Targeting Politicians

Things get worse and worse in the Murdoch hacking scandal every day:

Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account and legal file as well as his family’s medical records.

There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him. That investigator also targeted another Labour MP who was the subject of hostile inquiries by the News of the World, but it is not confirmed whether News International was specifically involved in trawling police computers for information on Brown.

Separately, Brown’s tax paperwork was taken from his accountant’s office apparently by hacking into the firm’s computer. This was passed to another newspaper.

Brown was targeted during a period of more than 10 years, both as chancellor of the exchequer and as prime minister. Some of the activity clearly was illegal. Other incidents breached his privacy but not the law. An investigation by the Guardian has found that:

• Scotland Yard has discovered references to Brown and his wife, Sarah, in paperwork seized from Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who specialised in phone hacking for the News of the World.

• 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.

• London lawyers Allen & Overy were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times.

• Details from his infant son’s medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child’s serious illness.

Murdoch owns the WSJ. You wonder if anything like that went on over here.

(via)






70 replies
  1. 1
    TreeBeard says:

    Any resident Aussies could tell us how the coverage there is? Especially since RM owns a lot of papers down under?

  2. 2
    Joel says:

    All three papers implicated. I hope they all go down in flames.

  3. 3
    Captain Haddock says:

    Follow this thread and it might explain why Blair was so eager to buddy up with Bush.

  4. 4
    jeffreyw says:

    This reminds me of the time when I first heard the news, on the radio, that Bush was eavesdropping illegally. I thought, big time trouble-he’s going down for this!

  5. 5
    Xenocrates says:

    The popcorn is coming…it would be sweet justice to see this “criminal enterprise” come crashing to the ground. I suspect Rupert will wriggle out of any real trouble, but I can always hope. Speaking of criminal enterprises, how’s Fox News stock doing??

  6. 6
    jwest says:

    It would be interesting to know what the level of outrage would be if this were the NY Times and the subject of phone hacking and deceptive information gathering was Sarah Palin.

    Not to abrogate responsibility by the News of the World people, but they didn’t give away national defense secrets to people trying to kill innocent civilians.

  7. 7
    Dave says:

    @ 5 – Xenocrates : Fox stock (NWS) is off almost 13% over the past five days.

  8. 8
    Han's Solo says:

    We already know they attempted to spy on 9/11 victims.

    Statistically it is highly unlikely that the attempt on 9/11 victims was a solo act. Chances are they attempted to spy, or did spy, on numerous other Americans and that the 9/11 victims were unusual in that A) the attempt failed B) people found out about it.

    PS – I wonder how Murdoch and Team Fox responded when Bill O’Reilly got busted with sexually harassing an underling on the phone. You remember the “loofah incident?” I bet Team Fox was like, “Dude, you said what? On the phone? Do you know how easy it is to hack a phone? WTF were you thinking?”

  9. 9
    Water balloon says:

    He owns the NY Post too. That’s the paper of his more likely to be engaged in this kind of stuff.

  10. 10
    Poopyman says:

    Murdoch owns the WSJ. You wonder -if anything like that-what the hell went on over here.

    FTFY

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    Well, I gotta say, if you look at the class of creepy, right-wing, power-hungry, politicized, amoral, plutocratic media titans as a group, Murdoch is less bad than, say, Berlusconi. I mean, given the choice.

  12. 12
    Poopyman says:

    @Me:

    Also too, Fox has been embedded in US culture longer than WSJ has been owned by Murdoch. It’s time to pry under their rocks.

  13. 13
    LittlePig says:

    Ahhh, the Schaden, it freudes itself.

  14. 14
    me says:

    Not only that but the guy currently running the WSJ, Les Hinton, was the editor of the NotW just before Brooks.

  15. 15
    David Hunt says:

    Murdoch owns the WSJ. You wonder if anything like that went on over here.

    I don’t wonder at all. I’m absolutely sure that stuff like that was going on over here at least up to the moment that the story majorly broke in the U.S.

  16. 16
    Wag says:

    Murdoch is less bad than, say, Berlusconi. I mean, given the choice.

    Well, that and the fact that Murdoch wasn’t born in the USA, and couldn’t become President without a Constiutional admendment. If he WERE eliglble and became President, he would be every bit as reprehensible as Berlisconi.

  17. 17
    Napoleon says:

    Not only that but the guy currently running the WSJ, Les Hinton, was the editor of the NotW just before Brooks.

    And it appears he lied to Parliament about some aspect of the scandal years ago.

  18. 18
    David in NY says:

    Hmmm,

    “Four months before a hooker scandal brought down Eliot Spitzer, controversial Republican operative Roger Stone tipped the FBI to the governor’s penchant for prostitutes. The information Stone provided was very detailed – right down to the calf-length black socks Spitzer allegedly wore while bedding his paid paramours. In a letter sent to the FBI on Nov. 19, Stone alleged that Spitzer “used the service of high-priced call girls” while in Florida.”

    NY Post, March 23, 2008

    [The official story is the FBI got into the case based on bank inquiries into unusual transactions. But an inquiry into where Stone (obviously a close friend of the Murdoch Post) got his information, and what was done about his alleged letter would truly be fascinating.]

    Oh, even at the time some eyebrows went up: http://majikthise.typepad.com/.....e-eli.html And google eliot spitzer roger stone for more sickening bile from stone, as well as info.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    The Guardian:

    Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account and legal file as well as his family’s medical records.

    I’m sure that Fox News, The Wall St. Journal, The New York Post, and the rest of Murdoch’s propaganda distribution properties would never try to do anything like that to President Obama. That would be illegal!

    .

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    Question: Since Murdoch wasn’t born in the US, if he does something illegal, would that make him an illegal alien?

    .

  21. 21
    jwest says:

    Would everyone here agree that a new law should be enacted that would impose heavy financial fines and jail time to the perpetrators and CEOs of any media company, newspaper, network, website or other outlet that does this type of phone hacking and uses deceptive investigative techniques?

    Would there be enough jail cells to hold everyone?

  22. 22
    R-Jud says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I highly doubt that this means The End for Murdoch, but speaking as a resident of Airstrip One, if it scuppers his bid to take over BSkyB and makes his papers ditch or scale back their “Scrap the BBC” campaign, it would be a net good. Rebekah Brooks going down would be pretty nice, too.

    But Rupe’s just been called to give evidence before Parliament next week. That’s a first.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    You wonder if anything like that went on over here.

    I don’t wonder at all. Just curious as to the scope of it, and disheartened that if we ever find out that it won’t matter in the slightest, as Murdoch could fuck a maternity ward full of babies live on camera, backed by a stage full of burning American flags, and the Village would praise his ability to stimulate American flag manufacturing.

  24. 24
    Han's Solo says:

    Murdoch could fuck a maternity ward full of babies live on camera, backed by a stage full of burning American flags, and the Village would praise his ability to stimulate American flag manufacturing.

    But the children’s mothers would sue! If the mothers won, then Murdoch would take it to the supreme court and it would be overturned faster than Scalia can say, “Would you like me to play with your balls while Justice Roberts works the shaft?”

  25. 25
    Chris says:

    Well, I gotta say, if you look at the class of creepy, right-wing, power-hungry, politicized, amoral, plutocratic media titans as a group, Murdoch is less bad than, say, Berlusconi. I mean, given the choice.

    Berlusconi’s not as powerful. He runs Italy and nothing else – Murdoch influences governments in Great Britain and the United States. Yeah, I’d say he’s as bad as Berlusconi on a personal level and far worse in terms of how far he can spread said badness.

  26. 26
    David in NY says:

    JGabriel — I believe Murdoch is a naturalized US citizen. And Google says he Australian citizenship when he was naturalized here.

  27. 27
    NonyNony says:

    @jwest

    Would everyone here agree that a new law should be enacted that would impose heavy financial fines and jail time to the perpetrators and CEOs of any media company, newspaper, network, website or other outlet that does this type of phone hacking and uses deceptive investigative techniques?

    I dunno. What if one of the reporters had, instead of churning up information that Gordon Brown’s kid who was born with cystic fibrosis had instead turned up evidence that Gordon Brown was taking bribes from someone to turn legislation their way?

    I can definitely get behind the idea that deceptive investigative techniques should not be allowed to be used on normal citizens (breaking into the voicemail of a missing girl? 7/7 victims? 9/11 victims? WTF is up with that?) or even celebrities. But tying the hands when investigating politicians feels wrong to me. If they’re actually investigating in the public interest and turn up good information about what our politicians are doing that we need to know about, I can’t see punishing them for that. And what about corporate malfeasance? If you find out that, say, a company based in South America is giving money to right-wing paramilitary groups to help protect their property, I don’t know that I’d want to see the journalist who found that out punished, even if he did find it out by getting access to e-mail or voicemail he wasn’t supposed to have access to.

    That said – none of Murdoch’s organizations are going to do stuff like that. But that doesn’t mean that other news agencies might not.

  28. 28
    JGabriel says:

    jwest:

    Would everyone here agree that a new law should be enacted that would impose heavy financial fines and jail time to the perpetrators and CEOs of any media company, newspaper, network, website or other outlet that does this type of phone hacking and uses deceptive investigative techniques?

    I agree for the circumstance of a consistent pattern of systemic hacking and law-breaking by a media company. Though maybe that could already be handled through a RICO suit.

    Obviously, Murdoch’s UK properties are revealing exactly the pattern of systemic law-breaking I’m talking about here.

    But I don’t know that a CEO or an entire corporation should be held accountable in the event of a single crooked reporter like Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass.

    .

  29. 29

    littlepig #13

    Ahhh, the Schaden, it freudes itself.

    You’re on a roll today, aren’t you? :-)

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Hugh Grant got this right in one. News Corp is a criminal enterprise. It needs to be dealt with accordingly.

  31. 31
    sublime33 says:

    @#19 – “I’m sure that Fox News, The Wall St. Journal, The New York Post, and the rest of Murdoch’s propaganda distribution properties would never try to do anything like that to President Obama.”

    Or candidate John Kerry in 2004.

  32. 32
    Han's Solo says:

    Question: At what point does this become industrial espionage? At what point does it become espionage in general?

    As silly as it sounds, wouldn’t it be weird to see Rupert Murdoch face charges of spying?

    I know, it won’t happen.

  33. 33
    Amir_Khalid says:

    John Cassidy at The New Yorker is speculating that Murdoch might divest from British print media. If he does, where does teacher’s pet Rebekah Brooks go? To BskyB’s news division, which Murdoch doesn’t want to sell anymore? would BskyB viewers then see their TV news tabloidified? I shudder at the thought.

    It occurred to me today that a perfect literary portrait of Murdoch-era tabloid journalism in Britain is to be found in the Harry Potter character Rita Skeeter, who gathers information for her scandal-mongering stories by illegal and unethical means, and the Daily Prophet, which prints them.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It occurred to me today that a perfect literary portrait of Murdoch-era tabloid journalism in Britain is to be found in the Harry Potter character Rita Skeeter, who gathers information for her scandal-mongering stories by illegal and unethical means, and the Daily Prophet, which prints them.

    Furthermore, when Rita is blackmailed into doing the interview of Harry (for The Quibbler) in book five, her first concern is how much she’s going to be paid.

    This is all about the money, all the time.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    any politician who has watched ‘The Wire” and not recognized the method of getting a usable cellphone, should know that he is being tapped regularly by some news company.

    Disposable, bought anonymously for cash by an intermediary,
    disposed of monthly. (STILL, no guarantee it is not tapped.
    See The Wire.)

    Security protocols are your friend.

  36. 36
    jwest says:

    It might be helpful to have congress call the heads of all the major media outlets (newspapers, networks and websites) to testify under oath as to their investigative practices.

    I can’t imagine any of them not invoking the Fifth Amendment.

  37. 37
    Stefan says:

    Would everyone here agree that a new law should be enacted that would impose heavy financial fines and jail time to the perpetrators and CEOs of any media company, newspaper, network, website or other outlet that does this type of phone hacking and uses deceptive investigative techniques?

    Why a “new law”? Hacking into people’s private phone communications and medical and financial records is already illegal.

  38. 38
    John PM says:

    Murdoch owns the WSJ. You wonder if anything like that went on over here.

    No, I don’t. I only wonder how much of it went on over here. I would not be surprised to find out that every major Democratic office holder had some personal information stolen by Murdoch media, especially during the years 2000-2008.

    On a previous thread (I think it was Kay’s), someone mentioned RICO. I think this could be potentially useful. Another law that Murdock Media might have broken could be the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030. I used this statute a few years back to go after former employees of a client that removed trade secrets from my client’s computers. Based on the definition of computer, I think that iPhones, blackberrys, etc., would qualify as computers, so any hacking by Murdoch Media would result in criminal and civil penalties. A nice little part of the statute gives the Secret Service control over investigations regarding violation of the CFAA.

  39. 39
    Pangloss says:

    There is really no difference between Rupert Murdoch and Afghan warlords or Somali pirates.

  40. 40
    Stefan says:

    I can definitely get behind the idea that deceptive investigative techniques should not be allowed to be used on normal citizens (breaking into the voicemail of a missing girl? 7/7 victims? 9/11 victims? WTF is up with that?) or even celebrities.

    Look, there’s a clear difference between “deceptive investigate techniques” (which is a phrase so broad as to be useless) and outright criminality. Calling somebody up and pretending to be someone else, that’s one thing. Calling somebody up and pretending to be someone else for the purpose of surreptiously accessing their private financial or medical records, that’s usually a crime.

    Lots of what reporters do day-to-day to get a story is “deceptive investigative techniques”, and not all of it is pretty, but most of it is not against the law. But the charges against the Murdoch crime family are that they went beyond the seamy and unwholesome to the downright evil and illegal.

  41. 41
    sukabi says:

    wonder if anything like that went on over here.

    I wonder what’s taken folks so long to figure it out…

    How do you think O’Reilly’s producers hatchetmen know where and when someone is going on vacation so they can shove a mic in their face???

    and it’s not like this is an isolated incident…

  42. 42
    PIGL says:

    “Criminal Enterprise” is too mild: “foreign intelligence operation dedicated to subversion of the realm” is more like it. If I were the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Directors General of the two security services would have received some very clear instructions on this point by now.

    This is not a matter of criminal law, it’s a matter of state security; MI5 and MI6 can do a lot more than spike the Murdoch family cell phones, and they should have been doing it for years. The lot of them should be hanging in gibbets from the Tower–I don’t know if the English did that, but no time like the present.

  43. 43
    beltane says:

    @Pangloss

    At least the Somali pirates and Afghan warlords possess a measure of physical courage that Murdoch and his lavishly paid minions can only dream of. The only thing worse than a brutal thug is a cowardly brutal thug.

  44. 44
    The Raven says:

    “Question: Since Murdoch wasn’t born in the US, if he does something illegal, would that make him an illegal alien?”

    It’s a good point. There are laws that specifically target naturalized citizens who commit crimes. If crime could be shown, I suppose those laws might come into effect.

    BTW, I think FOX is much more likely to be the center of the any US criminal operations; Murdoch hasn’t owned the WSJ for long enough.

    It seems we are all cypherpunks now.

    Croak!

  45. 45
    PK says:

    I think the problem was non enforcement of the law. None of the stuff done by news of the world was legal. They bribed the police to obtain information, and when hacking was investigated, hacked and blackmailed the investigators. Its like the mafia-they control the politicians and the police. How are more laws going to help? Its not like no one in authority knew what was going on. They just chose not to do anything about it.

  46. 46
    scav says:

    Raven:

    BTW, I think FOX is much more likely to be the center of the any US criminal operations; Murdoch hasn’t owned the WSJ for long enough.

    But there’s also the issue of which has the most visible and direct and perhaps internally influential links (WSJ at the moment) to the practices and what can be proven.

    Still, may you grow hoarse with croaking!

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, it’s about time the SAS launched a full scale assault on Murdoch’s volcano hideout, take out all his mercs in black spandex, and put an end to his entire scheme for once and for all.

  48. 48
    David in NY says:

    sukabi — nice point. It’s hard to trace a lot of the scandals that bubble up from the right wing cesspool to any actual human source. This would explain a lot.

  49. 49
    bjacques says:

    Meanwhile, back in the UK, PM “Call Me Dave” Cameron has been making noises about an inquiry (the best way to bury a scandal) into press practices (with the hope of making it harder to inconvenience the great and the good). Application of criminal law would be more inconvenient for the Murdochs, and could cause them problems with closing deals, as long as they are company officers.

  50. 50
    David in NY says:

    Also, here’s a list of reasons for denaturalizing a naturalized citizen. http://www.newcitizen.us/losing.html
    The last two are the most interesting in this context: 5. Lying To The USCIS During The Naturalization Process
    and 6. Refusal To Testify Before Congress About Your Subversive Activities. I doubt that either of these two would apply, but stranger things have happened.

  51. 51
    handsmile says:

    David in NY (#18):

    Hat tip! That is one thread that I would definitely like to see pulled. But sadly we’ve come to learn that American justice for our Galtian Overlords must only look forward and not rehash partisan battles of the past that can serve no…ad nauseum.

    On the matter of Parliament’s invitation to the News International troika (Murdoch pere and fils and Brooks) to answer its questions, the fine print states that the relevant committee (culture, sports and media) cannot compel witnesses to appear. Brooks herself has refused to appear before this very committee during a 2009 inquiry into NoW phone hacking. Also, News Corporation has issued a statement that they are awaiting a “formal” invitation before deciding what to do. And here’s the best part: the current session of Parliament closes up shop next Tuesday. It must be the cynic in me that suspects that invitation will get lost in the mail and oh, so sorry, we’ll have to take this up again in several months time.

    On News Corporation’s bid for BSkyB: because of a decision yesterday afternoon by NC not to spin off one of its news divisions (Sky Media), the whole matter has been punted off to another parliamentary group (the Competition Committee) who will undertake a fresh inquiry in the autumn. When all this unpleasantness may be a distant memory.

    It’s delightful that this metastasizing scandal continues to be of keen interest to the discriminating Balloon Juice readership. With this summer’s punishing heat and humidity and drought, one might imagine we should be catching up on our beach reading instead.

    To MattF, Wag, and Chris above: I think one would need an advanced degree in metaphysical ethics to determine the comparative evil of Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi.

  52. 52
    merrinc says:

    For many of the Bush years, I read guardian.co.uk every morning. This makes me realize that I was foolish to stop. Anyone think we’d ever see anything this clever in an American newspaper?

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    “Criminal Enterprise” is too mild: “foreign intelligence operation dedicated to subversion of the realm” is more like it. If I were the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Directors General of the two security services would have received some very clear instructions on this point by now.

    If it’s a foreign intelligence operation, the foreign power involved is NewsCorp itself. The world of multinational corporations becoming their own sovereign powers above and beyond nation-states continues to develop.

    Apparently, many people see cyberpunk sci-fi not as a warning but as a how-to manual.

  54. 54
    Nellcote says:

    Fox News doesn’t need to bother with hacking when they’re free to just lie whenever it’s convenient.

  55. 55
    kay says:

    Mr. Brown added: “I just can’t understand this — if I, with all the protection and all the defenses and all the security that a chancellor of the Exchequer or a prime minister has, am so vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics, unlawful tactics, methods that have been used in the way we have found, what about the ordinary citizen?”

    If powerful people would apply this question more broadly to conservatives and conservatism in general, we’d be much better off.

  56. 56
    scav says:

    Beach reading has nothing on this stuff. I’m going to need an intervention soon. Which will be promptly rebuffed.

  57. 57
    Redshirt says:

    Speaking of Overlords, did Karl Rove ever face any consequences for refusing to appear before Congress?

  58. 58
    Anya says:

    Brown was targeted during a period of more than 10 years, both as chancellor of the exchequer and as prime minister. Some of the activity clearly was illegal. Other incidents breached his privacy but not the law. An investigation by the Guardian has found that:

    I wonder if Tony Blair had anything to do with any of this? The relationship between Brown and Blair was very tense from the beginning, and we all know how close Blair was to Murdoch and his underlings. So I wonder if they did this at the behest of Murdoch, as a favor to Tony Blair.

    But what’s baffling is why did Gordon Brown continue to be friendly with Rebekah Wade? He went to her wedding after they invaded his privacy and published his baby’s medical records.

  59. 59
    Stefan says:

    It would be interesting to know what the level of outrage would be if this were the NY Times and the subject of phone hacking and deceptive information gathering was Sarah Palin.

    It would also be interesting to know what would happen if up is down, and black is white. It would also be interesting to know what the level of outrage would be if Nicole Brown Simpson had murdered O.J. Simpson, or if the toddler Caylee Anthony had killed her mother. But, since none of these things actually happened, I suppose we’ll never know the answer….

    Not to abrogate responsibility by the News of the World people,

    No, that’s exactly what you’re trying to do.

    but they didn’t give away national defense secrets to people trying to kill innocent civilians.

    Well, bully for them. And neither did the NYTimes. But what the News of the World did do, and what the NYTimes didn’t do, is, once again, obstruct an ongoing police investigation into the kidnapping and murder of a 13 year old girl by illegally destroying evidence in the form of voicemails.

  60. 60
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Murdoch owns the WSJ. You wonder if anything like that went on is going on over here.

    Pray heaven… w/ folks this farkin’ arrogant, what makes you think they’ve stopped?

  61. 61
    jinxtigr says:

    Why should Murdoch be Prime Minister, if he can own them?
    Why should Murdoch be President, if he can own them?

    This is a wakeup call to libertarians and the whole free market crowd. In trying to strip power from government, all you’re doing is unilaterally giving it to others who will abuse it exactly the same.

    You rave about government spying on you when they have no specific interest in spewing your personal info to the world unless you cross them, only to enable people like this spying on you- who have lots of interest in spewing your private info to the world, if it’s colorful enough! They will ruin your life just for a show, just for lulz.

    Wake the fuck up.

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    This is a wakeup call to libertarians and the whole free market crowd. In trying to strip power from government, all you’re doing is unilaterally giving it to others who will abuse it exactly the same.

    And those people will not be accountable to you by a simple bi-annual electoral mechanism.

  63. 63
    Calouste says:

    @58 Anya:

    But what’s baffling is why did Gordon Brown continue to be friendly with Rebekah Wade? He went to her wedding after they invaded his privacy and published his baby’s medical records.

    It might not be as much “friendly” as “struck a deal”. Say, the Browns would treat Wade as a human being, and the piece of lizard excrement would keep her minions away from the Browns’ kids.

  64. 64
    David in NY says:

    @ hansmile — thanks.

    There also remains considerable mystery surrounding the discovery of Anthony Weiner’s sex-texting. Who is this “Dan Wolfe” a/k/a patriotusa76, Breitbart’s alleged “source” re the Weiner text? How did Wolfe find out about this stuff, with which he had been taunting Weiner online for some months?

  65. 65
    phil says:

    This has been a long time coming, and it’s not going away.
    Rumors are that Murdoch enterprises are so heavily leveraged that it’s just a house of cards waiting to collapse. They’ve been paying too much for their resent purchases, made a huge loss on MySpace, and were hoping for the cash flow from BSkyB to keep things going.

    The vultures have been circling for awhile and can’t wait for their next meal.

  66. 66
    HyperIon says:

    R-Jud wrote (godamn you, missing reply thingy!):

    I highly doubt that this means The End for Murdoch, but speaking as a resident of Airstrip One, if it scuppers his bid to take over BSkyB and makes his papers ditch or scale back their “Scrap the BBC” campaign, it would be a net good. Rebekah Brooks going down would be pretty nice, too.

    I heard Brits on BBC last night (via CSPAN) saying they thought he might abandon all the print media if that’s what it takes to get BSkyB. Lots of throwing around of the phrase of “fit and proper person” (because the Broadcasting Acts of 1990 and 1996 language ‘shall not grant a licence to any person unless satisfied that the person is “a fit and proper person to hold it”’.

    Evidently the News International folks in NY hate the newspapers and would love to see them dumped. They want to continue expansion into TV. Ugh!

  67. 67
    HyperIon says:

    Stefan wrote (godamn you, missing reply thingy!):

    Why a “new law”? Hacking into people’s private phone communications and medical and financial records is already illegal.

    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is being mentioned by some. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

  68. 68
    No one of Importance says:

    Any resident Aussies could tell us how the coverage there is? Especially since RM owns a lot of papers down under?

    What a surprise. The Murdoch press are largely ignoring the whole thing in favour of bashing the current Labour administration. The Fairfax press are covering it in lavish detail. The ABC and SBS tv news are also covering it pretty nicely. I don’t watch the commercial TV channels so I don’t know what their news is carrying but the commercial channels’ new is always dire and stupid anyway.

    Australian media (aside from the ABC) are crap anyway, mostly. I use the British and USA news reporting to try and get an overall picture of what’s going on.

  69. 69
    RalfW says:

    Please, please, please, let me, let me, let me, get what I want‏: a total Murdoch financial collapse, with a dollop of disgrace and a threat of RICO charges. Lord knows it would be the first time.

  70. 70
    No one of Importance says:

    Rumors are that Murdoch enterprises are so heavily leveraged that it’s just a house of cards waiting to collapse.

    All we need now is Rupe to fall over the side of his private yacht and the real situation will be revealed.

    What? I never said I wanted him to drown.

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