Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal

Anti Murdoch demonstrator

This video says about itself:

Gwyneth Paltrow is among thousands that could have been targeted by a tabloid phone hacking operation.

By Paul Bond in Britain:

Further legal action possible in News of the World phone hacking scandal

22 April 2011

The arrest of senior journalists, a limited admission of liability by News International, the pressing of civil test cases for damages, and the possibility of a further police investigation into illegal payments to officers, have deepened the crisis surrounding the News of the World (NoW) phone hacking scandal.

The case continues to reveal the close relations of the media, police and politicians. Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron rejected calls for a public inquiry into phone hacking. He did so in an interview with the News Corporation channel Sky News. Pre-empting further investigations he said, “I’m not sure anyone fully knew how widespread it was”.

The matter first came to light in 2006, when the NoW published stories concerning members of the royal family. The NoW’s royal editor Clive Goodman and a private investigator he employed, Glen Mulcaire, were jailed for four and six months respectively in 2007 for illegally accessing mobile phone messages.

The line taken by the paper was that Goodman was a rogue reporter, and Mulcaire an out of control investigator. The NoW’s then editor, Andy Coulson, resigned, denying any wider knowledge of phone hacking. He later became Cameron’s director of communications.

When Metropolitan Police officers searched Mulcaire’s home, they found 4,332 names, 2,978 mobile phone numbers, and 91 PIN codes to access voicemails. But they interviewed only one journalist, Goodman, and a senior officer later told MPs that they had only identified “8 to 12” possible victims. Andy Hayman, who led the original police inquiry, resigned shortly afterwards and started writing a column for the Times, another News International paper.

A number of public figures questioned whether their messages had been hacked, and suggestions mounted that many politicians had been targeted. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown asked the police to investigate whether his phones had been hacked in 2005-2007 when he was chancellor.

From 2009 the Guardian published further revelations of the scale of hacking. News International invited the Guardian to submit any evidence of wrongdoing to the police and the Metropolitan Police obligingly decided that “no additional evidence has come to light” and refused to open a new inquiry.

It then emerged that News International (NI, the UK subsidiary of News Corporation) had paid out more than £1 million in damages and costs to settle claims of phone-hacking against three people involved in football. These were not disclosed during the earlier trial because of gagging clauses.

Phone-hacking: David Cameron hints at future judicial inquiry: here.

Rupert Murdoch and Australian anti-Aborigine racism: here. Anti-Aborigine governmental racism: here.

For many Australians, Fairfax Media is a benign alternative to Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire. Well-meaning people buy Fairfax newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age because they believe they present a fairer picture of the news. But just how fair is Fairfax? Here.

David Swanson, War Is A Crime: “Rupert Murdoch, who got his start in business marketing rats and manure, has chosen to deny Italy access to a television network that has presented critical coverage of both Murdoch and of leading Italian media baron and prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi…. Meanwhile, back in the land where every goddam airport and hotel lobby blares Fox News at you, our free and independent press has the drawback of all agreeing with itself about almost everything. There’s no anti-Fox News. There’s very little investigative, independent, anti-authoritarian reporting of any sort. Newspapers are dying out, and with them the profession of reporter”: here.

14 Propaganda Techniques Fox News Uses to Brainwash Americans. Dr. Cynthia Boaz, Truthout: “It is ironic that in the era of 24-hour cable news networks and ‘reality’ programming, the fluff-to-news ratio and overall veracity of information has declined precipitously. Take the fact Americans now spend on average about 50 hours a week using various forms of media, while at the same time cultural literacy levels hover just above the gutter”: here.

10 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal


    Fox “News” sears the red-hot poker of racism into the heart of white Americans who emotionally need a scapegoat for the nation’s economic collapse – and the erosion of the US Empire.

    If some people wonder why racism still has such a strong appeal, remember that the poor and merchant-class whites of the Confederacy were as racist as the plantation owners. Having slaves to look down upon as sub-human creatures allowed even the poorest of white sharecroppers and indentured servants to feel a privileged psychological sense of social position in comparison to blacks.

    That is why there is no way other than racism to view the unrelenting attack on the invitation of the rapper Common to the White House. In his usual brilliant takedown of Fox, Jon Stewart nailed the absurdity of the obsessive Fox vitriol, but danced around the motive: the stoking of racism in viewers who might otherwise start thinking about how the plutocracy is picking their pockets.

    In a documentary done some time ago by Robert Greenwald, he detailed just some of the overt racism on Fox “News” over the years. But most of the insidious and dangerous fanning of the flames of race is done through coding on Fox, such as in the fusillade on Common and Obama. Coding race was inherent in the Fox nurturing of the “birther” movement, and in most of its cheerleading for the Tea Party.

    It’s no wonder that so many Republican officials, in particular, have been caught making racist remarks or sending racist emails. It was no surprise to receive a tip from a BuzzFlash reader that, recently, a Republican West Virginia candidate for governor referred to President Obama as “Sambo.”

    Republicans and the right-wing media echo chamber have never let their foot off the gas pedal of Dick Nixon’s “Southern strategy.” They know that emotional appeals to the core sense of identity of insecure whites in America’s social structure put up an incendiary road block to an appeal to facts and reason.

    There’s no way to soft sell what Fox is up to: they promulgate the vision that America is a white nation, and that “taking back America” means wresting it from the control of a black man.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout



    When Chris Wallace of Fox interviewed Jon Stewart over the weekend, he thought he was scoring a point when he bragged that Fox “news” viewers love the network. Stewart, always quick on the draw, responded that although this may be true, study after study shows that Fox viewers are the most misinformed on television.

    BuzzFlash at Truthout encounters this constantly in comments and emails that we receive in response to the BuzzFlash blog columns. Fox viewers often base their statements on Fox “manufactured facts” that are simply not true.

    One of these points is that big government is strangling small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy. But the reality is that large corporations, particularly American-based global corporations, are slowly killing many small businesses, as we have noted before.

    Think of small businesses that used to be in abundance: for example, hardware stores, pharmacies, appliance stores and shoe stores, among others.

    Now, we have all these small businesses forced into closure by national and international corporations. The inherent goal of corporations is to eliminate the competition, and large companies have done just that by shuttering many small businesses through massive buying power, branding, predatory pricing and marketing.

    In turn, these corporations accumulate large amounts of capital and profits, which are then used to yield political power in DC and state capitols, and to expand so that the middle class of ex-small business owners are forced to become low-wage workers at chain stores.

    As the Portland Business Journal reports,

    “Corporate profits may be at a record high, but businesses on Main Street are still scraping by,” said NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Washington is throwing misdirected policies at the problem, offering tax breaks for hiring and equipment investment, but acting surprised when they don’t bear any fruit.”

    So, the Fox viewers watch and listen to propaganda that the federal government is killing small businesses, when it is policies that benefit large corporations that are facilitating the decline of family-run operations.

    The Fox fan who excoriates liberals for alleged anti-small business policies no doubt gets his/her hardware supplies from Home Depot, prescriptions from CVS, and appliances and computers from Best Buy, for example.

    It makes you wonder how much cognitive dissonance one person can keep inside his/her head before it explodes from the factual contradictions.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


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