A massive scandal is brewing around News of the World, a series of British
tabloid newspapers owned by News Corp. (NWS), much to the dismay of
the company's divisive majority owner and chief executive, Rupert Murdoch.
It has been alleged that Mr. Murdoch's news
organization, which also owns Fox News in the United States, may
have hired hackers to steal voicemails and text messages from victims of
murders and terrorist plots.
I. Investigators in Murder of Schoolgirl Thrown
by News Corp.'s Actions
The scandal has been growing since a few months back
when News of the World was accused of
hacking into celebrities and politicians' voice mailboxes to try to grab juicy
scoops. But over the last month things took a more serious turn as it was
revealed that terrorist victims were also targeted.
Hacking into the voicemail accounts of relatives
of victims of the bombings on three London subway trains and a double-decker
bus on July 7, 2005 is currently the subject of an ongoing police inquiry.
But the most scandalous intrusion may have been
the group's use of a cell phone belonging to Milly Dowler, a missing Surrey schoolgirl.
Led by News of the World employee Glenn Mulcaire, the organization hacked
into her phone. They then intercepted messages from distraught family
members and deleted them, to make room for new messages, hoping the new
messages would reveal details indicating that the girl was alive. The
activity confused investigators and gave family members false hope.
Mr. Mulcaire, who previously served prison time
for hacking the phones of members of England's Royal Family said
"relentless pressure" from News of the World's supervisors was
responsibility for the acts, commenting "there was a constant demand for
He offered an apology to family members of the
girl and "to anybody who was hurt or upset", but accused the media of
"vilification" that has led to harassment of his wife and children.
II. News Corp. Stands Behind Embattled Branch
and Its Chief
Rupert Murdoch has stood behind News of the World
chief Rebekah Brooks, commenting,
"Recent allegations of phone hacking and making payments to police with
respect to the News of the World are
deplorable and unacceptable."
"I have made clear that our company must
fully and proactively cooperate with the police in all investigations and that
is exactly what News International has been doing and will continue to do under
Rebekah Brooks’ leadership. We are committed to addressing these issues fully
and have taken a number of important steps to prevent them from happening
Ms. Brooks denies having knowledge that the hacking
was occurring. She writes in a
staff memo, "[We will] pursue the facts with vigor and integrity.
I am aware of the speculation about my position. Therefore it is important you
all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure
we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues."
Tim Luckhurst, a journalism professor at the University
of Kent, told The New York Times that
News Corp. is unlikely to be able to sweep this one under the rug. He states,
"The Milly Dowler story has taken this from an issue for people who are
concerned about media ethics to one that is of broader concern to the general
public. News Corporation thought they could put a lid on this, and this has
blown the lid right off."
III. Britain's PM Attacked for Ties to News
Britain's Prime Minister and conservative party
leader David Cameron has been attacked for his support of News Corp. and News of the World.
Mr. Cameron enjoys close ties to both
organizations. He was a guest at Ms. Brooks’ marriage to her second
husband, Charlie Brooks, in 2009. And he's frequently attended social
functions with Mr. Murdoch.
Andy Coulson, a former News International (News of
the World) editor, was appointed by Mr. Cameron as director of communications.
He was forced to resign in January after the phone scandal broke, despite
denying having any knowledge of it during his time with News of the World.
BBC News, however, reports that documents
obtained indicate that Mr. Coulson authorized payments to the police in
exchange for information. The news network adds that News Corp.'s British
properties -- the Sun, The Times of London, and the News
of the World -- all threw their weight behind Mr. Cameron and the
conservative party, helping push for his election.
Coincidentally, Mr. Cameron initially resisted a
British federal probe into News Corp., even as the police investigation
struggled. Mr. Cameron tried to defend himself, stating, "We do need
to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries, into what has happened. We are no
longer talking here about politicians and celebrities, we are talking about
murder victims, potentially terrorist victims, having their phones hacked into.
It is absolutely disgusting, what has taken place, and I think everyone in this
House and indeed this country will be revolted by what they have heard and what
they have seen on their television screens."
He says that the delay in calling for an inquiry
was precautionary. He claims, "It seems to me there are two vital
issues we need to look into. The first is the original police inquiry and why
that didn’t get to the bottom of what has happened. "
"The second is about the behavior of
individual people and individual media organizations and a wider look into
media practices and ethics in this country. Clearly, we cannot start all that
sort of inquiry immediately because you must not jeopardize the police
investigation. But it may be possible to start some of that work earlier."
Mr. Cameron's newfound desire to investigate News
Corp. was not enough to placate his political rivals, though. Labour
Party parliamentarian David Milibrand comments that it was "catastrophic
error of judgment by [Mr. Cameron] bringing Andy Coulson into the heart of his
Downing Street machine."
He says that the British PM "has not shown
the leadership necessary" to handle the affair. He urges Ms. Brooks
to "consider her position" (resign).
IV. Financial Fallout for News Corp.
Even as the legal, political, and journalistic
fallout of the scandal continues to be weighed, it appears that the scandal
will also have a major impact on News Corp.'s bottom line.
Ford Motor Company (F) and other prominent
advertisers have pulled the plug on print and video spots with News Corp.'s
British properties. That backlash could hurt the bottom line of a
traditionally lucrative News Corp. property.
Further, the scandal has led Parliament to question
the authorization of a News Corp. takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, a pay TV
company in which it is already the largest shareholder. Mr. Cameron
continues to support the deal and insists that News Corp. has done nothing
quote: Integrity in the media is nonexistent nowadays.
quote: Then of course we have the quality newspapers.Guess which sell better...
quote: Unfortunately Murdoch has chosen our PMs for as long as I can remember. He's like our king, back when kings actually had power.
quote: Integrity in the media is nonexistent nowadays. Murdock is just the favorite whipping boy.
quote: Some outlets seemed to be super sensationalized
quote: Frankly I do enjoy having Paul grill Bernanke and his fellow carpet baggers every chance he gets.
quote: U mad bro?
quote: Again I have to ask, are you 12? Who seriously uses "u mad" in a debate? Grow up.
quote: Here we see Faux smearing Ron Paul.
quote: Do they really not like Ron Paul? Or am I missing something?
quote: Ron Paul will not stand still for corruption by either side.
quote: He's all for ending farming subsidies, but subsidies for Doctors? Nope. PS: He's a doctor.
quote: So please, stop it.
quote: That's a totally bogus comparison and you know it.
quote: Ah so now I see. You liked Ron Paul, so you're trying to blame Fox News for his utterly failed campaign.
quote: In 1999, The Economist[A conservative magazine] reported that Newscorp Investments had made £11.4 billion ($20.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but had not paid net corporation tax. It also reported that after an examination of the available accounts, Newscorp could normally have been expected to pay corporate tax of approximately $350 million. The article explained that in practice the corporation's complex structure, international scope and use of offshore tax havens allowed News Corporation to pay minimal taxes
quote: Only you two fools would think NPR, BBC (government controlled media) and Al Jazeera were unbiased sources.
quote: gamerk2 and yashy are battling for biggest libtard on DT.
quote: Meanwhile, consumers of NPR/PBS news programs were the most likely to be correct on those same topics.
quote: My biggest problem is that the US has gone from over 150 news outlets all digging in different directions, to only six.
quote: And out of six, five are highly to moderately liberal.
quote: Love it, if they don't demonstrate that they are firmly in the republican camp, they are automatically against the republicans.
quote: lol That "study" has been exposed more times than a stripper.
quote: I'm glad you brought that up since the only serious critic has been PolitiFact,
quote: A sample of 54 economists of merit would qualify regardless of the author of the videos personal disdain of them.
quote: I'd already seen the video and his own methodology for nitpicking is also flawed so I am not actually sure where to start on your stupidity here.
quote: That's myopic. Something a serious study would not make the mistake of doing. 54 economists are not "most" economists, not even close. It's called "cherry picking".
quote: Again, we're not going to agree on this as you've already made up your mind as to which semantic meaning you personally prefer because it props up your belief system.
quote: As for the CBO, it is a nonpartisan organization staffed by both republicans and democrats who must agree upon all of the figures that they publish.
quote: I guess you missed the part where the CBO Director himself admitted the numbers weren't accurate.
quote: Could you point out the flaws of this study?
quote: reading this study, it seems quite clear in its methodology and data.
quote: This utterly exposes the study as being the, obvious, crock that it is.
quote: Yet you and others always seem to take issue with the one that's "biased" to the Right.
quote: And out of six, five are highly to moderately liberal.
quote: Is it just a coincidence that the people on Daily Tech who constantly take issue with Fox happen to be our more Liberal posters? Nah.
quote: That's an oversimplification to avoid saying that your favorite is extremist.
quote: I told you about The Economist, but you showed no interest. Why?
quote: I can now see why this article would bother you. Here the British political right is about to pummel your precious billionaire, you know, the stark naked king you see fully clothed?
quote: Another ad-homenum attack by Yash.
quote: Therefore Fox being "biased" to the Right is a silly argument.
quote: Therefore Fox being "biased" to the extreme Right is a silly argument.
quote: That doesn't work with me, because I know the proper viewpoint on most, if not all, issues is the Conservative one.
quote: That doesn't work with me,
quote: because I know the proper viewpoint on most, if not all, issues is the Conservative one.
quote: Because you're a troll
quote: and most of the time I don't even read your posts?
quote: Yash, let's get real here, it's a courtesy that I even respond to you as much as I do.
quote: Another ad-homenum attack by Yash
quote: Murdoch is a lightning rod for Liberals because he's rich, the worst sin someone can be in their minds, and he runs a "right wing" company.
quote: The basis of the allegations
quote: This will be interesting to watch it play out.
quote: Hey, why wait? Just be like yash and gamer and declare guilt without any evidence because it's "Faux".
quote: I find it more interesting that it took the damage that these allegations has done to their credibility in the UK to get the British politicians to crawl out from under their rocks and speak their minds.
quote: Key word, allegations.
quote: "failed to get to the bottom of repeated wrongdoing that occurred without conscience or legitimate purpose,"“Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued.”
quote: The news network adds that News Corp.'s British properties -- the Sun, The Times of London, and the News of the World -- all through their weight behind Mr. Cameron and the conservative party, helping push for his election.