Tuesday, November 20, 2012

News of the World

I've been following the Rupert Murdoch / News of the World scandal in the UK with some fascination. At its heart, it is the story of mutual corruption, where the politicians and Murdoch's paper needed each other . Each time Murdoch and the paper seemed to over-reach themselves they kept not just getting away with their actions, but were actively supported by the weak and venal politicians who were supposed to be guarding the public trust. It was a comparatively minor action, the hacking of Millie Dowler's cell phone that finally brought the empire low.
This was a minor act; NOTW reporters had been hacking the cell phones of celebs and politicians for years. But to hack the phone of a missing girl who, it turns out had been murdered, and by hacking given her parents false hope, that was the act that set off the waves of public revulsion and anger. Waves that finally cost Murdoch his flagship title.
Today the Beeb is reporting that:
Ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson and ex-News International executive Rebekah Brooks are to be charged in connection with payments to police and public officials.
The Crown Prosecution Service said journalists Clive Goodman and John Kay and MoD employee Bettina Jordan Barber would also face action.
Mr Coulson has issued a statement saying he denies the allegations.
Operation Elveden is the Met Police investigation into corrupt payments.
The five are to be charged with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
Mr Goodman is the former royal correspondent of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper.
And Mr Kay is the former Sun chief reporter.
Mr Coulson and Mr Goodman are to be charged with two conspiracies relating to the request and authorisation of alleged payments to public officials in exchange for information, including a royal phone directory known as the "Green Book".
Its not over yet for Murdoch. The latest reports are that the FBI is investigating journalists at Fox for the same type of phone hacking. 

No comments: