everyone is attacking us, what about the starving children, oh me oh my" strategy:
For starters, executives, editors, and reporters at News Corp.’s UK unit have: bribed the police; illegally hacked thousands of people’s phones, including a 13-year-old then-missing murder victim’s; tampered with evidence while the victim was still missing. They interfered with a second murder investigation; misled police and Parliament, repeatedly, when questioned about these activities; knowingly employed an ax-murder suspect who had been convicted and imprisoned for planting cocaine on an innocent woman in a divorce case; paid millions of dollars to victims explicitly in exchange for their silence; paid large sums to former employees after they had been convicted of crimes committed at the behest of News Corporation employees; continued to pay for convicted former employees’ high-powered lawyers.

It has further been revealed that a senior News International executive deleted millions of emails in an “apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard’s inquiry”; hid the contents of a top journalist’s desk after he was arrested; stuffed documents into trash bags and took them away as detectives came into the office to investigate; put the scandal’s lead police investigator, whose inquiry was a bad joke, on the News Corp. payroll with a plum columnist job.
citations and much more here
posted by ukdanae at 8:42 AM on July 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


That is a great read ukdanae.
posted by futz at 9:07 AM on July 21, 2011


On cartoon, "I've had a bellyful of phone-hacking":

In the Times even. Are any of them even pretending anything other than a mouthpiece for Murdoch. Oh dear. He's gone full on Charles Foster Kane hasn't he. That is one of the most despicable things I've seen. Oh my, I'm so angry. Gosh, I can't believe the fury. I'm so enraged I can't even curse about it. Merciful heavens.

Jeepers.
posted by JHarris at 9:11 AM on July 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Me too, JHarris, me too.
posted by ob at 9:15 AM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]




That's an excellent article, thanks ukdanae. I'm also reading some of the related sidebarred articles such as The Newspaper that Said “No” to Murdoch and NOTW and FCPA - Experts and pundits weigh in on a US prosecution of News Corp.

I'm also relieved that Wendi bloody Deng is no longer trending on Twitter. I would quite happily break a lifetime of non violence to punch the idiot who disrupted the hearings yesterday. I'm as guilty as the next person of having a short attention span with news constantly breaking but people! the Murdochs are still the same shits they were five minutes before that stupid prank!
posted by humph at 9:22 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's only peripherally relevant, but Roger Ebert had a great blog post about a week ago about when Murdoch owned the Chicago Sun-Times.
posted by JHarris at 9:32 AM on July 21, 2011


That's an excellent article, thanks ukdanae

Yeah, excellent ukdanae. I'm glad the WSJ is being called out on it's op-ed hijinx.


Even if, as the article says the rest of the paper is still pretty much what it always was, that WSJ page has turned into mouthpiece akin to the Pope making a statement of decree and infallibility.

Really, the pseudo-scientific propaganda, and pompous homilies and evangelistic zeal for big business and the big business Right and the sacred "free-market." and the holy land of Wall Street, and the words of the prophet Murdoch that comes out of the WSJ op-ed, should formatted like scripture with chapter, verse.

There is only one God of the Free_market, he is your protector and your maker, and his name is Rupert.


The King Murdoch Bible (a News Corp. subsidiary).

Book of Murdoch, 1:1

posted by Skygazer at 9:47 AM on July 21, 2011


That cartoon makes a lot more sense if you envision NotW hacking the phones of starving Somalian children.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:47 AM on July 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


That is one of the most despicable things I've seen. Oh my, I'm so angry. Gosh, I can't believe the fury. I'm so enraged I can't even curse about it.

Gosh, me too.

No, wait, I still can: fuck that cartoon and fuck the Times straight to fucking hell.

There we go.
posted by jokeefe at 10:53 AM on July 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Isn't it great how the editors of Murdoch's properties assure us there's no editorial interference? The co-ordinated editorials across his UK papers must be some sort of miracle!
posted by rodgerd at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


In a culture of fear & bullying, you don't need to actually tell your editors what to write.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:22 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Until you sack them, then they handily point out that your son was "mistaken" in his statements to a parliamentary committee...
posted by Jehan at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2011


I just remembered that there's a whole Metafilter site outside of this thread and a new post:

Could Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking? One journalist says yes

Wish there was a "merge threads" feature to request because I'm learning so much from this one.
posted by humph at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2011


Tsk, tsk. People these days; biting the hand that fists them.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was thinking today that although the select committe seemed pretty pointless, its part of a longer game - you press the main players for answers, and make sure those answers are recorded. They tie themselves up in tighter tighter knots as more evidence comes to light. I think thats what Tom Watson was doing at the committee (and also what the commons is doing to Cameron about Coulson).

Then this evening, we get a statement issued by former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former News international legal manager Tom Crone:
Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.

In fact, we did inform him of the "for Neville" email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers.
This, of course, contradicts what James Murdoch told Parliament. He's in trouble now.
posted by memebake at 1:46 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was thinking today that although the select committe seemed pretty pointless, its part of a longer game - you press the main players for answers, and make sure those answers are recorded.

Then there's the decision to allow the Murdochs to speak without being under oath - with the idea apparently that this way they would be less guarded/cautious in what they say. Did it work? we'll see, I guess
posted by Bwithh at 1:52 PM on July 21, 2011


I feel sorry for Wendy Deng though. SHe really believes in the guy and will stop a bullet for him if necessary.

Wendi is a curious figure. The apparently genuine deep concern she showed for Murdoch was somewhat surprising to many. Here's the WSJ (from before Murdoch owned it and the WSJ became (partly) a Murdoch lapdog) article from November 2000 which had the scoop on her background. It made Murdoch very very very angry when it came out. (sidenote: the Chinese expansion strategy of News Corp was later judged a failure).
posted by Bwithh at 1:57 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


and btw, most of the profiles of Wendi Deng (not just in the Murdoch press) I saw after the piethrowing incident does not delve into the more disconcerting, pre-Yale background dug up by that WSJ article at all. very odd.
posted by Bwithh at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2011


WSJ used to be so newsy. I think the reason media outlets are being a bit hands-off about Wendi Deng is a mixture of fear (20%) and not wanting to be seen as xenophobic (80%). Mrs Browl and I have been watching the whole thing with great amusement, and wonder if/when she will displace Amy Chua as the new Tiger Queen. Mrs Browl is also Asian, but Metafilter's sensibilities are too delicate for her unfiltered commentary.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:32 PM on July 21, 2011


I watched the "Murdoch family" episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Season 5, Episode 13 "Pure Flesh"; streaming on Netflix) last night and the Wendi Deng character got the nicest portrayal there too.
posted by Bwithh at 4:39 PM on July 21, 2011


Sorry, not "Pure Flesh", "Proud Flesh"
posted by Bwithh at 4:40 PM on July 21, 2011


I don't know how to link to the entire Twitter thread/conversation, but something is developing here between Tom Watson and BBC's Robert Peston.
posted by catchingsignals at 5:28 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I Storified the convo. It was short but nasty. Curious what tomorrow brings.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:35 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's going on in that conversation? I recognise Peston from the BBC but don't know what they're talking about. In fact, is this thing already dying down? The international front page on the BBC no longer has the hacking scandal in the main news area.
posted by Partario at 5:43 PM on July 21, 2011


Ah thanks gnfti, always meant to learn to use Storify.
posted by catchingsignals at 5:44 PM on July 21, 2011


Some background to the conversation Partario. The Guardian is still a good place for latest developments.
posted by catchingsignals at 6:05 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]




A roundup of Thursday, from the Guardian's live coverage:
  • James Murdoch has been accused of giving incorrect information to the Commons culture select committee hearing on phone hacking. Two former News of the World senior executives claimed the evidence Murdoch gave in relation to a six-figure out-of-court settlement News International made with footballers' union boss Gordon Taylor was "mistaken". The committee chairman announced it would be asking Murdoch to explain the contradiction. James Murdoch has said he stands by what he told the select committee about the Gordon Taylor settlement.
  • Sun features editor Matt Nixson has been sacked by News International over his work at the News of the World. The evidence against Nixson was uncovered as part of the internal News International investigation run at Wapping by Will Lewis, the company's general manager, and Simon Greenberg, the director of corporate affairs.
  • Mark Lewis, the lawyer for Milly Dowler's family, has told the police that he believes he was put under surveillance by News International because of his work representing phone hacking victims. His complaint came after Newsnight reported that three solicitors representing phone hacking victims were themselves targets of the News of the World.
  • Ivan Lewis, the shadow culture secretary, has written to Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, asking who made the decision not to seek the highest-level security clearance for Andy Coulson and why. Unlike his predecessors Alastair Campbell, Dave Hill and Michael Ellam, Coulson, David Cameron's press chief from 2010 to 2011, was only accorded "security check" level clearance rather than the higher "developed vetting".
  • O'Donnell has dismissed concerns that a senior civil servant's phone was hacked while Andy Coulson was in Downing Street as a "genuine misunderstanding".
posted by catchingsignals at 6:14 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


More on the security clearance issue:

Craig Oliver, a former BBC executive who replaced Coulson when he resigned from Number 10 in February, is undergoing "developed vetting" – a rigorous probe into his background and finances aimed at uncovering anything that could make him vulnerable to blackmail or other compromises. Coulson underwent less stringent checks.

A former senior counter-terrorism official said it was "unthinkable" and "very surprising, that someone would not be vetted to the higher 'DV' level when they are working in No 10, that close to the PM".

He said: "Developed vetting is an intrusive analysis of someone's character. It potentially could have picked up phone hacking. It would look into everything about them, including allegations made publicly, in the media, about them."

The contrast between Coulson's and Oliver's security vetting emerged after 24 hours of refusals by Downing Street to say what Oliver's security status would be. Adding to the impression Coulson was afforded special treatment, Gabby Bertin, Coulson's former assistant who is still Cameron's deputy press secretary, is also undergoing full checks.

posted by catchingsignals at 6:18 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


NYT reporter Ravi Somaiya defends Preston (in this instance at least) on Twitter

I do worry for Tom Watson -- it's like he's fighting the battle all by himself at times, and if he overreaches or makes one mistake and gets discredited, I don't know who we have left.
posted by catchingsignals at 6:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


In my view it's far from over, Partario. Just take a look at Friday's front pages (and disregard the Sun - it's News Corp). The BBC must have thought that the Euro crisis was slightly more urgent news today, and I can't disagree with them. I don't expect the Guardian to let go of this story for the foreseeable future, at the least.

What I do see, until the next major revelation at least, is a sort of splitting into a number of smaller but equally fascinating (IMO) stories: catchingsignal's link explains the Watson-Peston thing at least in part; I have no further details except that I wonder whether at least one of them knows more than he lets on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:31 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


My local conspiracist suggests that Wendi set up the pie incident herself.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:36 PM on July 21, 2011


If she'd set it up herself, I'd expect her to choose someone with better aim.
posted by subbes at 7:01 PM on July 21, 2011


All that plus Harbottle & Lewis and Jon Chapman:
Harbottle & Lewis has now accused News International of refusing to release it from a client confidentiality clause so it can defend itself. The firm has also contacted the home affairs select committee to investigate whether there is a possibility of countering Murdoch's claims by giving testimony under parliamentary privilege.

...The London law firm, whose clients include members of the royal family, is not the only one left nursing a battered reputation following the Murdochs' testimony.

Jon Chapman, News International's former director of legal affairs, is understood to be preparing to write a letter to John Whittingdale, the chairman of the culture select committee, to "set the record straight".

Chapman was one of a several legal advisers whose opinion on the extent of phone hacking at the newspaper group was called into question at the committee hearing. Having left News International two weeks ago, he is on gardening leave and could not be reached for comment.

Any evidence from Chapman is likely to be extremely important in offering an opposing view of that put forward by the Murdochs and other senior News International staff.


The Murdoch's strategy of blaming it on everyone else but themselves may yet backfire on them. Britain is now basically the final scene of "Reservoir Dogs". It's sweet. I just hope we get to see the shootout before all our economies crash.
posted by catchingsignals at 7:07 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Britain is now basically the final scene of "Reservoir Dogs".

Of course, there is a hashtag for that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:13 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harbottle & Lewis has now accused News International of refusing to release it from a client confidentiality clause so it can defend itself. The firm has also contacted the home affairs select committee to investigate whether there is a possibility of countering Murdoch's claims by giving testimony under parliamentary privilege.

Ouch. They must truly have something to tell.
posted by Jehan at 7:28 PM on July 21, 2011


he is on gardening leave

That can't possibly be what it sounds like...right?
posted by Chipmazing at 7:28 PM on July 21, 2011


his garden just needs a lot of attention, all right?
posted by subbes at 7:32 PM on July 21, 2011




That phrase intrigued me too Chipmazing, so I looked it up - garden leave ' first appeared in print in 1985, in a Daily Telegraph article'.
posted by unliteral at 7:34 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is 'gardening leave' really that unfamiliar a term? It happens a lot with upper-level jobs, although I think that modern usage tends to combine the non-working notice period with any time spent waiting for a non-compete clause to expire, often funded by a further redundancy payment.

Anyway: this is the kind of thing that feels like a slightly overblown Edge of Darkness or State of Play -- and in the wake of the slightly overblown The Shadow Line, I do wonder a bit about the Very British Deep Establishment Scandal.
posted by holgate at 8:11 PM on July 21, 2011


Reuters:
The [U.S.] Justice Department is looking into allegations that News Corp's advertising unit hacked into computers of a competitor, NBC News reported on Thursday, citing the competitor's lawyer.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:17 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just noticed this update on Harbottle & Lewis:
The legal firm that Rupert Murdoch accused of making a "major mistake" in its part in the internal investigation into phone hacking is to be called before a parliamentary select committee to defend itself against allegations that they helped cover up the scandal.

The culture, media, and sports committee, which on Tuesday grilled Murdoch and his son James, is planning to write to Harbottle & Lewis asking its representatives to appear when it resumes in October.
This tweet explains the significance of Tom Crone's statement:
Crone statement is significant b/c: he is libel expert + stmt is potentially libellous + no privilege defence available = he is confident
posted by catchingsignals at 8:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh, getting angry makes me want to do angry things. I emailed the Times about their cartoon:

Priorities...

A thirteen year old girl was kidnapped and murdered. A newspaper from News International not only unlawfully listened to her voice messages, but subsequently deleted several so that new messages-and any potential "story" coming from those-could be intercepted. Not only did this give the false impression that the girl may yet be alive, but it robbed the investigating officers of potential leads.

Do tell us more about the priorities of News International, please.

posted by Jehan at 8:27 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ugh, getting angry makes me want to do angry things. I emailed the Times about their cartoon:

I seem to be channeling my frustration into waging a one-woman-Twitter-campaign against Lorraine Kelly's involvement with News International. I guess maybe because she's Scottish and I identify with her on-screen personality so I think she should know better?
posted by ukdanae at 1:31 AM on July 22, 2011


Wapping at War; Colin Myler and Tom Crone are, in effect, accusing James Murdoch of being part of the phone-hacking cover-up. And in other news Greg Miskiw, a former news editor at the News of the World who left the UK after being alleged to have repeatedly authorised illegal voicemail hacking, is to return to Britain to face questioning by police.
posted by adamvasco at 1:58 AM on July 22, 2011


Nothing from Lulzsec official twitter since the 'we're working with the media' 17 hours ago. As far as I can recall, Lulzsec have never bluffed a hack claim, so if they say they've got 4gigs of Sun emails, I guess they have.

Technology wise, I dont think they would have been able to pull 4 gigs of data in the two hours on Monday eve that they played havoc with the Suns website - so presumably they have been siphoning off information quietly for some time before that.

Which media orgs could they be working with? AnonymouSabu had a spat with the Guardian's tech editor, and LulzSec are disparaging of the IT press as a whole. I dont think any US media outfits would risk the potential backlash of dealing with hackers. Probably a european outfit? I'd say the Guardian is still a possibility, or else another major european paper. Or they could mean Wikileaks or OpenLeaks or one of those outfits I guess.

Purely from a theatrical/potential screenplay perpective, I'm glad the hackers are involved. Without them, all the scenes of this movie would be men in suits giving convoluted answers to straight questions from other men in suits. The hackers are adding mysterious motivations, wilfull irreverence, childish insults and acts of great personal risk to the plot. And lulz, obviously.
posted by memebake at 2:06 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


If anyone has the time and energy to create it, there's a new tutorial on using css3 animations/jquery to create a spinning newspaper headline effect - great way to keep the stories afloat (downside is that it only works in the most modern browsers).
posted by humph at 2:13 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


A friend's Facebook status: "To summarize Rupert Murdoch's hearing in one sentence: he ate the humble pie."

:)
posted by the cydonian at 4:14 AM on July 22, 2011


memebake: I doubt any reputable news outlets would go near those emails with a ten foot barge pole - how could they call out NI on hacking when they are willing to accept illegally hacked emails as a source?

They probably won't get reported on in the press until they are released into the public domain some other way (Wikileaks?).
posted by Acey at 4:40 AM on July 22, 2011


I seem to be channeling my frustration into waging a one-woman-Twitter-campaign against Lorraine Kelly's involvement with News International. I guess maybe because she's Scottish and I identify with her on-screen personality so I think she should know better?

The stories I've heard about her suggest otherwise. Not repeatable in a public forum, sadly.

posted by Jehan at 8:03 AM on July 22, 2011


The stories I've heard about her suggest otherwise. Not repeatable in a public forum, sadly.

Yeah, i'm starting to realise that, sadly. Oh well, I'll turn my attention to writing my MP.
posted by ukdanae at 8:24 AM on July 22, 2011


Andy Coulson, the prime minister's former director of communications, is being investigated by police for allegedly committing perjury while working for David Cameron in Downing Street. -Guardian
posted by futz at 12:48 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's Fitzmas!

At this rate, it's more like Fitzmukkah.
posted by MikeKD at 1:19 PM on July 22, 2011






It's contagious
Hacking was endemic at the 'Mirror', says former reporter.
posted by adamvasco at 3:36 AM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's contagious

I hope this scandal takes Piers Morgan down too.
posted by futz at 7:20 AM on July 23, 2011 [4 favorites]




The judge in charge of the phone hacking inquiry has attended parties at the home of Rupert Murdoch’s son-in-law.

From the article:
It emerged yesterday that Lord Leveson, while chairman of the Sentencing Council that advises the Government on punishing criminals, met Mr Freud at a dinner in February last year in an Oxford University college.

The pair discussed how to promote public confidence in the criminal justice system.
You could say them meeting each other in such a public manner was a (pauses, puts sunglasses on).....

Freudian slip.

YEAAAAHHHHHH! (cue rock music)

--
You could also colour me unsurprised.
posted by the cydonian at 12:36 PM on July 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rupert Murdoch's News International launched a campaign of bullying against senior Liberal Democrats in an attempt to force through the company's bid for BSkyB, high-level sources have told the Observer.

Lib Dem insiders say NI officials took their lobbying campaign well beyond acceptable limits and even threatened, last autumn, to persecute the party if Vince Cable, the business secretary, did not advance its case.

According to one account from a senior party figure, a cabinet minister was told that, if the government did not do as NI wanted, the Lib Dems would be "done over" by the Murdoch papers, which included the now defunct News of the World as well as the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.


I feel like I should stop posting b/c all I am doing is copy/paste.
posted by futz at 12:41 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like the updates, myself.
posted by grouse at 12:43 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Me too, futz.
posted by oh yeah! at 12:55 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks. I love any and all the updates that people are posting and we know there is much more to come. Also, the other Murdoch thread seems to have stalled.
posted by futz at 1:00 PM on July 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Updates are great! Keep 'em coming.
posted by JHarris at 4:23 PM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I keep tailing this thread as a source of updates and I'm glad people are adding to it. Go futz.

A question for our UK members about Leveson's connections to Freud -- is it possible that any judge with sufficient gravitas and reputation would be part of an overlapping circle of acquaintance with the Murdochs/Brooks/N I/whatever? I'm starting to get the impression that the very top of British public life is small and incestuous indeed.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:25 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]




This is damning and so is this.

A snippet:

One phone-hacking victim told me of explicit and intimidating approaches by News International before court appearances. The victim, who is still too wary to allow me to use a name, said: "They're lying left, right and centre. They go for the jugular. It has been vile… hideous. At the moment it feels like a John Grisham novel."
posted by futz at 4:57 PM on July 23, 2011


I'm starting to get the impression that the very top of British public life is small and incestuous indeed.

Yeah, it can be: for example, I'm vaguely acquainted with two of the MPs on the committee that grilled the Murdochs, by virtue of having overlapping social circles at the same university at the same time, and I also have slightly older friends who went to school with Cameron. That's just the 'goes back a long way' stuff: London brings together the social, political and media powers that are distributed between NYC, LA, Chicago, DC, SF, and other large metro areas in the US, and while that can be a good thing to some degree -- there's not the clubbishness that infects DC political reporters and their subjects -- people know people through people.
posted by holgate at 6:13 PM on July 23, 2011




Almost a quarter of entertainment enjoyed by Downing Street advisers was hosted by News International.
posted by adamvasco at 12:24 AM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Phone hacking: Police chief Andy Hayman paid for champagne dinners with News of the World journalists

The senior Scotland Yard officer accused of failing to fully investigate the phone hacking scandal enjoyed champagne dinners with News of the World journalists paid for using his Metropolitan Police corporate credit card...

...Two months after his resignation, he landed a job with News International, writing for The Times on security and terrorism.

posted by futz at 7:40 AM on July 24, 2011


I also still like the thread being updated, keep 'em coming everyone!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:46 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, seeing this dropping off the front pages so I'm glad this thread is still open.
posted by arcticseal at 2:25 AM on July 25, 2011


Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, has lambasted Rupert Murdoch, saying the chairman of News Corporation had shown a complete denial of responsibility for what had gone on in his company.

He contrasted Murdoch's behaviour with the leadership shown by Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan police commissioner who quit last week over his indirect links with former News of the World editors.
posted by futz at 8:37 AM on July 25, 2011


Letters cast doubt on NoW claim that it 'co-operated fully' with police

Police asked for full file of Glenn Mulcaire's work but NI said it had only a single piece of paper covering his years of work.
posted by futz at 8:39 AM on July 25, 2011


Evidence of possible phone hacking at the Sunday Mirror newspaper has been found by the BBC's Newsnight.

FTA:

The source claimed the Sunday Mirror hired a voiceover artist to imitate famous people in order to get information about them.

"I was told he had successfully managed to get health records too," the source said.

"He was such a god of a voiceover artist that he could pretend to be famous people or failing that he'd pretend to be their lawyer or someone related to them.

posted by futz at 9:31 AM on July 25, 2011


_The Fall of the House of Murdoch_ is my new favourite book, and being written before my eyes!
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anthony Lane | The New Yorker: Hack Work -- A tabloid culture runs amok.
posted by ericb at 11:21 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]




Thanks for the updates, futz!
posted by gc at 8:34 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


DPP was warned hacking was rife at Murdoch paper
The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lord Macdonald was warned by his own employees as far back as 2006 that there were a "vast array" of News of the World phone-hacking victims.
Lord Macdonald, who has since been hired by the newspaper's owner, Rupert Murdoch, was sent a memo nearly six months before the reporter Clive Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were convicted, revealing that the charges they were facing related to just a fraction of the potential victims.
However, the hacking investigation was never widened despite pressure on the police and Lord Macdonald, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service at the time, to do so.
In a letter released yesterday, the former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith revealed: "The Director [of Public Prosecutions] and I were aware that the particular cases referred to were not isolated examples.
posted by adamvasco at 12:30 AM on July 26, 2011 [4 favorites]




Phone hacking: the case for the defence

Is this a joke?
posted by futz at 8:08 AM on July 26, 2011


How Rupert Murdoch ruined the GOP
posted by caddis at 8:15 AM on July 26, 2011


Guardian:

LATEST: George Osborne has met executives of News Corporation companies on 16 occasions since coalition government assumed office. More details soon …
posted by futz at 8:18 AM on July 26, 2011


Phone hacking: the case for the defence

Holy fucking victim blaming; celebs crave the attention? Brown's sick kid was public domain, Dowler's voicemail deletions were helpful because they freed up space for more messages?!

What the ever-loving fuck?! Is Damien McCrystal a giant troll or what?
posted by quin at 9:27 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah quin, I kept thinking that this was satire or something. McCrystal used to work for the Sun but I don't know if that is relevant. I'm surprised that the Guardian printed that crap.
posted by futz at 9:33 AM on July 26, 2011


Is this a joke?

It seems not: Damien McCrystal is a public relations and media consultant. He worked for The Sun and Today more than 20 years ago but has had no commercial relationship with any News International companies since then. McCrystal is just the classic amoral PR guy.

The Guardian likes to work up its readers by giving a voice to contrary opinions, especially when they don't expect anyone to be converted by it.

A prime example is when they gave Julie Burchill a column, to howls of outrage. Speaking of which, I enjoyed her description this week of James Murdoch as looking like 'a gutless Gissing bit-player caught with his hand in the petty cash'.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:39 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still can't get over the clearance thing, and neither will Cameron I suspect.
posted by fullerine at 10:54 AM on July 26, 2011




In other phone surveillance news: NSA Spooks Won’t Rule Out Secretly Tracking Your Phone
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on July 26, 2011






Hows this for transparency?
Former New York City school Chancellor Joel Klein, now News Corp's executive vice president, has been tapped to lead the investigation of the company that pays him $4.5m a year and gives him stock awards.
posted by adamvasco at 12:38 PM on July 27, 2011




From that independent article above -

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.

Just them? That sounds damn suspicious. Why isn't this being run with? Have I missed something? Or is it routine for the chief of staff to have a little chat with the police commissioner and the government's communications director just after the election? Llewellyn and Stephenson must have known what was going on at NOTW...
posted by pmcp at 4:44 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Get a load of this ridiculous thing I found the fuck out last night"

Gary Linehan on not repeating the daily show because of use of parliamentary footage for satirical purposes.
posted by pmcp at 5:07 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




so that would be the darker depths Rebekah Brooks hinted at in her final speech at the NOTW then?especially as the Sarah's Law campaign was supposed to be Brooks' most important achievement and crusade at the NOTW...
posted by Bwithh at 8:25 AM on July 28, 2011


Guardian: News of the World targeted Sarah Payne's mother's phone

This is a huge revelation.

The shoes, they keep dropping.
posted by futz at 8:39 AM on July 28, 2011


fullerine called it, 19 days ago.
posted by grouse at 8:41 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Worse coming at 5pm apparently.
posted by catchingsignals at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2011


Well, that's the one isn't it? I mean, we all suspected it, but still. Boom goes the bombshell.
posted by ob at 8:44 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Worse coming at 5pm apparently.

Where did you see that?
posted by futz at 8:47 AM on July 28, 2011


Journalists all over Twitter are running with it, and rumour has it now that it is related to the Daily Mirror.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:50 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"This would be a devastating intolerable betrayal and we would be absolutely horrified if this turns out to be true."
posted by stinkycheese at 8:51 AM on July 28, 2011


rumour has it now that it is related to the Daily Mirror.

Ooooh, I bet Piers Morgan is shitting bricks.
posted by futz at 8:53 AM on July 28, 2011


NOTW proved it is a force for good by Sara Payne - from the final edition. I imagine Hell will have no fury...
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:03 AM on July 28, 2011


Yeah futz, everything happens on Twitter these days :p
posted by catchingsignals at 9:06 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




I don't do the Twitter so keep the rumors/updates coming!
posted by futz at 9:10 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Snow, you know something.

Off to Twitter I go.
posted by futz at 9:12 AM on July 28, 2011


Re: Rebekah Brooks giving a cell phone to Sara Payne.

Chilling.

This shithouse known as News Corporation is now officially on fire.

Murdoch is done for.
posted by Skygazer at 9:20 AM on July 28, 2011


It is the epitome of moral and ethical bankruptcy.
posted by futz at 9:25 AM on July 28, 2011


Yeah, the image of Brooks literally handing over the phone to Payne is about as damning as it gets.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:26 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Snow:
Piers Morgan suspended by CNN over phone hacking..the rise and rise, and fall and rise ,and fall of Piers Morgan!
posted by SPUTNIK at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2011


For those hearing Piers Morgan has been suspended: Snow retweeted a joke/hoax account by mistake. It's not something other sources are saying. Yet.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:30 AM on July 28, 2011


Yeah, I was just about to say, I can't see anything about Moron being suspended on the wires.
posted by ob at 9:32 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you auto correct?
posted by R. Mutt at 9:34 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Guardian update:

James Murdoch received a ringing endorsement from directors of satellite group BSkyB earlier today just as the phone hacking scandal reached a new low with details that Sara Payne, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah, had been a victim of the News of the World. A lengthy board meeting at BSkyB ended with unanimous support for
Rupert Murdoch's youngest son to continue as chairman of the group following the collapse of his family firm's bid for the 61% of the satellite business it did not already own.

posted by futz at 9:35 AM on July 28, 2011


"There will be NO news on Mirror tonight, sources say." :(
posted by catchingsignals at 9:38 AM on July 28, 2011


Moron's definitely in the shit, though – he was a News International editor for nearly ten years, and there's no doubt that under him at the Mirror, there was hacking aplenty.

Bonus footage: Chris Morris gets Moron on the phone whilst pretending to be Bono. Features the immortal line "to all intents an purposes U2's been a black dance band since we started anyway".
posted by Len at 9:39 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


and purposes, for fuck's sake.
posted by Len at 9:40 AM on July 28, 2011


5.36pm: Rebekah Brooks, meanwhile, has described the Sara Payne allegations as "abhorrent" and "particularly upsetting" as Payne was a "dear friend".

In a statement, the former News International chief executive and News of the World editor said:

For the benefit of the campaign for Sarah's Law, the News of the World have provided Sara with a mobile telephone for the last 11 years. It was not a personal gift.
The idea that anyone on the newspaper knew that Sara or the campaign team were targeted by Mr Mulcaire is unthinkable. The idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension.
It is imperative for Sara and the other victims of crime that these allegations are investigated and those culpable brought to justice."

posted by futz at 9:40 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, at least we're all back here now.

So how is everyone?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:44 AM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


For those hearing Piers Morgan has been suspended: Snow retweeted a joke/hoax account by mistake. It's not something other sources are saying. Yet.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:30 PM on July 28 [+] [!]


My Bad. It was just too delicious not to share.
posted by SPUTNIK at 9:46 AM on July 28, 2011


Refreshed and ready for more.
posted by catchingsignals at 9:47 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


goodnewsfortheinsane, I like your username.
posted by futz at 9:47 AM on July 28, 2011


Good good. :)

Well, the Grauniad is liveblogging again, let's see if something else comes out today.

It does seem highly unusual that purportedly soon-breaking news would be so heavily teased by reputable journalists and then turn out to be nothing. But we'll see.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Len, that's amazing: "it's basically taking place at Alton Towers, it's got a crucifix involved."
posted by pmcp at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2011


Another thing that fascinates me is how categorical Piers' denials have been. I mean, is it part of a Deny Everything strategy or is he actually convinced there is no serious dirt on him that could ever come out? I mean, he could have issued a more qualified statement, i.e. "I knew nothing" instead of flat-out "I published no story based on hacking".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:54 AM on July 28, 2011


I'm actually glad that we've had a bit of a break, in case outrage fatigue lets this slip through our fingers.

I don't think this has been mentioned yet (and oddly it doesn't seem to have received much publicity -- that's why I was worried about outrage fatigue), but "The News of the World hired a private investigator to follow former MP Charles Clarke when he was home secretary", and "Tom Watson was followed by a private investigator hired by the News of the World while he attended his party's conference in Brighton in 2009".
posted by catchingsignals at 9:58 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good god, my opinion of Brooks was never high to begin with but fuck. The woman deserves to be in jail for a good long time.
posted by Len at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can this get any worse? As Fullerine jokingly remarked in his/her prescient comment, what's next, NOTW actually having ties to the psychopathic pedophiles as well?
posted by Skygazer at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2011


I suppose Piers could always fall back to "I published no story [that I knew was] based on hacking" if he needs to.
posted by catchingsignals at 10:09 AM on July 28, 2011


Oh, it's not nearly bad enough yet. I don't really care about NOTW (though Murdoch falling would be nice, but there will be others taking his place). I want the police and the politicians.
posted by catchingsignals at 10:11 AM on July 28, 2011


Is there still a way to watch C4 news live online? Livestation used to do it but now they've taken C4 off.
posted by pmcp at 10:13 AM on July 28, 2011


Telegraph: "The culture select committee will be making a decision tomorrow on whether to publish new material on the alleged News International cover-up, the Guardian's political editor Patrick Wintour is reporting."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:30 AM on July 28, 2011


6.14pm: Tom Watson, one of the MPs who grilled James and Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, has said there will be more phone hacking revelations "that shock the nation".
posted by futz at 10:54 AM on July 28, 2011




fullerine called it, 19 days ago.

Via the hacks' gossip line, but also via Popbitch, which published it as a blind item 20 days ago:
such was their apparent determination to rid the country of child sex offenders, it wouldn't have seemed too weird if a senior NOTW figure sympathetically handed over a mobile phone at no expense to the victim - so that they could all keep in touch. And then, of course, there would be no problem monitoring those phones, would there?
And Brooks is once again using that curious double-insulated grammatical form, 'the idea that we knew [X] is unthinkable', which is once again not a denial.
posted by holgate at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2011


The Sarah Payne story would have killed Brooks if nothing else had.
posted by rodgerd at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2011


Piers Morgan suspended by CNN over phone hacking..the rise and rise, and fall and rise ,and fall of Piers Morgan!

Don't Hold Your Breath for CNN to Suspend Piers Morgan
"Despite a fast-spreading, false rumor that CNN had suspended Piers Morgan today, Mr. Morgan's talk show actually looks safe so far, as attempts to tie him to News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal are failing to register with marketers."
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on July 28, 2011


Piers Morgan Fake-Suspended on Twitter
For those keeping score in this fast-paced Twitterverse, CNN host Piers Morgan was fake- suspended Thursday.

British news anchor Jon Snow tweeted that Morgan, who has been accused of complicity in phone hacking, had been suspended. That sent various media people on Twitter into a tizzy as the news spread instantaneously.

Almost as quickly, others responded to quell the allegations, ending the rumor in less than 20 minutes.

Morgan, known for his instaiable Twitter appetite, was one of the first responders: "Sorry to disappoint you all, but I'm afraid poor old @jonsnowC4 got duped by a fake Twitter account. I've not been suspended by CNN."

Snow soon admitted as much, tweeting: "Retraction ahoy..rumour mill produced info on Piers Morgan..was issued on a fake NOW accouint.no truth that Piers Morgan suspended by CNN."

Snow also deleted his previous tweet alleging the suspension.
posted by ericb at 12:07 PM on July 28, 2011




Downing Street stonewalls the Guardian on their 14 questions about Andy Coulson's security check

The 14 questions:
1. While working in Downing Street, did Andy Coulson at any time have unsupervised access to information designated Top Secret or above?

2. Did Andy Coulson ever attend National Security Council, Cobra or cabinet meetings?

3. Did Andy Coulson ever attend a meeting relating to Afghanistan, UK military matters or counter-terrorism at which intelligence was discussed?

4. Did Andy Coulson attend meetings relating to the strategic defence and security review?

5. Did Andy Coulson see documents or attend briefings about the terror incident at East Midlands airport in October 2010 for which he did not have appropriate security clearance?

6. Did Andy Coulson take part in any briefings related to US warnings of Mumbai-style commando attacks in September, when intelligence sources said they had uncovered the early stages of an al-Qaida plot to carry out co-ordinated attacks in the UK, France and Germany?

7. Did Andy Coulson ever attend intelligence briefings while accompanying the prime minister on foreign trips?

8. Were White House or State Department officials informed that Andy Coulson was not DV ["developed vetting"] vetted when he accompanied David Cameron on his visit to Washington in July 2010? Did he attend any part of Cameron's meeting with President Obama?

9. Did Andy Coulson attend the prime minister's meeting with General Petraeus in Downing Street in October or receive briefings based on it?

10. Did Andy Coulson attend any meeting between the prime minister and Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, at Chequers in August, when intelligence or military matters were discussed, for which he did not have security clearance?

11. Did Andy Coulson attend any meetings between the prime minister and other Nato leaders in Lisbon in November when intelligence or military matters were discussed for which he did not have security clearance?

12. Which officials or ministers were informed of Jeremy Heywood's decision in May 2010 not to subject Andy Coulson to developed vetting?

13. One of the reasons given for not subjecting Andy Coulson to developed vetting was cost. Is it correct that the cost of developed vetting to No 10 is £500?

14. We understand that the company that screened Andy Coulson on behalf of the Conservative party in 2007 was Control Risks Screening. Was Andy Coulson subjected to the firm's "standard" check (at a cost of £150.40) or the "express" check (£145.70)?
The most salient point of the last communication between the Guardian and Downing Street:
I think our readers will be bemused, at best, by your refusal to address the issue of whether Andy Coulson attended any meetings at which highly classified information was discussed. More sceptical readers may conclude that you are reluctant to disclose information that could prove inconvenient in some way. In particular, readers will wonder why you are not willing directly to address the issue of whether Andy Coulson ever attended a meeting of the national security council.

I also note that you decline to deny that, as per our first question, Andy Coulson at any time had unsupervised access to information designated Top Secret or above. In place of your previous statement that "there is no suggestion he was sent papers incorrectly", you now state that "there is no suggestion that Andy Coulson, or anyone else, had access to the most secret papers". For the sake of clarity, could I ask again if you would confirm or deny whether Andy Coulson at any time had unsupervised access to information designated Top Secret or above?
posted by Len at 12:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


[from the Indie, via the comments on the aforelinked Guardian page]

Murdochs were given secret defence briefings:
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.

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.
posted by Len at 1:26 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, the UK has a Cobra committee? Cool! Can I play?
posted by shothotbot at 1:36 PM on July 28, 2011


COBR(A)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:04 PM on July 28, 2011


BBC Newsnight just now reports a police officer involved in the Payne case believed he may also have been hacked.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:44 PM on July 28, 2011


Guardian: "Chief inspector Martin Underhill from Sussex police, who led the investigation into the death of Sarah Payne, has told the BBC that he thinks his mobile was hacked.

Underhill contacted officers from Operation Weeting two weeks ago to say he thinks his phone may also have been hacked, according to Newsnight.

His concerns relate to an occasion when he was contacted by a senior News of the World executive about a story that he now believes was gained from listening to his messages."

Also, our boy Tom Watson said on Newsnight that James Murdoch will be invited back to the Culture Committee.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:27 PM on July 28, 2011


Correction: he said he wanted Murdoch to be invited back, but that ultimately it is a decision for the Committee.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:28 PM on July 28, 2011


Guardian:
[London Mayor] Boris Johnson would have been "attempting to pervert the course of justice" if he knew police were actively investigating phone hacking when he described fresh allegations as "codswallop", a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has claimed.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:40 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




... and from that Paul McCartney link to the NME above, some sad news that has nothing to do with any of this:

Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards officially dead

Where were you '95?
posted by philip-random at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surely you missed the episode where Guido Fawkes taunted Piers Morgan into carving "4 REAL" into his arm with a penknife. It wasn't pretty. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:45 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


So it seems like Sara Payne herself was targeted, possibly through a phone NOTW themselves gave. Boggles the mind completely.

Meanwhile, Guardian submits a series of questions on Coulson to the Prime Minister's Office, which in turn signals it might have something to hide. On the one hand, I can see why they wouldn't want to answer: if Coulson goes down, then it'll be bad optics for the Cameron government if it was found that a convicted phone-tapper was representing UK (part of the team that represented UK) at the highest level in discussions with Obama at the White House. On the other hand, this thing stinks right here right now, without anything else in addition.

Also, I'm quite disappointed that The Guardian didn't ask the most crucial question of them all: should you have been developed-vetted to be officially told of the Ministry of Magic's existence? Did Coulson sit on cabinet meetings with the Minister for Magic? More crucially, did Muggle-journos develop phone hacking techniques inspired by known cases of bugging by Daily Prophet hacks? These are crucial questions that could suggest that the scandal extends not just from Wapping to Downing Street to Wall Street, but also to Diagon Alley.
posted by the cydonian at 3:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]




The Press Complaints Commission has confirmed that its chair, Baroness Buscombe, is to step down following mounting criticism of the press watchdog's handling of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Buscombe faced particularly harsh criticism for the PCC's November 2009 report into the Guardian's revelations that phone hacking at the News of the World was more widespread than the "one rogue reporter" publisher News International admitted to at the time.

The PCC gave the News of the World a clean bill of health and said the Guardian's claims, which were subsequently confirmed, "did not quite live up to the dramatic billing they were initially given".

posted by futz at 12:46 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian 2.50pm: Other correspondence published today by the culture committee:

• A letter from James Murdoch saying he "answered truthfully" at the culture select committee and "I stand by my testimony". Murdoch says he is preparing a written response for the committee.

• A letter from Jon Chapman, former News International lawyer, reiterating his claim that there were "a number of serious inaccuracies" in evidence given to the select committee and saying he is happy to cooperate with them.

• A letter from Harbottle & Lewis, News International's former solicitors, confirming that their solicitor-client privilege has been waived with respect to answering questions from the police and parliamentary committees. Another letter says the firm wants to ensure "our response to you does not contain information which the Metropolitan police would prefer to be kept out of the public domain while criminal investigations and proceedings are pending".
posted by futz at 12:54 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Formal criminal investigation

It comes after Home Affairs correspondent Andy Davies revealed that one complainant had been told the case had moved from an initial 'scoping' exercise into a formal criminal investigation.

Former army intelligence officer Ian Hurst told Channel 4 that he had been informed by the Met this week.

A private investigator working for News of the World allegedly hacked into Mr Hurst's computer in 2006 and retrieved sensitive emails regarding Northern Ireland security matters.

In a statement, Mr Hurst said: "Police officers working for Operation Tuleta have informed me that they have identified information of evidential value in regards to my family's computer being illegally accessed over a sustained period of 2006.

posted by futz at 1:10 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad this thread is still going.
posted by TheDonF at 1:17 PM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


A police officer involved in the investigation into the murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne has said he believes his phone may have been hacked by the News of the World.

Mr Lewis said he initially became suspicious some time in 2002 or 2003 when he was telephoned at home by a News of the World executive threatening to publish a story about him which concerned the Payne family.
posted by futz at 1:41 PM on July 29, 2011


Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, must break his silence over phone-hacking and explain why he was paid £725,000 in damages for being targeted by the News of the World, MPs said last night.

Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has done much to uncover the scandal, said Mr Taylor must appear before the judge-led inquiry into phone hacking and demanded that the News of the World publisher News International (NI) releases the football chief from a confidentiality agreement which has prevented him from discussing the matter. The circumstances of the payment have been the source of intense dispute following claims before MPs by James Murdoch last week that the settlement was in based on advice from "outside counsel" on the scale of damages likely to be awarded against the company if it took the case to court.

Two former senior NI executives – Colin Myler, the former editor of the News of the World, and Tom Crone, the paper's legal manager – have challenged Mr Murdoch's evidence and said he was "mistaken" in what he told the committee, arguing that he had been shown an email containing a transcript of a hacked message. It has since been claimed that Mr Taylor was originally offered a fraction of the final settlement –about £60,000 – but the figure rose as the company was made aware of evidence obtained by his lawyers

posted by futz at 1:58 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Update on the situation with Louise Mensch MP:

At the select committee hearing, Mensch, (possibly) wrongly, accused Piers Morgan of knowing about phone hacking under his watch. Mensch was subsequently contacted by an "investigative journalist" calling himself "David Jones", asking questions about Mensch's activities when she was a publicist for EMI in the 1990s, including an allegation that she took drugs and danced with a pissed/coked-up Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham.

Mensch gave a response in which she confronted the rumours pretty much head-on, and later apologised to Morgan. Now, it appears, the original email, accusing Mensch of drug taking, inappropriate use of work computers, and a few other things beside, sent by the person calling themselves "David Jones", was copied into both Patrick McLoughlin MP, chief whip of the Tory party, and the party's chairman.

I wonder if this is related to what Mensch said on Channel 4 news the other week about the 1922 Committee, a backbench group of Tory MPs that is widely considered to be the guiding light of the party, or at least the group who ultimately dictate what the party's overall line shall be.

As I said more than a week ago, she's coming out against the 1922 Committee, saying that it's a widely held view in the House that even though they claim to represent backbenchers, they don't.

And that's the kind of message that's treated very poorly indeed; breaking ranks – and not only that, but implying that she's doing so when other Tory MPs are too scared to, because of the potential backlash – is a big deal. It's basically thumbing your nose at the old-school Tory establishment, and saying, into the bargain, that they're a bunch of outdated sexist bores who have no relevance to the modern party.

In short, and this ties in with what Bwithh said about the fact that Mensch wants to be PM: this could be what the start of a coup looks like.
posted by Len at 3:04 PM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks Len. I was a bit confused on the timeline if the Mensch story. Very informative!
posted by futz at 3:13 PM on July 29, 2011


Hey futz, no problem. And to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm just seeing conspiracy trees instead of the woods, but the Mensch thing is pretty interesting. As I said previously, I cannot for the life of me remember a Tory MP ever saying anything negative about the 1922 Committee; it's the embodiment of what it actually means to be a Tory, with all that entails.

Not sure where you're from, futz, but if you're American – or if you're not, for any Americans paying attention – imagine a rising star in the GOP saying, on live TV, that Reagan was a crock and the party needs to modernise, that John Boehner is basically an idiot, and that the Tea Party are a bunch of nutters out to ruin American Conservatism. It might not be getting a lot of press coverage, but it's that much of a strike against everything that her party stands for, or at least seems to stand for.

Oh, and also, thanks for the continual updates; it's useful to have someone drawing everything together in one place.
posted by Len at 3:32 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


American, which is why your take is so insightful. So basically she is not playing politics as usual. Does she have supporters for "bucking the system"?
posted by futz at 3:46 PM on July 29, 2011


futz: Does she have supporters for "bucking the system"?

See, that's the interesting thing. I can't imagine that someone like her – who is obviously an astute political player, knows what she wants, and knows which buttons to push when it comes to media coverage – would come out and say what she did without some sort of behind-the-scenes support from other people. If she didn't have that, she'd basically be hanging herself out to dry, and I don't imagine that's part of whatever gameplan she has in mind. But on the other hand, I can't think of too many Tory MPs who would be willing to stand with her in an up-and-down fight with the 1922 Committee. It could be that all of this is her rumbling and causing hassle to see how much potential backing she might get from like-minded MPs – testing the waters, as it were, and seeing if anyone else wants to jump in alongside her, which is what I think that she's actually doing. But I would not in the least be surprised to find that, should she get the backing she so obviously wants, she didn't do something with it.

Incidentally, this was the way that Thatcher engineered a coup against the Tory establishment and their received wisdom in 1975, to become party leader and then, in 1979, PM; striking out as a lone voice, who was perceived as a bit of a joke when compared to elder statesmen like Ted Heath and Willie Whitelaw, who eventually she appointed as Home Secretary. And by the way, the group that backed Thatcher in this undertaking, giving her behind-the-scenes support, before declaring themselves fully in favour of her candidacy, once the balance definitively tipped? The 1922 Committee.
posted by Len at 4:39 PM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hi, The Soothsayer here :) The Sara Payne thing was reported quite a bit when the Milly Dowler allegations came out, I think it was just being confirmed last week. I still have a feeling that the it's still not the bottom of the barrel because as cynical as it sounds, more phone-hacking revelations are still not worth junking the BSkyB deal over. I still have a feeling there's going to be a "Coulson fed hacked info to the Tories" story as there's been enough murmurs about this over the last couple of weeks. Proving that takes time.

The clearance thing is a slow burner, there's not been much noise about whether Coulson was present in any Top Secret meetings and I would've expected this to have come out quite early because it is something which would have been easy to ascertain. It's also something which would be pretty infuriating to the Civil service who don't seem to mind political machinations but abhor incompetence. Someone would probably think it worth breaking ranks over if Coulson's lack of clearance was a political decision (which considering the crass stupidity of such a decision would come under the heading of incompetence.)

I think it will come out when Cameron has to face questions over it. If there's evidence Coulson saw things he shouldn't have, Cameron is gone.

The Mensch thing is interesting, picking a fight with the 1922 Committee may not be the same risk as it was a few years ago but it's still a startling move from someone who seems to be a very shrewd operator. Her smooth diffusing of the current allegations is testament to her skills. She may be positioning herself at the head of the pack in a post-Dave Tory party.

I think Cameron resigns or faces a Yellow Tory coup and I suspect Mensch thinks this too.
posted by fullerine at 5:53 PM on July 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


"...Just this week, Akers expanded the investigation’s scope significantly, boosting her team from 45 to 60 after announcing that more newspapers would be scrutinized."
Murdoch Scandal’s New Top Cop, Daily Beast, July 24, 2011
posted by blueberry at 8:34 PM on July 29, 2011




this could be what the start of a coup looks like.

I'm not so sure about that. On the other hand, I did find it interesting how many names she dropped in her response to "David Jones":
I used the names of many real people I knew for minor characters such as journalists, chauffeurs, bankers and so forth. Roger Lewis was probably amongst them, as were (off the top of my head) Therese Coffey MP, now my colleague on the Select Committee, Jeremy Quin, Damian Hinds MP, Maurice Oberstein, Rod Clayton, James Robertson and many more. None of them have ever complained about my using their names in this way.
Regardless of whether Career Girls was part roman à clef (something that was definitely suggested when it came out) it's a marker of a social circle that, like that of many Oxbridge hacks, now includes quite a few movers and shakers.
posted by holgate at 10:00 PM on July 29, 2011


Hahaha ... A necessary Theory on the Conduct Mrs @louisemensch MP.
The Letter contain'd anodyne Allegations that are easily refut'd: it is not the Stuff of BLACK MAIL.

By refuting them, Mrs MENSCH hath, after a Fortnight of bad Press, regain'd a moral HIGH GROUND: indeed, she does appear a CHAMPION in the eyes of the Publick.
posted by Len at 12:14 AM on July 30, 2011


Oh, balls, that first link is gubbed: this is where it should go.
posted by Len at 12:15 AM on July 30, 2011


And I heartily recommend following @williamhogarth on the old twitter, for the likes of the following: "Before you sympathise with Mrs @louisemensch note that she praises Mr Jacob REES-MOGG, who is a Punch Cartoon come to LIFE"

(I mean look at the guy; he could be the bastard offspring of Peter Mandleson and a particularly attentive swan.)
posted by Len at 12:23 AM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I follow Mensch on twitter basically so I can keep an eye on what "new Tory" means this time.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:35 AM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mensch is on to something even if her facts are bit screwed:
Mirror Group Paid Blagger £442,878 for Illegally Obtained Info
65 Invoices Paid by Piers Morgan’s Daily Mirror.
Political scrapbook asks: Did Piers Morgan mislead DCMS select committee on tabloid hacking in 2003.
posted by adamvasco at 4:12 AM on July 30, 2011






Jude Law can't speak about phone hacking. I'm told this by his publicist before the interview. And when I bring it up during our chat – it's the day after the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks have given testimonies to the Commons committee – Law smiles and makes a zipping action with his finger across his lips. "I just can't because I'm in legal proceedings and it's in various stages with various people, and part of that is classified, and they've promised to keep it quiet if I keep it quiet, so I've got to be really careful. But believe me, there's an awful lot I want to say, though. An awful lot."

But then he can't not speak about it either, because he's right at the very heart of it all. The peak phone-hacking years coincided with the peak Jude Law tabloid-mania years and he has not one case pending against News International but three. It's a very big deal, not just to him – his relationship with the tabloid press, and particularly News International, has both defined and circumscribed his life for much of the past decade – but a big deal, too, in terms of what will happen to Rupert Murdoch's media empire. His cases are the very crux of the story.

We're in an empty meeting room at the Jerwood Space in south London, where Law is in the thick of rehearsals for his new play, an Eugene O'Neill revival, Anna Christie. It starts at the Donmar Warehouse this week, and his head is full of it: it's a gritty love story set in 1920 between a prostitute and a ship's stoker. "I've got really sucked into the world of the play," he says. "So it's very much get up, go to rehearse, go home, learn lines, go to bed." And watch the news. He's right in the middle of one drama – he plays the ship's stoker, Mat Burke – but, of course, he can't help but be compelled by the other thrilling spectacle playing itself out on the television news. "I mean, of course I'm watching it," he says. "Who isn't?"

It's just so dramatic, I say, isn't it?

"It's a movie. It's a scene from a movie."

And you've already got your role sorted, I say, meaning that, of course, if it ever was a film, he could simply play himself. But he doesn't catch my drift.

"James, you mean?" And then realises his mistake. "Oh! You mean myself? Oh dear. I can't believe I said that." But, of course, he'd be brilliant as James Murdoch. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before. He's specialised in characters who have an edge, a slightly slippery elusiveness, and there are obvious overtones of what is still, perhaps, his most famous role – the role that saw him burst into public consciousness in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley in 1999: the heir to a shipping fortune, Dickie Greenleaf. There really is more than a touch of Dickie Greenleaf to James Murdoch, isn't there, I say.

"Oh dear," he says. "I've got to be really careful what I say here."

He's obviously itching to speak about it. Phone hacking, privacy, press intrusion – these are matters that he has thought long and hard about, but because he can't go into detail, he ends up delivering slightly gnomic one-liners. "The thing is," he says, "it involves us all." What do you mean? "It involves us all. All of us. That's the closest I can come to talking about it. We're all involved. We're all complicit. On some level, if you think about what has happened and what will come out in the end. I think it's easy to think that things are mending if we think, 'Oh things are over now.' Or: 'It's their fault.' But we're all complicit."

Do you think it's just the beginning, I say. "I hope it's just the beginning." And he makes the zipping action across his lips again. "I don't want to quote myself so I'm going to quote someone else. There was an interesting Thought for the Day on Radio 4 yesterday. I came in halfway through so I don't know who it was, but he was talking about Murdoch being sorry. No, not being sorry, he was saying that he was asking for atonement. He was asking for forgiveness. And the guy said, he hasn't been judged yet. He hasn't any right to ask for that yet because we still have to judge him. And judgment is what this whole thing is about. They judge people. Those papers have judged people. I have been judged. They have yet to all be judged, and I hope they are ready for it."

posted by futz at 3:41 PM on July 30, 2011


Frank Rich fires a salvo: Murdoch Hacked Us Too:
The real transgressions of the Murdoch empire are not its outré partisanship, its tabloid sleaze, its Washington lobbying, or even what liberals most love to hate, the bogus “fair and balanced” propaganda masquerading as journalism at Fox News. In fact, these misdemeanors are red herrings—distractions from the real News Corp. corruption that now threatens to bring down its management and radically reconfigure and reduce its international corporate footprint. The bigger story is this: An otherwise archetypal media colossus, with apolitical TV shows (American Idol), movies (Avatar), and cable channels (FX) like any other, is controlled by a family (and its tight coterie of made men and women, exemplified by the recently departed Rebekah Brooks) that countenances the intimidation and silencing of politicians, regulators, competitors, journalists, and even ordinary citizens to maximize its profits and power and to punish perceived corporate, political, and personal enemies. And, as we now know conclusively, some of this behavior has broken the law.

posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on August 1, 2011


The technology firm HCL has told the home affairs select committee it was aware of the deletion of hundreds of thousands of emails at the request of News International between April 2010 and July 2011, but said it did not know of anything untoward behind the requests to delete them.

HCL has sent the letter to the home affairs select committee chairman, Keith Vaz , revealing it had been involved in nine separate episodes of email deletion.

HCL says it is not the company responsible for emails on the News International system that are older than a couple of weeks. It says another unnamed vendor is responsible, but confirms it has co-operated with this vendor in deleting material.
posted by futz at 8:32 AM on August 1, 2011


Here's Rupert Murdoch's worst nightmare: Nick Davies, the tenacious investigative reporter for the Guardian who has broken much of the Hackinggate story, comes to the U.S. in search of News Corp. crimes and coverup.

Well, it's come true. Davies arrives in New York today.

posted by futz at 8:38 AM on August 1, 2011


The real transgressions of the Murdoch empire are not its outré partisanship, its tabloid sleaze, its Washington lobbying, or even what liberals most love to hate, the bogus “fair and balanced” propaganda masquerading as journalism at Fox News.

I'll keep my own council on what its real transgressions were, Mr. Rich.
posted by JHarris at 11:45 AM on August 1, 2011


Oh, and let me say that this email deletion business has gotten OLD. Maybe I'm just used to Gmail, but I think no one with an IT squad in their right mind has any reason to delete emails anymore. Deleting hundreds of thousands should be viewed as systematic destruction of evidence.
posted by JHarris at 11:49 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Phone-hacking scandal: Stuart Kuttner is latest NoW exec to be arrested

Former managing editor and one-time public face of the News of the World taken into custody

posted by futz at 6:54 AM on August 2, 2011


Oh, and let me say that this email deletion business has gotten OLD. Maybe I'm just used to Gmail, but I think no one with an IT squad in their right mind has any reason to delete emails anymore. Deleting hundreds of thousands should be viewed as systematic destruction of evidence.

Backing up and archiving mail, especially when people send attachments, is actually pretty expensive. So it's not unreasonable to trash email - but a sensible retention policy is the key. One year, two years, seven years, whatever. When you're randomly bulk-deleting stuff? Yeah, that's suspicious.
posted by rodgerd at 1:18 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


rodgerd, I'd argue that it's not that expensive; storage is CHEAP, especially if it doesn't have to be immediately available.
Dump it to tape, stick it in a vault and done.
There's no reason to permanently delete anything any more (except as required by law). There's benefits and drawbacks to that of course, but that's another discussion.
posted by dolface at 2:33 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


rodgerd: "Backing up and archiving mail, especially when people send attachments, is actually pretty expensive."

O RLY?

I think it's not that storage is expensive, so much as that corporate IT is stingy.
posted by mullingitover at 2:34 PM on August 2, 2011


corporate IT is stingy.

The business rules around email retention are exactly that: business rules, driven by such things as legislative requirements & the need to cover oneself in case of legal action.

The IT department is not & should not be in the position of deciding such things. As a business requirement, it should be properly budgeted & funded by the business, eg by chargeout from IT as a cost centre.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:06 PM on August 2, 2011


Tom Watson interviewed by the Guardian:
When I was first elected, I was a completely naive and gauche politician. You look at the pillars of the state: politics, the media, police, lawyers – they've all got their formal role, and then nestling above that is that power elite who are networked in through soft, social links, that are actually running the show.
posted by holgate at 8:18 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]






I think I just fell in love with this headline.
posted by ob at 12:57 PM on August 3, 2011


Guardian live blog update also
Nancy Dell'Olio, the ex-partner of former England manager Sven Göran Eriksson also told the BBC that she believes the Mirror hacked their voicemails.
posted by adamvasco at 1:30 PM on August 3, 2011


corporate IT is stingy.

Corporate IT is exactly as stingy as it needs to be with the money it's given. Or will you trade some of your salary for more tapes?
posted by rodgerd at 11:26 PM on August 3, 2011


Parliament Slight: The U.K. censors Jon Stewart's coverage of the Rupert Murdoch hearing because in England it's illegal to air Parliamentary footage in a comedic context.

Same law in Australia
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:30 PM on August 3, 2011


The chair of a parliamentary phone hacking inquiry has added his voice to calls for Piers Morgan to return to the UK and answer questions about the alleged illegal interception of voicemails during his time at the Daily Mirror.
posted by adamvasco at 11:05 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Technically, it's not illegal to show parliamentary footage in comedy broadcasts, but it's a breach of the rules of coverage that govern the use of parliamentary footage.
posted by holgate at 12:33 PM on August 4, 2011


Seeing as though this thread will be closing soon, allow me to part with what is being described as Banksy's commentary on the phone hacking scandal.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:58 PM on August 6, 2011


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