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Could Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking? One journalist says yes
July 21, 2011 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Could Rupert Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking? Veteran Canadian journalist and TV producer Howard Bernstein thinks it’s possible, because something almost as bad happened at CTV News, which “produced a story on Chinese students keeping Canadians out of Canadian universities. It was a crock, fabricated by a senior producer on the show.... I am certain [the] then-president of CTV had absolutely no idea.... So why is it so hard to believe that Rupert and son didn’t know about the telephone hacking?”
posted by joeclark (84 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't confuse a single incident at CTV News with decades of sleazy tactics carried out over multiple continents.
posted by tommasz at 1:00 PM on July 21, 2011 [53 favorites]


This whole affair, not the wrongdoing, the virulent attacks on the individuals from within their own journalism community reminds me of how Canadian news people reacted to Conrad Black and his troubles.

Here's to hoping they end up sharing a cell.
posted by goethean at 1:00 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's not that they didn't know about it when it happened. It is that they have participated in a multi-year coverup of criminal wrongdoing in collaboration with corrupt police and politicians once they must have become aware of what had happened.
posted by srboisvert at 1:02 PM on July 21, 2011 [26 favorites]


The Murdochs knew. There is no way around it. His old ass was playing to an audience and parliament lapped it up. He had his son there for more theatrics and still stood by the people who were complacent with the actions.
Plus, why would he abruptly shut down an old, established news paper? Oh I know he just wanted to make sure his tv deal would still go through,
Rotten Apples, the whole bunch, through and through!
posted by handbanana at 1:03 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because people want a Moriarty to rail against. They don't want to think that they have let someone who is not in total control to run one of the largest "news" organizations in the world. We really want to believe that the Captains of Industry in our society are there because they are fully qualified and in total control of everything they are doing, not simply riding on a position of privilege and opportunity, entrenched into a position of power simply because no one thought to ask "does this guy even know what he's doing?"

That, and he probably knew and doesn't care. He still has enough money to buy several countries.
posted by daq at 1:04 PM on July 21, 2011


Oh and also it is also too funny that someone with a politician's name as their user name posted this...Murdoch's influence is everywhere!
posted by srboisvert at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2011


James Murdoch paid Gordon Taylor over a million dollars to keep his mouth shut and his evidence of phone-hacking sealed. Either he consulted Daddy about this or he was irresponsible and should be out of a job. Either way he should go to jail. It's not impossible that the 80-year-old Rupert doesn't know what is going on around him, even among his own family members, but perhaps he shouldn't be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:06 PM on July 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


Willful ignorance, at best. An organization rises and falls according to its leadership, and Rupert Murdoch didn't amass a worldwide empire by being a hands off entrepreneur. he has always been known as a man who pushed the limits in a quest for power and filthy lucre. The end has always justified the means for him.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:07 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Note that I'm not saying James should go to jail for having a big civil settlement, he should go to jail for being part of a conspiracy to hack phones, bribe police, cover it up and thwart investigations.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:08 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, according to this one, unsuspiciously dead whistleblower, top News corp executives not only knew about the hacking and bribery but actively encouraged the practices. And those allegations were made long before the latest revelations.

But then, that guy was just a lousy drunk probably shilling for a competitor, and he's dead now anyway, so officially, that's just more unsubstantiated conspiracy theorizing from another anonymous piece of human garbage with absolutely zero credibility.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:08 PM on July 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Why would we let something like that stop us?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:09 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


James Murdoch accused of Misleading Parliament
posted by saulgoodman at 1:16 PM on July 21, 2011


Murdoch's hemmed and hawed and dodged questions about this for, what, two years now? There's no way he didn't know, if only after the fact. Even then, it didn't bother him enough to do anything about it.

I know the world's gone all fucking upside-down, but I was taught growing up that the boss takes the heat no matter what. It just never seems to apply to anybody with any pull.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:16 PM on July 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Either way, either by criminal conspiracy, or by incompetence he is not competent to run a large company. But, then Reagan should have been jailed or was senile and it didn't stop him from continuing to be president.
posted by edgeways at 1:18 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


If he knew he's a criminal. If he didn't know he's an irresponsible failure who has no business managing a popsicle stand, let alone a media empire. There's no way he can ever get his reputation back no matter what the truth is.
posted by dortmunder at 1:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's hardly as though Murdoch has some kind of unblemished record. He's personally been involved in union-busting, for example. And his organization is highly ideological; it's not just WidgetCo which happens to have labor violations because there's a culture of cheap-vendor-seeking.

Really, it's important not to identify with the powerful here; there's an intellectual tendency to project the self into these situations, as "If I were running a major news corporation I would be perhaps ideological but basically honest, and what if something like this sneaked by on my watch?" None of us are Murdoch, as far as I know.
posted by Frowner at 1:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because people want a Moriarty to rail against.
He would not have come close to being near a newspaper unless it was to have a henceman...place...duplicitous adverts....in the Strand.


(coughMaxwellcough)
posted by clavdivs at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Better question: why would lack of knowledge protect him from prosecution in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for News Corp bribery of the police? The FCPA doesn't say that negligence is a valid excuse.
posted by mullingitover at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


This scandal is reaching into far-flung areas.
posted by telstar at 1:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...
posted by Thorzdad at 1:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


mullingitover has a good point. Why do something that will do more damage then the revenue the crime brings in, not a solid argument but it makes you wonder because 'I did not know' is Nixonesque.
posted by clavdivs at 1:24 PM on July 21, 2011


(coughMaxwellcough)
posted by clavdivs at 4:20 PM

no pun intended
posted by clavdivs at 1:25 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


In case anyone's interested, there's still a very active thread (927 comments and rising) on the whole Murdoch/Brooks/News International/Scumbags R Us story :

NOTW: 0 - Guardian: 1
posted by humph at 1:26 PM on July 21, 2011


While the focus now is on the UK scandal, David Carr published a piece this week in the NYT that suggests that the US enterprise has been suffused with criminality.
posted by donovan at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm personally very grateful to the Guardian for going at the story with hammer and tongs. I hope their reporters get the UK equivalent of the Pulitzer (if there is one).
posted by orrnyereg at 1:30 PM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Because people want a Moriarty to rail against.

They actually have one. His name is Rupert Murdoch. Did he know? Was he unaware? It's irrelevant to the question of whether he is evil or not. He is either way.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


“Although his personality is generally quite agreeable, Mr. 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. ... All (Murdoch’s) instincts are down-market; he is not only a tabloid sensationalist; he is a malicious myth-maker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of respected institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism … His notions of public entertainment and civic values are enshrined in the cartoon television series The Simpsons: all public officials are crooks and the public is an ignorant lumpenproletariat."
-- Conrad Black
posted by benzenedream at 1:32 PM on July 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Who does veteran Canadian journalist Bernstein think he's kidding? This is the same CEO who runs a company that employs Republican Presidential candidates while they are running for office. Corruption has been the modus operandi of Rupert Murdoch properties since he bought his first tabloid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:33 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


he can ever get his reputation back no matter what the truth is.

I think that being caught will change how people look at him, but only in that they assumed he'd be smart enough not to get caught.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:34 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


His notions of public entertainment and civic values are enshrined in the cartoon television series The Simpsons: all public officials are crooks and the public is an ignorant lumpenproletariat.

Thinking of the Simpsons as a direct window into the mind of Murdoch really sours the show for me.
posted by codacorolla at 1:35 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't care if Murdoch keeps on making money from Star Wars movies, cookbooks, Family Guy or the Big Ten Network. At the end of this scandal I would like him, his money and his criminality out of journalism, please. (I include Fox News in that term.) His organization is a cancer on the democracy of several nations.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:36 PM on July 21, 2011 [20 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...

I think that's one of the most obscene things I've seen in quite a while. Combine it with the Jan Moir article from this post, and I'm starting to think that there's more to the UK than what I see on Masterpiece Theater.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:39 PM on July 21, 2011


It was a crock, fabricated by a senior producer on the show.... I am certain [the] then-president of CTV had absolutely no idea.... So why is it so hard to believe that Rupert and son didn’t know about the telephone hacking?”

Because the president of CTV doesn't spend his time fact-checking every story that goes to air, but presumably a hands-on CEO knows that it is paying off police officers and hacking the phones of public figures as a regular sources of information.
posted by Hoopo at 1:42 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...

"How can you care about Milly Dowler's family when there are African children with no food? You're a bad person! Love, News International"

It's physically disgusting, but it heartens me to think half of the people seeing it will have had the same reaction.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:43 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it's entirely plausible that Rupert didn't know. I'm sure James knew at the very least that there was some hacking although I doubt that he would be stupid enough to have directly approved the Dowler hacking (remember that no-one cared when it was just politicians and celebs. I can't imagine that Rebekah Brooks didn't know in pretty great detail exactly who was being hacked and how often.
posted by atrazine at 1:46 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no excuse for breaking the law in order to ferret out a story.

Is that what we're going to get out of all this?
posted by klanawa at 1:46 PM on July 21, 2011


Dunno. When you build an empire off of lies and gossip, it's hard to feel sympathetic for the thrashing that Murdoch's gotten, even if it might be plausible that they didn't know about any of this.

After all, News Corporation is ridiculously, staggeringly large.
posted by schmod at 1:47 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


With these recent revelations he can now confidently run for the U.S. Congress.

Naturalized citizen - check (1985)
Age - check (not a factor, younger than currently serving Congressmen)
Trophy wife - check (Dengalious)
Opportunities for conflict of interest - check
No morals - check (or ignorance)
Media - check (owns one - regards to Leibling)
...
posted by incandissonance at 1:48 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


All that poor bastard ever wanted to do was show up the New York Times and now everyone's being all mean and not letting him enjoy his golden years.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ultimately, it's hard for me to care too much about this story. Neither the political class nor the media elite have any reason to examine the failure of media to function as a reliable check on the abuse of government power or oppression of the citizenry. Prediction: media pundits and politicians will excoriate Murdoch, then publicly celebrate their "victory" while changing nothing. Do we have a panem et circenses tag?
posted by Hylas at 2:02 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could Murdoch really not have known about phone-hacking?

Could Murdoch really believe he isn't a evil son of a bitch? Cause that's the real question.
posted by nola at 2:03 PM on July 21, 2011


Neither the political class nor the media elite have any reason to examine the failure of media to function as a reliable check on the abuse of government power or oppression of the citizenry.

Honest question: have you read The Guardian recently?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:04 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Veteran Canadian journalist and TV producer Howard Bernstein thinks it’s possible, because something almost as bad happened at CTV News, which “produced a story on Chinese students keeping Canadians out of Canadian universities. It was a crock, fabricated by a senior producer on the show.... I am certain [the] then-president of CTV had absolutely no idea.... So why is it so hard to believe that Rupert and son didn’t know about the telephone hacking?”

Except that this story broke years ago. Its like the President of CTV not checking up after he knew something happened. People went to jail and Murdoch didn't see if there was more problems at NOTW?

nope. bad comparison.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:05 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


News Corp and the Hacked Climategate Emails: Time for an Independent Investigation
posted by stbalbach at 2:11 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


I see what you’re saying, Ironmouth, but is it not implicit that Bernstein is discussing the chances the Murdochs did not know phone-hacking was happening when it first started being used?

I agree this is an omission in his posting; there’s room for clarification.
posted by joeclark at 2:12 PM on July 21, 2011


I do worry that the focus is on the obvious baddie Murdoch and not on the real evil of corrupt politicians and police.

A businessman being greedy and possibly evil/ignorant is simply to be expected due to market pressures. The societal checks against this are the police and politicians.

In this case the police got bought and the politicians of both the previous Labour gov (many of whom are part of current labour opposition cabinet) and the Con-Dem coalition let it go unpunished.

I'd say this should topple the government but inquiries in the UK run slower than the trains so the government might already be voted out of office by the time the formal question of their involvement even comes up.
posted by srboisvert at 2:14 PM on July 21, 2011


(coughMaxwellcough)

I've got a strange sinking feeling...
posted by anigbrowl at 2:16 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Murdoch is famous for keeping his hands on the reigns of power in his companies, right? And many of these reports started several years ago, as said above, even if he wasn't involved up front, he most certainly became aware of it, and therefore complicit in the cover up after the fact.

That said, my personal guilt compass suggest that he knew about it all along and I'm really hoping that they figure out some way to prove it without a question of a doubt. The faster his goes away and his empire crumbles to dust, the better off the entire rest of the world will be.

And I mean that without any sort of hyperbole, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the driving force of the voice that he has provided to certain groups has made the whole of the world a worse place for a lot of people over the last forty years.
posted by quin at 2:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...

Dagnabit it Thorzdad, why'd you have to bring up that extraordinarily evil cartoon again? I'd just about gotten my consarn blood pressure under control.
posted by JHarris at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2011


is it not implicit that Bernstein is discussing the chances the Murdochs did not know phone-hacking was happening when it first started being used?

After ~10 years and multiple thorny legal cases, you'd think they'd have been interested enough to get to the bottom of the issue by now. You can't be a hands-on executive and simultaneously hand off all your decisions to other people.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh he knew. How could he not? This culture was rife among multiple papers. How did it get to be that way? Was it a virus, or something in the feed?

I'm more shocked that so many people were complicit in this. Are so many people's jobs so desperately important to them that no one broke this story earlier? Did they set out to attract a culture of evil, or did it just apply a smooth layer of taint over the souls of those they hired?

John Oliver at The Bugle noted that it was more generally known that News Of The World had been hacking celebrity cell phones, and that wasn't any less illegal, but no one did anything about it.
posted by JHarris at 2:34 PM on July 21, 2011


I have enjoyed the coverage of FauxNews' coverage of the hacking scandal. "Look at this hacking, why there's also been hacking at the Pentagon, and all these banks, not to mention all these other places. There's truly a hacking problem going on!" Without a single mention of the fact that News Corp was the perpetrator of the hacking in the current scandal, and trying to draw an equivalency with being the victim in all the other instances.

Truly brilliant spin and deception.
posted by hippybear at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


After ~10 years and multiple thorny legal cases, you'd think they'd have been interested enough to get to the bottom of the issue by now

Exactly. Details like these make me question how appropriate the choice of the words "willful ignorance" is when you could use "negligence" and "unspoken assent."
posted by Hoopo at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2011


The CTV incident was a bad editorial decision (something that the Murdochs actually should NOT participate in) - the NOW issue is involves financial controls and illegal payments, which is a matter of basic accounting and management. It is ludicrous to think payments of that size and regularity escaped the notice of Senior Managment. It is beyond incompetence that a company could be run that way.

I work at a company that generates over 150M in revenue annually - any invoice over 1K needs management approval, any payment over 30K needs CFO approval. This is were boring accounting issues like Sarbanes Oxley and the Foriegn Corrupt Practices Act will bite the Murdoch's in the ASS.

Once again - it will be the accountants who will be the heros!!! (I joke of course). But speaking of which, who were NOW's auditors? They have some questions to answer to too.
posted by helmutdog at 2:53 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can believe that he didn't specifically know about this incident. However, he is definitely responsible for the company culture that made this sort of thing de rigueur and that's good enough for me. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:00 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is Mefi's own rodgerd on this subject.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:10 PM on July 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


There was not one incident, but many. And whatever people say about Murdoch, "doddering old fool" is not something he's (till now) been accused of.

His reputation is that he's fearsome and controlling--not someone who just lets millions of dollars roll out the door because a whole segment of his staff, without his knowledge, started cowboying around and hiring PI's.

The original idea for the hacking may have been some underling's, but Murdoch knew, probably from the beginning. Because he's the kind of boss that would ream anyone who tried to keep him in the dark. His staff was/is terrified of him.

His cynical attempt to seem old and confused is just that, and anyone who falls for it is either covering up themselves or a moron.
posted by emjaybee at 3:17 PM on July 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


And whatever people say about Murdoch, "doddering old fool" is not something he's (till now) been accused of.

Although the brief moment that The Daily Show caught of him falling asleep in his chair during the questioning was pretty priceless...
posted by hippybear at 3:22 PM on July 21, 2011


As concise press releases go, this one takes the cake.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:46 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


So why is it so hard to believe that Rupert and son didn’t know about the telephone hacking?

Because Murdoch is an old-fashioned, hands-on proprietor who knows how newspapers are put together. Roy Greenslade answered this question definitively in his Evening Standard column yesterday, based on his own experience of working at the Sun and the Sunday Times:

At both newspapers, I was close enough to the editors - sometimes standing in as editor myself - to witness how Rupert Murdoch operated. Despite living in the United States, he ensured that he knew everything that happened at his British papers.

In phone calls marked by a mixture of abrupt questions and periods of intimidating silence, he elicited information from his editors and managers about intimate details of both editorial and commercial affairs.

It was impossible to conceive that anyone would lie to Murdoch either by commission or omission. He was street smart. He saw through bluster and he was not above testing the veracity of what he was told by one executive by running it past another.

His cross-referencing of his internal company sources was journalistic. He wanted to hear the minutiae; who had said what to whom? He relished the gossip.


Murdoch also likes to know where the money goes, and it's simply inconceivable that News International could have been making six-figure payouts without him knowing why. Don't forget his virtuoso skills in tax evasion:

[News Corp's] profits, declared in Australian dollars, were A$364,364,000 in 1987, A$464,464,000 in 1988, A$496,496,000 in 1989 and A$282,282,000 in 1990. The odds that such figures were a happy coincidence are 1,000,000,000,000 to one. That little grace note in the sums is accountant-speak for ‘Fuck you.’
posted by verstegan at 3:55 PM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Murdoch is a thief, a liar, and a scoundrel.

He's a thief because he has stolen what little trust was left between the public and a media that is sent over airways that the public owns.

He's a liar because he knows that his media properties regularly lie, to make the sensationalist news story of the day raise eyebrows, and profits.

He's a scoundrel because he denies all this, along with his bodyguard b*tch Wendi, who usurped the kindness of two people who brought her to the states by helping to break up their marriage, then marrying one of them and staying married just long enough to get her green card, and then hooking Rudolph the Red Nosed LIAR.

[[On a separate note, Wendi Murcoch has secured almost $100M apiece for each one of her kids, and knowing the Murdochs through their actions in this world, one can only cower at the prospect of how they will teach their kids about the "basics of business". Incidentally, at the British hearings, Wendi Murdoch was looking over the shoulder of her husband like a shark looking at a tasty opportunity - i.e. the real possibility that James Murdoch will go down in flames, and the obvious doddering that Rupert exhibited, labeling him as not long for full control of his empire, leaving "guess who?" in charge. Last, remember that Wendi "handles" China for the Murdoch empire. Can anyone even begin to imagine what she will do to ingratiate the immoral Chinese leadership to her properties, just to make a profit. I really, really feel sorry for the future of the Chinese people, with her as a new addition to the scene.

Murdoch and his putrid, lying, sack of sh*t family can go to hell. Get their kids out of there before they're completely corrupted!
posted by Vibrissae at 4:02 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


sack of sh*t family

Please don't do this. MetaFilter is a website where real language is allowed and censoring is not required. If you want to call someone's family a sack of shit, then please type it out as you intend, and don't try to use wildcard characters to disguise what you're saying. Everyone knows what you intend, and your use of an asterisk or any other character other than the intended spelling to disguise what you hope to say weakens the integrity of MetaFilter as a website in which the truth is told and people aren't afraid to express themselves.
posted by hippybear at 4:11 PM on July 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is exactly the kind of situation that makes me want to smack every legislator and FCC member and scream in their face: THIS. THIS is why you don't let media outlets consolidate. If the police and the government and the media are all palsy-walsy then something is incredibly, dangerously fucking wrong.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:11 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wendi Murdoch was looking over the shoulder of her husband like a shark looking at a tasty opportunity

Yeah, I think that was part of the act to make it seem like she's part caretaker to the big phony "Old doddering fool" act.

Rupert's kids are all assured gaining control of News Corp. if he can no longer do so for whatever reason.


Besides, am I the only one who see Murdoch getting an injection of pure steroidal fetal brain tissue every day a la Mr. Burns...
posted by Skygazer at 4:30 PM on July 21, 2011


Besides, am I the only one who see Murdoch getting an injection of pure steroidal fetal brain tissue every day a la Mr. Burns...
posted by Skygazer

I dunno. Are you underneath Murdoch gazing toward the heavens when he's receiving these injections?
posted by hippybear at 4:34 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skygazer is Wendi Murdoch?
posted by benzenedream at 4:42 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skygazer, this comic may answer your question.
posted by emjaybee at 4:45 PM on July 21, 2011


That's the rumor I'm starting...
posted by hippybear at 4:45 PM on July 21, 2011


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...

The front page of the Guardian has Four story links regarding the famine in Somolia, including a video and an interactive map.

Guess how many The Times front page has.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:49 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Video. That's what I get for not double-checking my links.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:52 PM on July 21, 2011


Rupert Murdoch's Fox News ran 'black ops' department, former executive claims
posted by homunculus at 4:55 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hippybear: I dunno. Are you underneath Murdoch gazing toward the heavens when he's receiving these injections?

Well, that was a waste of a perfectly good slice of pizza I just projectile vomited...
posted by Skygazer at 5:07 PM on July 21, 2011


So China might buy fox News, that would be a change of pace.
posted by clavdivs at 6:18 PM on July 21, 2011


Could Murdoch really believe he isn't a evil son of a bitch? Cause that's the real question.
Is this 'the bitch' you mean?
posted by the fish at 6:20 PM on July 21, 2011


Meanwhile, the Times implores everyone to re-focus on the real issues of the day...

So i see. (via reddit)
posted by SueDenim at 7:17 PM on July 21, 2011


I believe this image will answer all your questions about how evil R Murdoch actually is.
posted by subbes at 7:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, surely this type of dirty business is confined just to NotW, right? I mean, There's no way that The Times and other bBitish NewsCorp holdings have been doing the exact same thing. And state-side? I can't imagine that the advanced English phone-hacking techniques could have made it over here, plus the New York Post is such a bastion of integrity as to be unimpeachable. And even in that wildly improbable circumstance, well, Newspapers are a dying breed. Surely Fox News is secure enough to not stoop to underhanded tactics, right?

There are dozens of other shoes left to be dropped here, and I don't understand why they haven't, yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:45 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Murdok isnt the first nor will he be the last to use a plausible deniability defence. It`s quite popular a strategy with media tycoons.
posted by elpapacito at 8:10 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Luce invented it.
posted by clavdivs at 10:04 PM on July 21, 2011


James Murdoch's Defense Crumbles
posted by jeffburdges at 12:05 AM on July 26, 2011


News Corp. Director Leading Hacking Inquiry Has Ties to Murdochs

"Dinh, a former assistant attorney general credited with writing portions of the USA Patriot Act, joined News Corp.’s board in 2004."

Perfect. He would know all about eavesdropping, then.
posted by homunculus at 1:37 PM on August 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


FAA Probing News Corp.'s Use Of Drones -- "With the newsgathering techniques of its sister publications in Britain under fire, News Corp. is facing a probe into the use of drones by its U.S.-based digital publication, The Daily."
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2011


Murdoch’s Well-Connected Point Man on the News Corp. Hacking Probe
posted by homunculus at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


NY Times, August 16th, 2011:
LONDON — A high-profile parliamentary panel investigating phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid released embarrassing new evidence Tuesday that the practice of intercepting voice mail had been widely discussed at the newspaper, contradicting assertions by its owners and editors.

In light of the new evidence, the panel also announced that it was summoning at least four former News of the World figures for questioning at a hearing next month and could possibly ask Mr. Murdoch’s son James, the head of the Murdoch conglomerate’s European operations, back for more testimony as well.
Both father and son testified at a dramatic televised hearing last month. The disclosures threatened to push the scandal back to the forefront of public concern, raising worrying questions for Mr. Murdoch and for the British prime minister, David Cameron, who hired Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor, as his director of communications and has been taunted by the opposition for poor judgment in doing so.

Tom Watson, a Labour lawmaker and member of the panel, also said Mr. Coulson may be among those summoned to give further evidence.

The newest allegations are contained in a four-year-old letter released for the first time from Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s former royal correspondent who served a jail term for hacking the mobile phones of three members of the royal household...



[Snippity snip]
posted by Skygazer at 2:38 PM on August 16, 2011


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