Murdoch Phone Hacking Story Just Gets Worse And Worse

from the rupert-running-for-cover dept

Following the reports that employees for Rupert Murdoch’s UK tabloid “News of the World” hadn’t just hacked into the voicemails of politicians and celebrities, but also those of a murdered teenager (in which they supposedly deleted some message, leading to false hope that the girl was still alive), now come reports that News of the World hacked into the voicemails of the families of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On top of that, it’s also come out that the former editor of the paper, Rebekah Brooks was allegedly warned by Scotland Yard about possible illegal spying taking place via the paper’s resources. In that case, she was warned that a reporter was helping two murder suspects spy on the detective investigating them. In other words, we’re getting way past just hacking into voicemails and into interfering with police investigations.

Not surprisingly, the Murdoch family is in full-on crisis mode. Advertisers are bailing on the paper, the Murdochs’ relationships with top politicians in the UK are being scrutinized and it seems likely that this is one scandal that won’t be easily brushed under the rug.

Making matters even crazier, to help deal with the crisis, Murdoch has actually hired the (former) prosecutor who originally investigated the hacking allegations back in 2005 & 2006, and knew the extent of them, but didn’t do much about them. Apparently, UK politicians are screaming about this being a pretty serious conflict of interest, given that the guy failed to do much about the news of the hacking early on. You would think that the Murdochs would realize just how bad hiring this guy would look, but it’s beginning to become clear that they’re really not sure at all how to react to this news coming out in public after all these years.

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Comments on “Murdoch Phone Hacking Story Just Gets Worse And Worse”

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The eejit (profile) says:

It gets better – they’;ve been accused of tampering with every high-profile murder investigation in the UK, as well as the Danielle Jones case.

This is bigger than Watergate now, and tarnishes every ‘journalist’ that ever worked for News International. Even thw WSJ and the NYT have had top acknowledge that this is big. Brooks should fall on her sword, because there are a few angry parents right now who know where she lives.

And as for Murdoch calling it a smear campaign, he has absolutely no right to talk, given the level of damage his so-called news outlet Fox has done to political candidates in the past thirty years.

AJBarnes says:

Re: Re:

Another Fox hater. What’s with the liberal left that they embrace propaganda outlets like the New York Times, but just go frothing at the mouth when the other side presents (what has been documented as a impartial) view of things? Put your Fox-hate back in the box. Take a deep breath. If crimes were committed by either side, send them to jail.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

which by the way… a side point that is irrelevant to who owns what:

murdoch is dumb… but he isnt an idiot. if he can own two organizations that are going to feed opposing interests in order to capture 100% of a given market (the market demographics in this case being those who like to be counted by those trying to fall asleep) he will do so. thats just smart business.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, it’s absolutely true that fox news has been documented as impartial. “Fair and Balanced” is at the top of their website (right under their logo.) I mean, how long can you watch fox news without them repeat “fair and balanced” at you. If they say it enough, it must be true, right?

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:


Fox news is not factual. It is entirely crap and biased.

To act like the only other option is to be liberal is also full of shit.

Not everyone is as idiotic as some people in treating everything as “rightist/leftist” and failing to notice that republican/liberal are still both corporatist, which is the real issue.

Greg G (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Fox news not factual? wha?

In your opinion, they aren’t factual because you apparently believe that the likes of CNN, MSNBC and the NYT are factual. That’s a laugher.

I will agree with you on your last sentence. Republicn (conservative)/Democrat (liberal) are corporatist, the thing is, liberals don’t admit it and claim to be for “the working man” or “the little guy.”

@eejit.. umm, esplain how Fox and NYT are the same entity?

ethorad (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I was hearing that although the government can’t block the merger because of phone hacking, the regulator (Ofcom) apparently has to consider whether people are “fit and proper” to hold broadcase licences in the UK – which could block the takeover bid.

However, it seems that using Ofcom’s “fit and proper” test in this manner would be a bit of a stretch:

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think not much, maybe even nothing should happen if a newspaper acquires information through another party acting of their own violation. At worst, receiving stolen goods.

It is important to note however, that is NOT what is happening here, and charges should be filed against individual reporters, as well as launching an investigation into the other reporters and the organization as a whole.

Note1: If the reporter/newspaper hired, suggested, or otherwise directed someone to the actions, they should be charged as conspirators.

Note2: If they have their own team of hackers to ‘find’ and sell the information, they should be charged for the crime itself, and possibly as a criminal enterprise.

That Anonymous Coward says:

Well if your going to buy a prosecutor, you might as well get your moneys worth.

He is going to try and spin this as being blown out of proportion and if there were anything really seriously wrong here he would have prosecuted them when this first came to light. This is all just people upset with Murdoch getting control of another news outlet and not a “real” story.

And even if someone or several someones fall on their swords, it won’t matter. Nothing bad will befall Murdoch, he will sit behind his piles of cash safe and clean.

Anonymous Coward says:

I find it very difficult, having spoken to journalists and having worked on magazines myself, that the editor of a publication, in this case, Rebekah Brooks or even Coulson couldn’t have known about the hacking. The editors job is to know the provenance of stories printed in their publication. If you let the lower rung journalists run free without verifying or at least having a clue as to the source of a story then you’re opening your business up for litigation.

Ninja (profile) says:

I am not surprised. News outfits in general have stopped doing good journalism for a while now. Still, I wonder why they’d tamper with murder cases (ie: delete messages) when they had enough material to write their puny articles…

It’s surprising how we are getting tons of evidence against the concentration of commercial power (Wall-e style). Buy ‘n Large isn’t what should be happening. Countries that had their land distributed to smaller producers saw the great benefits it brought instead of having huge properties of single genre crops. Maybe it’s about time fusions and bloated companies get stopped?

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, as you know if you read Dragonlance books, evil always eats its own in the end. It is the natural outcome of such behavior.

This disgusts me on so many levels. I cannot even begin to express the hatred that I have for Murdoch media, but this isn’t something I’d expected even from the trash that he publishes. In. Fucking. Credible.

Hopefully this will change the face of English politics for the better.

Anonymous Coward says:


For someone who is always complaining about misapplied third-party liability, you sure are quick to place blame squarely on Rupert Murdoch for the actions of a handful of the many, many, many employees of his various companies.

The Murdoch name appears 6 times in the article/headline, and the names of the actual hackers do not appear at all.

I’m not a particular fan of Murdoch, but I don’t get why we are focusing on him in particular for the actions of one paper and its employees.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A CEO is responsible for things that happen at his company. There are also serious allegations that he was aware that this was happening and covered it up.

An ISP is not responsible for its user’s actions. Google is not responsible for what a user uploads to Youtube. Rupert Murdoch is not responsible because a reader of one of his websites writes a defamatory comment.

Comparing those completely different organizational structures is just pitiful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

If Murdoch know something and covered it up, that’s one thing.

But using “Murdoch” as a synonym all his companies/divisions/employees is not something I’ve seen Mike (or really anyone that I can recall) do for other companies.

Nobody says “Page hires X attorney” or “Bezos hires X attorney” when Google or Amazon hire a law firm for a particular matter (or when some Amazon division/subsidiary like Zappos hires a firm independently).

FM Hilton (profile) says:

I’m just enjoying the fact that the game is over for this tabloid, one of many that Murdoch owns. I’m sure that he will enjoy being prosecuted personally and sued by many, many people-at last estimate about 4,000 people’s accounts may have been hacked.
There are reports that the police in London were paid off to look the other way when the hacking took place..and so it goes on and on.
I just hope and pray that this will affect ‘Faux” News-you can never say it couldn’t be possible that NoTW is the only media outlet that’s done wrong in the Murdoch empire.
Murdoch just reached his tipping point in his quest for world domination of the news. Now he can say bye-bye to the BSky deal. That one’s a goner for sure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I just hope and pray that this will affect [Fox] News…

I suppose that the big news about all this is that there is a Rupert Murdoch organization that actually relies on news gathering…

I’ll suggest that one of his holdings here in the US really relies more on their opinion than being a provider of news.

Checking into the news gathering techniques used by other parts of the Rupert Murdoch organization is a legitimate question. But I have my doubts this will affect Fox News– their ratings and therefore profits don’t stem from aggressive news gathering.

Michael e rosick says:

Internet bullying

My name michael rosick an my home buged an email people make profile about me an no one will help me if u can help help you contact me I. Contact lawyer my cell 5182219390 I really would like it to stop belive I went to my mother last summer an my face book was hacked by my boyfriend an family my boyfriend post xxx pics an said some. Bad lies about me. Please help also my email mikerosick27

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