Dick Armey

The Two Faces of Rupert Murdoch


Enemy of Freedom & American Values

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Presented by: The Religious Freedom Coalition of the SouthEast

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If you are interested in becoming Spiritually Enlightened...Click HERE or on the Red Dragon Below.  You will be taken to a page which will reveal the gateway to Enlightenment.

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Question:  "Separation between Church and State."  Who coined the Phrase?  Give up?  Answer:   Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  In it he said:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

"I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem."

Th Jefferson

Jan 1, 1802


 


We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Rupert Murdoch has made serious errors in in judgment.  Rupert has supported a Conservative Far Right position especially when it comes to Church and State issues.  But, it is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions as well as other constitutional sections.  He has supported deregulation of banks and the SEC causing the current economic Depression.

Rupert Murdoch's office stated that his position is that Certain Religions aren't  "Real" religions.  What is a real religion, Mr. Murdoch?  What you have been practicing?  He says on the one hand that only certain Christian denominations are valid.  Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known."  This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Rupert Murdoch.

(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone.     Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself!  And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and Religious Freedom Coalition of the South East do not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate.


CONTENTS

Part I   

The Big Lie At The Heart Of Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire

Les Hinton Under New Pressure In Phone Hacking Investigation

James Murdoch Contradicted by His Ex-Legal Manager

James Murdoch Accused Of Misleading Parliament Over Phone Hacking

Justice Department Prepares Subpoenas in News Corp. Inquiry

Want to Boycott Rupert Murdoch? Good Luck with That

NOW A LIST OF ALL THEIR HOLDINGS!

News Corp. Reports Political Donations

Who is Rupert Murdoch?

Republicans are the Enemy

A Letter from Rupert Murdoch (Satire)

Murdoch’s Watergate?

News Of The World Closure Points To Murdoch Savvy

Did Wall Street Journal Honcho Cover Up Murdoch Phone-Hack Scandal?

Murdoch's American Sins: Less Sensational, But More Dangerous

Why Rupert Murdoch Love$ God: World's Biggest Sleaze Mogul Also Getting Rich from Christian Moralizers

Part II   The Phone Hacking Scandal Which Just Keeps Getting Worse!

 


THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA by R. Blackbird

Republicans are selfish, power hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its institutions, its standards of political morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is absent.

The Republicans hate the rest of us, which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.

There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.

The Republicans are the enemy.

 


THE TRUTH ABOUT REPUBLICANS BY GEORGE CARLIN

 
http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/273071/detail/
www.milkandcookies.com
Audio only and of course NSFW. But Carlin has some opinions.

 

News Corp isn't a news corporation at all. It's the lobbying arm of Rupert Murdoch's global conglomerate, in the business of wielding influence.
 
Photo Credit: AFP

Watching the phone hacking crisis crack wide open over the last few weeks has left me puzzled about its ultimate causes: what is it about News Corp that has produced these events?

I don't think we understand very much about this. We can say things like, "Ultimate responsibility goes to the man at the top," meaning Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO. And that sounds right, but it still doesn't explain how any of it happened. "The key people are criminals, liars, or willfully blind..." We could say that, but then we would have to explain how so many of them ended up at one company.

Puzzles like these have led many people to the conclusion that there's a culture inside News Corp that is in some way responsible, and I basically agree with that. Mark Lewis, lawyer for the family of Milly Dowler, said after Rebekah Brooks resigned: "This is not just about one individual but about the culture of an organization." Carl Bernstein agrees. He wrote this in Newsweek a few days ago:

As anyone in the business will tell you, the standards and culture of a journalistic institution are set from the top down, by its owner, publisher, and top editors. Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy.

Private detectives and phone hackers do not become the primary sources of a newspaper's information without the tacit knowledge and approval of the people at the top, all the more so in the case of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to those who know him best.

Bernstein tells us that one of his sources is a former executive at News Corp, who says: "Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means."

I think this is correct as far as it goes, but now I want to introduce my theory of how this culture works and why it exists in the first place.

When the news broke that the Murdochs had hired the Edelman firm to handle public relations in the UK, I thought to myself, "Edelman has a crisis response practice, but do they have a denial division?"

Because to me that is the most striking thing about the way News Corp has reacted to these events from the beginning. Denial! Not only in the sense of deflecting questions with "move along, nothing to see here..." (when, in fact, there is something) but that deeper sense of denial we invoke when we say that a woman is in denial about her unfaithful husband or a man about his coming mortality.

Denial is somehow built into the culture of News Corp, more so than any normal company. It isn't normal for the CEO to say, as Murdoch said on July 15, that his company had handled the crisis "extremely well in every way possible," making just "minor mistakes," when the next day the executive in charge (Rebekah Brooks) resigns, then a day later gets arrested, followed by Murdoch's closest aide, Les Hinton, who also resigned in hopes of reversing the tide of defeats.

Your top people don't quit for minor mistakes, but no one in News Corp seemed troubled by that July 15 statement. The Wall Street Journal reported it without raising an eyebrow. Murdoch was confronted with his "minor mistakes" quote in Tuesday's parliamentary hearing but he turned down the chance to take it back. Where does denial so massive come from?

Here's my little theory: News Corp is not a news company at all, but a global media empire that employs its newspapers – and in the US, Fox News – as a lobbying arm. The logic of holding these "press" properties is to wield influence on behalf of the rest of the (much bigger and more profitable) media business and also to satisfy Murdoch's own power urges.

However, this fact, fairly obvious to outside observers, is actually concealed from the company by its own culture. So here we find the source for the river of denial that runs through News Corp.

Fox News and the newspapers Murdoch owns are described by News Corp, and understood by most who work there as "normal" news organisations. But they aren't, really. What makes them different is not that they have a more conservative take on the world – that's the fiction in which opponents and supporters join – but rather: news is not their first business. Wielding influence is.

Scaring politicians into going along with News Corp's plans. Building up an atmosphere of fear and paranoia, which then admits Rupert into the back door of 10 Downing Street.

But none of these facts can be admitted into company psychology, because the flag that its news-related properties fly, the legend on the licence, doesn't say "lobbying arm of the Murdoch empire." No. It says "First Amendment" or "Journalism" or "Public Service" or "news and information."

In this sense the company is built on a lie, but a necessary lie to preserve certain fictions that matter to Murdoch and his heirs. And that, I believe, explains how it got itself into this phone hacking mess. All the other lies follow from that big one.

Strangely, I do not think that News Corp people like Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch are being insincere when they pledge allegiance to the values of good journalism. On the contrary, they believe that this is what their newspapers are all about. And this is the sense in which denial is constitutive of the company, a built-in feature that cannot be acknowledged by any of the major players because self-annihilation would be the result.

Jay Rosen, associate professor of journalism at New York University, is a leading figure in the reform movement known as "public journalism," which calls on the press to take a more active role in strengthening citizenship and improving democracy. His book "What Are Journalists For?" addresses this topic. As a press critic and essayist, he has written about the media and political issues for the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, the New York Times, Salon, and Tikkun -- and almost daily at his weblog Press Think.

 


Les Hinton Under New Pressure In Phone Hacking Investigation

Hinton

Les Hinton, the close Rupert Murdoch ally who was forced out of his role as the publisher of the Wall Street Journal thanks to the phone hacking scandal, is facing new calls from two US senators for an investigation into his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World.

Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia demanded a new investigation into Hinton on Wednesday, in light of recent revelations that the tabloid may have hacked as many as 4,000 people. Hinton, the former chairman of News International, told the British Parliament twice that phone hacking at the company was limited to just one reporter who was arrested for phone hacking in 2006. The senators wrote to the Journal's parent company Dow Jones, requesting an inquiry intowhether Hinton or other senior Dow Jones executives knew about phone hacking at the parent company's properties. Both are demanding assurance that "this kind of misconduct has not occurred in the US" and that "senior executives at News Corporation properties in our country were not aware of, or complicit in, any wrongdoing."

They also wanted to know if any Dow Jones executives expressed concern about Hinton's hiring in 2007, in light of his role at News International during the alleged phone hacking. Hinton served as the chairman of News International from 1995 until 2007, during which time the News of the World hacked the voice mailboxes of celebrities, politicians and murder victim Milly Dowler. The tabloid also paid the legal fees for a News of the World reporter and freelance private investigator who hacked aides to the royal family.

The new calls for an investigation into Hinton are the latest developments in the News Corp. scandal on this side of the Atlantic. The FBI is currently investigating reports that News Corp. hacked the voicemail accounts of 9/11 victims.


An excerpt from the Associated Press

James Murdoch Contradicted by His Ex-Legal Manager

LONDON (AP) — James Murdoch's former legal adviser and a former editor contested the testimony he gave to British lawmakers, saying Thursday he was told years ago about an email that suggested the rot at his Sunday tabloid was far more widespread than previously claimed.

Their statement could deal a blow to the credibility of Rupert Murdoch's son as the family struggles to limit the damage from a phone-hacking scandal that has already cost the media empire one of its British tabloids, two top executives and a billion-dollar bid for control of a satellite broadcaster.

Meanwhile Scotland Yard, which is still reeling from allegations that it turned a blind eye to the scandal, was asked to investigate another explosive claim: That journalists bribed officers to locate people by tracking their cell phone signals.

The practice is known as "pinging" because of the way cell phone signals bounce off relay towers as they try to find reception. Jenny Jones, a member of the board that oversees the Metropolitan Police Authority, called for the inquiry into the alleged payoffs by journalists at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World.

James Murdoch, in a grilling by lawmakers on Tuesday, batted away claims that he knew the full extent of the illegal espionage at the News of the World when he approved a massive payout in 2008 to soccer players' association chief Gordon Taylor, one of the phone hacking victims.

Murdoch's News International had long maintained that the eavesdropping was limited to a single rogue reporter, Clive Goodman, and the private investigator he was working with to break into voice mails of members of the royal household.

But an email uncovered during legal proceedings seemed to cast doubt on that claim. It contained a transcript of an illegally obtained conversation, drawn up by a junior reporter and marked "for Neville" — an apparent reference to the News of the World's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck.

Because it seemed to implicate others in the hacking, the email had the potential to blow a hole through News International's fiercely held contention that one reporter alone had engaged in hacking. If Murdoch knew about the email — and was aware of its implication — it would lend weight to the suggestion that he'd approved the payoff in an effort to bury the scandal.

Murdoch told lawmakers he was not aware of the email at the time, but in a statement late Thursday, former News International legal manager Tom Crone and former News of the World editor Colin Myler contradicted him.

"We would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken," they said. "In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers."

News International quickly fired back a denial, saying James Murdoch stood by his statement to lawmakers.

Almost at the same time, it announced it had fired yet another journalist in connection with the scandal — identified in the British media as a former News of the World editor who now works at its sister newspaper, The Sun.

The request for a pinging inquiry, meanwhile, stems from an allegation made by the late Sean Hoare, a former News of the World reporter who spoke to the New York Times about skullduggery at the tabloid.

Hoare — who was fired in 2005 — said officers were paid nearly $500 (300 pounds) per trace. The paper cited a second unnamed former News of the World journalist as corroborating Hoare's claim.

Hoare was found dead on Monday at his home near London; police say the death is not suspicious.

Pinging joins a host of alleged media misdeeds being put under the microscope as police, politicians, and the public weigh allegations that journalists at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World engaged in years of lawless behavior to get scoops. Murdoch's News Corp. is trying to keep the damage from spreading to its more lucrative U.S. holdings, including the Fox network, 20th Century Fox and the Wall Street Journal.

What began in 2005 as a slow-burning scandal over one reporter's efforts to spy on voice mails left on the phones of Britain's royal household has exploded into a crisis that has shaken Murdoch's media empire and led to resignations of two of Scotland Yard's most senior officers.

British politicians have felt the heat too, with the country's top two party leaders falling over each other to distance themselves from papers they once both courted assiduously.

Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications director — Murdoch newspapers veteran Andy Coulson — came under fresh scrutiny Thursday after it was reported that he did not have a top-level security clearance, which spared him from the most stringent type of vetting.

And there was further intrigue injected into the scandal after Britain's Cabinet Office released correspondence showing that a senior official believed he had had his phone broken into as recently as last year, when Coulson was already in government.

Although the issue had been covered off-and-on over the years, almost exclusively by the Guardian, allegations of illegal behavior at the News of the World have received feverish attention since a July 4 report alleged that someone at the tabloid hacked the phone of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002 while police were still searching for her.

The temperature cooled a bit on Thursday, with Parliament closed for the first day of its summer recess, but the investigation appeared to be intensifying.

London's Metropolitan Police said Wednesday it was assigning 15 more officers to help the 45 already involved in the investigation.

Since the latest phone hacking allegations emerged, London's police chief and the head of its antiterrorist operations have resigned. So have Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, which runs Murdoch's British newspaper division, and Les Hinton, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal who formerly headed News International. Murdoch has shut down the 168-year-old News of the World, leaving 200 employees looking for work, and abandoned his bid to win control of lucrative British Sky Broadcasting.

Shutting News of the World apparently will also cost Murdoch's surviving British newspapers their exclusive access to British athletes ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Team 2012, an initiative supporting British Olympians, had signed up News International as its official partner to help raise funds for athletes. But without the News of the World, Team 2012 said News International can no longer meet its contractual obligations, and it is looking for new media partners.

Robert Barr and Cassandra Vinograd contributed to this report.


James Murdoch Accused Of Misleading Parliament Over Phone Hacking

James Murdoch
The Huffington Post

James Murdoch was accused on Thursday of misleading Parliament about his knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World by the paper's former editor and top lawyer.

Colin Myler, the former editor, and Tom Crone, the former lawyer, issued a statement on Thursday contradicting one of Murdoch's key claims in his testimony before Parliament on Tuesday: that he had signed off on huge payments to footballer Gordon Taylor without knowing why he was doing so.

Murdoch said that his lawyers had simply advised him that News Corp. was likely to lose if the Taylor lawsuit—which accused the paper of hacking his phone—went to court, and that he had authorized the company to pay Taylor hundreds of thousands of pounds as a way to end the suit, even though he did not know why, exactly, News Corp. was in such a compromised position.

But Myler and Crone issued a statement saying that they had shown Murdoch an email from Glenn Mulcaire—the private investigator who was jailed for phone hacking in 2006—to the paper's then-chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck. The email purportedly shows transcripts of 35 of Taylor's phone messages—clear evidence of criminal activity. Murdoch denied having known about the email in his testimony to Parliament.

"Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken," the statement read. "In fact, we did inform him of the "for Neville" email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers."

Murdoch issued a statement saying, "I stand behind my testimony to the Select Committee."

If Myler and Crone are proved to be telling the truth, then their statement is deeply troubling for Murdoch. At best, he will have been found to have forgotten key evidence of serious, widespread criminality at a company he was in charge of. At worst, he will have deliberately misled the House of Commons.

 


Justice Department Prepares Subpoenas in News Corp. Inquiry

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary investigations into News Corp. relating to alleged foreign bribery and alleged hacking of voicemail of Sept. 11 victims, according to a government official.

 

Web of Connections

Learn more about who's who and how they're all connected in the scandal over allegations of voice-mail interceptions and corrupt payments to police.

The issuance of such subpoenas, which would broadly seek relevant information from the company, requires approval by senior Justice Department leadership, which hasn't yet happened, the person said.

The issuance of subpoenas would represent an escalation of scrutiny on the New York-based media company. While the company has sought to isolate the legal problems in the U.K., it has been bracing for increased scrutiny from both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the company's strategy.

The Justice Department has said it is looking into allegations that News Corp.'s now-defunct News of the World weekly in the U.K. paid bribes to British police. It has been unclear whether the Justice Department or the SEC have begun formal probes.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation separately has begun an inquiry into whether News Corp. employees tried to hack into voice mails of Sept. 11 victims, people familiar with the early-stage probe have said.

A person close to News Corp. said the preparation of subpoenas is "a fishing expedition with no evidence to support it."

News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.

Commenting on the FBI inquiry, another News Corp. spokeswoman said: "We have not seen any evidence to suggest there was any hacking of 9/11 victim's phones, nor has anybody corroborated what are clearly very serious allegations. The story arose when an unidentified person speculated to the Daily Mirror about whether it happened. That paper printed the anonymous speculation, which has since mushroomed in the broader media with no substantiation."

The spokeswoman also said the company hasn't seen any "indication of a connection or similarity between the events, allegations and practices being investigated in the U.K. and News Corp's U.S. properties."

News Corp. and its recently bolstered legal team expect a possible broad investigation by the Justice Department into whether the alleged bribes paid to British police violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, according to the people familiar with the company's strategy. The law is typically used to pursue charges against companies that bribe foreign officials to give them business contracts.

News Corp.'s team also is anticipating a possible FCPA-related investigation by the SEC, the people said. The SEC also could examine News Corp.'s prior disclosures, one of the people said. By law, companies must adequately alert investors to potential litigation or business pitfalls on the horizon.

A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment.

The company's U.K. newspaper unit, News International, has declined to comment on the alleged bribes, citing an ongoing police investigation. Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks said in testimony to Parliament Tuesday that she had "never knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer."

U.K. police are conducting two parallel investigations into News Corp.'s now-closed News of the World, which is at the heart of the British scandal. One is related to allegations of illegal voice-mail interception and was opened in January; the other stems from allegations of police bribery. In addition, the company is facing a raft of civil suits. The U.K. government, meanwhile, plans at least two public inquiries.

For the Justice Department and the SEC to pursue News Corp. in the U.S. for allegedly bribing British policemen, the agencies would have to rely on a broad interpretation of the FCPA, legal experts say.

Another possible infraction investigators could examine: whether any payments were improperly accounted for in the company's books and records.

In recent days, News Corp. has hired an expert in the FCPA, Mark Mendelsohn, to advise it, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Mendelsohn, a partner in the Washington office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, couldn't be reached for comment.

—Vanessa O'Connell, Thomas Catan and Russell Adams contributed to this article.

U.K. Hacking Scandal


Excerpt from the Horowitz Report on huffingtonpost.com July 10, 2011

A Letter from Rupert Murdoch (Satire)

Where I Stand on the News Corporation Scandal

Dear Friends,

As details of the scandal surrounding my company, News Corporation, have emerged in recent days – including employees hacking into mobile phones and bribing the police – my defense has been consistent: I had no idea what was going on.

Now, I’m sure many of you are wondering, how could I, Rupert Murdoch, one of the most powerful men in the world, have no idea what is going on?  The answer, my friends, is simple: I get all of my information from my own newspapers.  If you relied on News of the World, The Sun, and The New York Post for your information, I can assure you that you wouldn’t have a clue what was going on, either.

Some of you aren’t buying this argument.  You maintain that a media titan like me would get his information from sources beyond newspapers – like TV, for example.  Well, that’s true.  But in my case, the only TV I watch is the Fox News Channel.  So not only do I not know what is going on around me, I know nothing about the theory of evolution, global warming, or President Obama’s birthplace.

If you still don’t believe that I know nothing, here’s a final piece of evidence: I paid $500 million to acquire MySpace.  Case closed.

Now that we’ve established that I know nothing, let me address some of the allegations about News Corp. that have come up in recent days: first and foremost, that our reporters have regularly bribed the police to obtain information.  I am shocked and appalled by this charge.  News Corporation has a longstanding zero tolerance policy regarding information, both the getting of it and the publishing of it.  Going forward, we will be subjecting our employees to a series of random information tests.  Any employees found to be possessing even trace amounts of facts will be immediately terminated.

Finally, it has come to my attention that several of my company’s tabloids have featured pictures of women with their shirts off.  I am as shocked by this news as you are and I intend to launch a full investigation.

In closing, I want to assure you that I intend to make amends for any and all of the wrongdoing perpetrated by employees of News Corp. in recent years.  And to that end, I have plan: I implore the British government to let me own 100% of the satellite broadcasting giant B-Sky-B.  I have made some grievous mistakes with the media properties I already control, and the only way I can think of to make things right is by controlling even more.

Your friend,

Rupert


Want to Boycott Rupert Murdoch? Good Luck with That -   Murdoch’s US Media Holdings Are More Extensive Than You’d Think - And Their International Holdings Are Amazing.

From articles by on care2.com on July 18 2011 and on www.good.is on July 13, 2011

Murdoch’s US Media Holdings More Extensive Than You’d Think 

Following a weekend when former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks was arrested and questioned for 9 hours by British police, and when the chief of Scotland Yard, Sir. Paul Stephenson, resigned, US legislators are divided about whether to conduct a congressional investigation into any possible wrongdoing in Rupert Murdoch’s American news organizations. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he would like to see an investigation, while Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) countered that “We need to let law enforcement work here… We need to handle our own business for a change,” as reported in Politico.

Sen. DeMint might want to keep in mind just how extensive Murdoch’s News Corp.’s holdings are. GOOD magazine has put together a “heavily abridged” list illustrated below.

British activist Chris Coltrane registered BoycottMurdoch.com to try and attack the business savvy Murdoch where it would hurt him most: his pocketbook. It's a good idea. It's also going to be downright impossible for anyone who consumes media of any kind in today's world.

A list of News Corp's holdings are below. We publish this not to deter you from punishing News Corp, but to help you better understand what it means to boycott a major company in the modern, synergistic world. As you read, consider that this list is heavily abridged.

TV: Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Fox Kids Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Classics, Fox Sports Net, FX, the National Geographic Channel, The Golf Channel, and TV Guide Channel.

Radio: Fox Sports Radio Network.

Books: HarperCollins (which publishes JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lemony Snicket, JG Ballard, and Neil Gaiman)and Harper One (The Religious Branch) which published A Purpose Driven Life, as well as Zondervan Christian Publishing House.

Magazines: TV Guide, The Weekly Standard, Maximum Golf, Barron's Magazine.

Newspapers: The New York Post, Wall Street JournalThe Times (UK), The Sun (UK), The Australian (AU), The Herald Sun (AU), The Advertiser (AU).

Websites: Foxsports.com, Hulu (part ownership), Scout.com, The Daily.

Film Studios:  20th Century Fox (Avatar, The Simpsons, Star Wars, X-Men, Die Hard, Night at the Museum), Fox Searchlight (Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Little Miss Sunshine).

Sports (Part Ownership):  Los Angeles Lakers, Colorado Rockies, Australia and New Zealand's National Rugby League.


NOW A LIST OF ALL THEIR HOLDINGS!


Books


Newspapers


Magazines

  • U.S.A
  • Australian
    • Alpha Magazine
    • Australian Country Style
    • Australian Golf Digest
    • Australian Good Taste
    • Big League
    • BCME
    • Delicious
    • Donna Hay
    • Fast Fours
    • GQ (Australia)
    • Gardening Australia
    • InsideOut (Aust)
    • Lifestyle Pools
    • Live to Ride
    • Notebook
    • Overlander 4WD
    • Modern Boating
    • Modern Fishing
    • Parents
    • Pure Health
    • Super Food Ideas
    • Truck Australia
    • Truckin' Life
    • twowheels
    • twowheels scooter
    • Vogue (Australia)
    • Vogue Entertaining & Travel
    • Vogue Living
  • InsideOut (UK Based Magazine)

Music and radio

Russia

  • Nashe (50%)
  • Best FM (50%)

Sport


Film Studios


TV

News Corp agreed to sell eight of its television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for approximately $1.1 billion as of 22 December 2007. The stations are US Fox affiliates.[43] These stations, along with those already acquired by Oak Hill that were formerly owned by The New York Times Company, formed the nucleus of Oak Hill's Local TV LLC division.

Broadcast

  • News Corp Europe
    • bTV, a broadcast television network in Bulgaria. They sold this to CME in February 2010.
    • B1 TV (12,5%), a broadcast television network in Romania, in partnership with Ismar International NVkkkk
    • Fox Televizija, a broadcast television network in Serbia (49%). They sold this to Antenna Group in January 2010
    • Fox Turkey, a Turkish terrestrial channel (56,5%) (formerly TGRT)
    • Imedi Media Holding (100%), a Georgian radio and TV broadcaster.
      • Imedi Television
      • Radio Imedi
    • Israel 10 (9%), a terrestrial channel in Israel.
    • LNT (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
    • TV5 Riga (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
    • Cielo (100%), a free channel in Italy

Satellite Television

Cable

Cable TV channels owned (in whole or part) and operated by News Corporation include:


Internet


Other Assets

  • NDS – Conditional access technology and personal digital video recorders (PVRs) (49%)
    • Jungo
    • Timothy Coville
    • ITE, publisher of PlayStation and Mobile games, and interactive television
  • Broadsystem Ltd (UK) – Telephony provider for media companies, bought in 1991
  • Broadsystem Australia (Australia)
  • Broadsystem Ventures (UK) – provider of cheap-rate telephone calls, particularly for customers of Sky Television. Bought outright in 1999.
  • Jamba! – Mobile Entertainment/Mobile Handsets Personalisation/Games.
  • News Outdoor Group – Largest outdoor advertising company in Eastern Europe with over 70,000 ads including billboards and bus shelters, operating in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia (96 cities), Turkey & Ukraine.
    • Maximedia Israel (67%)
    • Mosgorreklama (50%) – Russia sign and marketing material manufacturer
    • Kamera Acikhava Reklamclik (?) – leading outdoor advertising company in Turkey
  • Australian Associated Press (45%) – real time news service.
  • Stats Inc (50%) – worlds leading provider of sporting information and statistical analysis (a JV with Associated Press)
  • Fox Sports Grill (50%) – Upscale sports bar and restaurant with 7 locations – Scottsdale, Arizona; Irvine, California; Seattle, Washington (U.S. state)|Washington; Plano, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California; and Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia.
  • Fox Sports Skybox (70%) – Sports fan's Bar & Grill at Staples Center and 6 airport restaurants.
  • News America Marketing (US) – (100%) – nation’s leading marketing services company, products include a portfolio of in-store, home-delivered and online media under the SmartSource brand.
  • Rotana (9%) – Largest Arab entertainment company owned by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
  • The Daily – iPad only newspaper delivered daily.
  • Making Fun – social game developer for making games for social networking sites, smartphones, tablets and other devices.

News Corp. Reports Political Donations

News Corp Political Donations
JULIE CARR SMYTH   07/15/11 04:20 PM ET   AP
 
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Under assault in a phone hacking scandal, News Corp. has met a self-imposed deadline for reporting its 2011 political contributions online.

The company's board approved a new disclosure policy for its political giving in April after two donations by Rupert Murdoch, the Australian mogul who controls the company, raised concern among shareholders.

Murdoch gave $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association. He said the RGA contribution was intended to help Republican John Kasich (KAY'-sik), a former commentator on News Corp.'s Fox News. Kasich won the governorship.

Murdoch’s Political Money Trail

The media mogul has used cold cash to sway politicians and lobby regulators. Laura Colarusso reports on his efforts to influence U.S. policy.

The Daily Beast On:
 
For most of his colorful career, Rupert Murdoch has had friends in high places. As the News of the World phone-hacking scandal has made clear, he and his lieutenants hobnob with such high-level British politicians as Prime Minister David Cameron. But Murdoch’s influence reaches far beyond the shores of the United Kingdom—and that influence has come with a steep price tag.

Over the past decade, Murdoch and his company News Corp. have spent close to $50 million sowing the seeds of goodwill here in America through well-heeled lobbyists, seven-figure political donations, and large charitable contributions to key nonprofit groups. Murdoch’s money trail can be traced deep into the halls of Congress and the powerful federal agencies overseeing the industry that has made him wealthy.

News Corp. is “well into the upper echelon of entities” trying to influence the federal government, says Dave Levinthal, editor of OpenSecrets.org, a website that catalogues special interests' spending. Its biggest weapon? Lobbying, by far. The company has dispensed more than $42 million since 2001 trying to curry favor with lawmakers and regulators.

That amount has steadily climbed since News Corp. and its affiliates paid out a relatively paltry $1.8 million in 2001. It was also the year when Murdoch began his quest to acquire a majority stake in DirecTV, a satellite network that would help expand his distribution.

The deal stalled, thanks in part to Sen. John McCain, who warned that it could lead to a troubling consolidation of power in one company’s hands. But by 2003, News Corp. had bumped up its lobbying budget to about $2.8 million—and the Federal Communications Commission had cleared the way for the purchase.

The next big bounce came in 2006, the year the FCC began reevaluating its ban on one company owning both print and television outlets in a single market. That year, News Corp. spent $4.2 million on lobbying, as relaxing those guidelines would make it easier for Murdoch to snatch up multiple media properties. (In the 1990s, Murdoch had to battle the bureaucracy to obtain a waiver from the FCC to own both the New York-based Fox station and the New York Post, which he had earlier been forced to sell.)

The vast majority of Murdoch’s money goes to Republican candidates and causes. In 2010, News Corp. donated an eye-popping $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association and $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce.
Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, is surrounded by media as he arrives at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 7, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho., Scott Olson / Getty Images

More recently, the company has spent around $5.3 million a year to push its agenda. In 2010, News Corp. used some of its budget to urge congressional Republicans to keep the federal government from intervening in its negotiations with the Cablevision franchise in New York over its attempt to double the fees charged to broadcast News Corp. programming, which led to a temporary blackout. A spokeswoman for Murdoch and News Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

Beyond lobbying, Murdoch and his company have made millions of dollars in political contributions. (Murdoch himself has given more than $130,000 in the last decade. News Corp. has given about $1.7 million.) Though he makes no secret of his right-leaning views and has generally backed political conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, Murdoch’s donations over the years have often been less ideological than opportunistic.

Murdoch has personally given money to Sens. John Kerry and Chuck Schumer, two of the most liberal Democrats in the Senate. He even held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s Senate reelection campaign, which reportedly netted $60,000, while personally giving $2,100 to the cause.

The vast majority of Murdoch’s money, however, goes to Republican candidates and causes. In 2010, as the GOP was trying to retake the House, Senate, and several state houses, News Corp. donated an eye-popping $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association and $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce. The move angered some shareholders, who demanded more transparency from the company. As the News of the World imbroglio grows, more attention is being paid to that second seven-figure gift because the chamber has been advocating for reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—the very law the Justice Department could use to pursue News Corp. executives for the phone-hacking scandal.

Few on Capitol Hill wanted to talk about Murdoch’s sway, but Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics says it’s “clearly outsized” when compared to others. “Money is a big factor,” says Sloan, CREW’s executive director. “But it’s amplified when you combine it with their megaphone. Positive exposure on Fox News is worth a lot.”

Murdoch has also sought to curry favor through charitable gifts, though he isn’t known for being particularly philanthropic. (A 2008 Portfolio magazine piece ranked him dead last on a list of 50 billionaires in terms of giving.) Nonetheless, he is listed as a “notable member” of the Clinton Global Initiative, reportedly contributing $500,000 to combat climate change. Other recipients of Murdoch’s largesse include Cornell University’s medical school, which pocketed $3.3 million, and the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the environment that received $250,000 from the billionaire.

“This is not a one-trick organization,” says Levinthal. “They wage their political battles using a variety of weapons.”

With reporter R.M Schneiderman.

 


Rupert Murdoch
Photo via World Economic Forum, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0
 

Rupertgate Continues To Grow As Calls For U.S. Investigations Begin

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 04:00 PM PDT

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, in the middle section of the above video, did an expose on the Rupertgate phone-hacking scandal that's engulfing Murdoch and is beginning to bleed into his American operations. A report is circulating that 9/11 families were targeted as well.

WIll Bunch:

Over the last few days, many people -- myself included -- have asked variations of this question: Will the Rupert Murdoch/News of the World phone hacking scandal, which some are calling Britian's Watergate, reach us here in America, where the modern-day Citizen Kane's holdings including the Fox TV and movie empire as well as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

The answer may be yes: A report in a rival British tabloid the Daily Mirror makes an allegation that, if proven true, many Americans will find just as revolting as the phone hacking of 13-year-old morder victim Milly Dowler, maybe even more so.

Did Murdoch's London-based News of the World contact a New York City private investigator about phone hacking American victims of the 9/11 attacks? The pair chatted behind closed doors as a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead. Now working as a private ­investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity. A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives. “His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look."

Indeed. That said, this article raises more questions than it answers, and I would note a couple of major caveats. One, the story is pretty thinly sourced, as we say in the business. Two, the Mirror is a non-Murdoch-owned British tabloid driven by the same kind of competitive pressures that led to this whole scandal in the first place.

But I think the significance is this: Given the scandal in the UK, the American activities of Murdoch-controlled journalists -- at both his British publications and his U.S. enterprises -- deserve closer scrutiny, including from law enforcement. Maybe Murdoch's journalists' alleged illegal activities stopped at the far shores of the Atlantic, but we should find out for sure.

I've asked the question a few times as C&L has covered this story. Have Fox News and/or other Murdoch entities applied the same phone-hacking skills to the U.S.? Rupert Murdoch may be heading off to answer questions before Parliament.

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has been asked to appear before British Parliament to answer question about his company's phone hacking scandal, as well as his son James and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

The culture, media and sport select committee, which has published critical reports on the affair, has written to the trio of executives inviting them to appear, the Guardian reported.

News International said in a statement: "We have been made aware of the request from the CMS select committee to interview senior executives and will cooperate. We await the formal invitation."

CREW is demanding an investigation into Murdoch's stateside activities. Ellen at Newshounds has six good reasons to demand an investigation into the company's activities here. And you can go to Media Matters for a petition demanding such action.

Eric Boehlert writes: Scandal Woes Mount for Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Publisher

The revelation yesterday that Britain’s former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, alleged that his personal information was obtained illegally by Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times only intensifies the pressure on Les Hinton, Murdoch’s longtime confidant and publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Hinton was already facing scrutiny for the phone hacking scandal because he oversaw Murdoch’s News of The World when the tabloid appears to have engaged in rampant phone hacking. Worse, Hinton oversaw an internal investigation into the matter that James Murdoch now acknowledges "wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter."

Now with the Brown allegations come additional woes:

Brown accused the paper of getting his bank details, saying he was "genuinely shocked" by its methods.

The allegations widen the scandal that brought down Britain's best-selling newspaper, the News of the World, to other newspapers also owned by Murdoch's News International media group.

Brown expressed dismay at the allegations Monday night and has given investigators "all relevant evidence" he has about the matter, according to a statement from his office.

"The family has been shocked by the level of criminality and the unethical means by which personal details have been obtained," the statement said. "The matter is in police hands."

Brown alleges the Sunday Times’ sting took place over a ten-year period. And who oversaw the Sunday Times during key portions of that span?

Since the scandal took off, their stock price has been failing so Murdoch bought back a ton of shares: Rupert Murdoch's $5bn News Corp buyback halts share slide

The Guardian publishes a very good op-ed on the media and its corrupt, elitist purposes: This media is corrupt – we need a Hippocratic oath for journalists

Our job is to hold power to account. Instead, most of the profession simply ventriloquises the concerns of the elite.

Is Murdoch now finished in the UK? As the pursuit of Gordon Brown by the Sunday Times and the Sun blows the hacking scandal into new corners of the old man's empire, this story begins to feel like the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. The naked attempt to destroy Brown by any means, including hacking the medical files of his sick baby son, means that there is no obvious limit to the story's ramifications.

The papers cannot announce that their purpose is to ventriloquise the concerns of multimillionaires; they must present themselves as the voice of the people. The Sun, the Mail and the Express claim to represent the interests of the working man and woman. These interests turn out to be identical to those of the men who own the papers.

So the rightwing papers run endless exposures of benefit cheats, yet say scarcely a word about the corporate tax cheats. They savage the trade unions and excoriate the BBC. They lambast the regulations that restrain corporate power. They school us in the extrinsic values – the worship of power, money, image and fame – which advertisers love but which make this a shallower, more selfish country. Most of them deceive their readers about the causes of climate change. These are not the obsessions of working people. They are the obsessions thrust upon them by the multimillionaires who own these papers.

The corporate media is a gigantic astroturfing operation: a fake grassroots crusade serving elite interests. In this respect the media companies resemble the Tea Party movement, which claims to be a spontaneous rising of blue-collar Americans against the elite but was founded with the help of the billionaire Koch brothers and promoted by Murdoch's Fox News.Journalism's primary purpose is to hold power to account. This purpose has been perfectly inverted. Columnists and bloggers are employed as the enforcers of corporate power, denouncing people who criticise its interests, stamping on new ideas, bullying the powerless. The press barons allowed governments occasionally to promote the interests of the poor, but never to hamper the interests of the rich. They also sought to discipline the rest of the media. The BBC, over the last 30 years, became a shadow of the gutsy broadcaster it was, and now treats big business with cringing deference.


Stain From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard

LONDON — For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else.
Reuters Tv/Reuters - John Yates of the Metropolitan Police testified last week.

Multimedia
Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and victims of crime whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper.

Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page, according to former and current senior police officials.

During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. They steadfastly maintained that their original inquiry, which led to the conviction of one reporter and one private investigator, had put an end to what they called an isolated incident.

After the past week, that assertion has been reduced to tatters, torn apart by a spectacular avalanche of contradictory evidence, admissions by News International executives that hacking was more widespread, and a reversal by police officials who now admit to mishandling the case.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates of the Metropolitan Police Service publicly acknowledged that he had not actually gone through the evidence. “I’m not going to go down and look at bin bags,” Mr. Yates said, using the British term for trash bags.

At best, former Scotland Yard senior officers acknowledged in interviews, the police have been lazy, incompetent and too cozy with the people they should have regarded as suspects. At worst, they said, some officers might be guilty of crimes themselves.

“It’s embarrassing and it’s tragic,” said a retired Scotland Yard veteran. “This has badly damaged the reputation of a really good investigative organization. And there is a major crisis now in the leadership of the Yard.”

The testimony and new evidence that emerged last week, as well as interviews with current and former officials, indicate that the police agency and News International, the British subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the publisher of The News of the World, became so intertwined that they wound up sharing the goal of containing the investigation.

Members of Parliament said in interviews that they were troubled by a “revolving door” between the police and News International, which included a former top editor at The News of the World at the time of the hacking who went on to work as a media strategist for Scotland Yard.

On Friday, The New York Times learned that the former editor, Neil Wallis, was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case.

Executives and others at the company also enjoyed close social ties to Scotland Yard’s top officials. Since the hacking scandal began in 2006, Mr. Yates and others regularly dined with editors from News International papers, records show. Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, met for lunch or dinner 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation, including eight occasions with Mr. Wallis while he was still working at The News of the World.

Senior police officials declined several requests to be interviewed for this article.

The police have continually asserted that the original investigation was limited because the counterterrorism unit, which was in charge of the case, was preoccupied with more pressing demands. At the parliamentary committee hearing last week, the three officials said they were working on 70 terrorist investigations.

Yet the Metropolitan Police unit that deals with special crimes, which had more resources and time available, could have taken over the case, said four former senior investigators. One called the argument that the department did not have enough resources “utter nonsense.”

Another senior investigator said officials saw the inquiry as being in “safe hands” at the counterterrorism unit.

Interviews with current and former officials show that instead of examining all the evidence, investigators primarily limited their inquiry to 36 names that the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, mentioned in one list.

As a result, Scotland Yard notified only a small number of the people whose phones were hacked by The News of the World. Other people who suspected foul play had to approach the police to see if their names were in Mr. Mulcaire’s files.

“It’s one thing to decide not to investigate,” said Jeremy Reed, one of the lawyers who represents numerous phone-hacking victims. “But it’s quite another thing not to tell the victims. That’s just mind-blowing.”

Among the possible victims was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who asked the police last year to look into suspicions that his phones were hacked. In response, Scotland Yard sent him a form letter saying it was unclear whether the tabloid had eavesdropped on his conversations, people with knowledge of the request said.

The police assigned a new team to the hacking allegations last September after The New York Times published a magazine article that showed that the practice was far more widespread and raised questions about Scotland Yard’s handling of the case.

Shortly after, the police finally reopened those “bin bags.” Now, the police are enduring the painstaking and humiliating exercise of notifying nearly 4,000 angry people listed in the documents that they may have been targets of what now appears to be industrial-strength hacking by The News of the World. The chore is likely to take years.

A Series of Inquiries

Scotland Yard’s new criminal inquiry, dubbed Operation Weeting, has led to the arrests of a total of nine reporters and editors, with more expected. And the police have opened another inquiry into allegations that some officers were paid for confidential information by reporters at News of the World and elsewhere.

The Metropolitan Police itself is now the subject of a judicial inquiry into what went wrong with their initial case, as well as into the ties between the department’s top officers and executives and reporters for News International.

At a parliamentary committee hearing last week, three current and former officials who ran the case were openly mocked. One member of Parliament dubbed an investigator “more Clouseau than Colombo.”

At the hearing, the senior investigator in charge of the day-to- day inquiry, Peter Clarke, blamed The News of the World’s “complete lack of cooperation” for the shortcomings in the department’s initial investigation.

While editors were not sharing any information, they were frequently breaking bread with police officers. Andy Hayman, who as head of the counterterrorism unit was running the investigation, also attended four dinners, lunches and receptions with News of the World editors, including a dinner on April 25, 2006, while his officers were gathering evidence in the case, records show. He told Parliament he never discussed the investigation with editors.

Mr. Hayman left the Metropolitan Police in December 2007 and was soon hired to write a column for The Sunday Times, a News International paper. He defended the inquiry that he led, writing in his column in July 2009 that his detectives had “left no stone unturned.”

Three months later, Mr. Wallis, the former deputy editor of The News of the World, was hired by Scotland Yard to provide strategic media advice on phone-hacking matters to the police commissioner, among others. Scotland Yard confirmed last week that the commissioner, Sir Paul, had personally approved nearly $40,000 in payments to Mr. Wallis for his work.

But when Mr. Wallis was interviewed last April by a New York Times reporter working on a story about the hacking, he did not disclose his new media role at Scotland Yard. In the interview, Mr. Wallis defended both the newspaper and the vigor of Scotland Yard’s initial investigation.

A person familiar with the hacking investigation said on Friday that Mr. Wallis had also informed Rebekah Brooks about The New York Times’s reporting. Ms. Brooks, who resigned on Friday as chief executive officer of News International, has maintained that she was unaware of the hacking.

A News International spokeswoman said the company was reviewing whether it had paid Mr. Wallis at the same time.

It is unclear whether Scotland Yard knew about Mr. Wallis’s activities. While The New York Times was working on its article last year, Scotland Yard was refusing to answer most of the detailed questions that The Times submitted to it in a freedom of information request.

Scotland Yard did not reveal that Mr. Wallis had worked for them for a year until Thursday night, about 10 hours after he was arrested at his west London home in connection with phone hacking.

“This is stunning,” a senior Scotland Yard official who retired within the past few years said when informed about Mr. Wallis’ secret dual role. “It appears to be collusion. It has left a terrible odor around the Yard.”

Mr. Wallis did not return calls seeking comment.

He had worked as second in command at the tabloid under Andy Coulson, who left the paper in 2007 after the private investigator and the reporter were found guilty of hacking into the phones of members of the royal family and their staff.

Shortly after, Mr. Coulson was hired by the Conservative Party to lead its communications team. Last year, David Cameron brought Mr. Coulson to 10 Downing Street when he became prime minister. But Mr. Coulson could never escape the glare of the hacking controversy. Once Scotland Yard decided to reopen the case, he resigned from the post and was arrested on July 8.

It was not until last autumn that the police were forced to confront their own mistakes. By then, they were facing an escalating stream of requests by people who suspected that their phones might have been hacked. Two dozen people had also brought civil cases against News International, which was compelling the police to release information from Mr. Mulcaire’s files.

The documents were seized on Aug. 8, 2006, from Mr. Mulcaire’s home in Cheam, south of London. Mr. Mulcaire, a 40-year-old former soccer player whose nickname was “The Trigger,” was nothing if not a meticulous note-keeper. On each page of the 11,000 documents, in the upper-left-hand corner, he wrote the name of the reporter or editor whom he was helping to hack phones.

Also seized from his home was “a target list” of the names of a total of eight members of the royal family and the household staff, and 28 others, which Scotland Yard’s investigators used as their first road map of Mr. Mulcaire’s activities.

‘A Mutual Trust’

From the beginning, Scotland Yard investigators treated The News of the World with deference, searching a single desk in its newsroom and counting on the staff’s future cooperation. “A mutual trust” is how one police investigator described the relationship.

Leaders of the Metropolitan police decided not to pursue a wide-ranging “cleanup of the British media,” as one senior investigator put it. Mr. Hayman, the investigator in charge, said in testimony before Parliament last Tuesday that the inquiry was viewed as “not a big deal” at the time.

The police charged only Mr. Mulcaire and the royal affairs reporter, Clive Goodman. When the case was done, the evidence went into plastic bags in a storage locker, several officials said. It was occasionally reviewed but a complete accounting would not be done until late 2010.

And yet as recently as last year, Mr. Yates told two parliamentary committees that a full accounting of all the evidence had been done.

“It is important to recognize that our inquires showed that in the vast majority of cases there was insufficient evidence to show that taping had actually been achieved,” Mr. Yates said on July 9, 2009.

 


Murdoch’s Watergate?

His anything-goes approach has spread through journalism like a contagion. Now it threatens to undermine the influence he so covets.

murdoch-news-world-co07
The hacking scandal currently shaking Rupert Murdoch’s empire will surprise only those who have willfully blinded themselves to that empire’s pernicious influence on journalism in the English-speaking world. Too many of us have winked in amusement at the salaciousness without considering the larger corruption of journalism and politics promulgated by Murdoch Culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

The facts of the case are astonishing in their scope. Thousands of private phone messages hacked, presumably by people affiliated with the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper, with the violated parties ranging from Prince William and actor Hugh Grant to murder victims and families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The arrest of Andy Coulson, former press chief to Prime Minister David Cameron, for his role in the scandal during his tenure as the paper’s editor. The arrest (for the second time) of Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royals editor. The shocking July 7 announcement that the paper would cease publication three days later, putting hundreds of employees out of work. Murdoch’s bid to acquire full control of cable-news company BSkyB placed in jeopardy. Allegations of bribery, wiretapping, and other forms of lawbreaking—not to mention the charge that emails were deleted by the millions in order to thwart Scotland Yard’s investigation.

All of this surrounding a man and a media empire with no serious rivals for political influence in Britain—especially, but not exclusively, among the conservative Tories who currently run the country. Almost every prime minister since the Harold Wilson era of the 1960s and ’70s has paid obeisance to Murdoch and his unmatched power. When Murdoch threw his annual London summer party for the United Kingdom’s political, journalistic, and social elite at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens on June 16, Prime Minister Cameron and his wife, Sam, were there, as were Labour leader Ed Miliband and assorted other cabinet ministers.

Murdoch associates, present and former—and his biographers—have said that one of his greatest long-term ambitions has been to replicate that political and cultural power in the United States. For a long time his vehicle was the New York Post—not profitable, but useful for increasing his eminence and working a wholesale change not only in American journalism but in the broader culture as well. Page Six, emblematic in its carelessness about accuracy or truth or context—but oh-so-readable—became the model for the gossipization of an American press previously resistant to even considering publishing its like. (Murdoch accomplished a similar debasement of the airwaves in the 1990s with the—tame by today’s far-lower standards—tabloid television show Hard Copy.)

Then came the unfair and imbalanced politicized “news” of the Fox News Channel—showing (again) Murdoch’s genius at building an empire on the basis of an ever-descending lowest journalistic denominator. It, too, rests on a foundation that has little or nothing to do with the best traditions and values of real reporting and responsible journalism: the best obtainable version of the truth. In place of this journalistic ideal, the enduring Murdoch ethic substitutes gossip, sensationalism, and manufactured controversy.

And finally, in 2007 The Wall Street Journal’s squabbling family owners succumbed to his acumen, willpower, and money, fulfilling Murdoch’s dream of owning an American newspaper to match the influence and prestige of his U.K. holding, The Times of London—one that really mattered, at the topmost tier of journalism.

Between the Post, Fox News, and the Journal, it’s hard to think of any other individual who has had a greater impact on American political and media culture in the past half century.

But now the empire is shaking, and there’s no telling when it will stop. My conversations with British journalists and politicians—all of them insistent on speaking anonymously to protect themselves from retribution by the still-enormously powerful mogul—make evident that the shuttering of News of the World, and the official inquiries announced by the British government, are the beginning, not the end, of the seismic event.

News International, the British arm of Murdoch’s media empire, “has always worked on the principle of omertà: ‘Do not say anything to anybody outside the family, and we will look after you,’ ” notes a former Murdoch editor who knows the system well. “Now they are hanging people out to dry. The moment you do that, the omertà is gone, and people are going to talk. It looks like a circular firing squad.”

News of the World was always Murdoch’s “baby,” one of the largest newspapers in the English-speaking world, with 2.6 million readers. As anyone in the business will tell you, the standards and culture of a journalistic institution are set from the top down, by its owner, publisher, and top editors. Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy. Private detectives and phone hackers do not become the primary sources of a newspaper’s information without the tacit knowledge and approval of the people at the top, all the more so in the case of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to those who know him best.

As one of his former top executives—once a close aide—told me, “This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch’s orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means.”

“In the end, what you sow is what you reap,” said this same executive. “Now Murdoch is a victim of the culture that he created. It is a logical conclusion, and it is his people at the top who encouraged lawbreaking and hacking phones and condoned it.”

Could Murdoch eventually be criminally charged? He has always surrounded himself with trusted subordinates and family members, so perhaps it is unlikely. Though Murdoch has strenuously denied any knowledge at all of the hacking and bribery, it’s hard to believe that his top deputies at the paper didn’t think they had a green light from him to use such untraditional reportorial methods. Investigators are already assembling voluminous records that demonstrate the systemic lawbreaking at News of the World, and Scotland Yard seems to believe what was happening in the newsroom was endemic at the highest levels at the paper and evident within the corporate structure. Checks have been found showing tens of thousands of dollars of payments at a time.

For this reporter, it is impossible not to consider these facts through the prism of Watergate. When Bob Woodward and I came up against difficult ethical questions, such as whether to approach grand jurors for information (which we did, and perhaps shouldn’t have), we sought executive editor Ben Bradlee’s counsel, and he in turn called in the company lawyers, who gave the go-ahead and outlined the legal issues in full. Publisher Katharine Graham was informed. Likewise, Bradlee was aware when I obtained private telephone and credit-card records of one of the Watergate figures.

All institutions have lapses, even great ones, especially by individual rogue employees—famously in recent years at The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the three original TV networks. But can anyone who knows and understands the journalistic process imagine the kind of tactics regularly employed by the Murdoch press, especially at News of the World, being condoned at the Post or the Times?

And then there’s the other inevitable Watergate comparison. The circumstances of the alleged lawbreaking within News Corp. suggest more than a passing resemblance to Richard Nixon presiding over a criminal conspiracy in which he insulated himself from specific knowledge of numerous individual criminal acts while being himself responsible for and authorizing general policies that routinely resulted in lawbreaking and unconstitutional conduct. Not to mention his role in the cover-up. It will remain for British authorities and, presumably, disgusted and/or legally squeezed News Corp. executives and editors to reveal exactly where the rot came from at News of the World, and whether Rupert Murdoch enabled, approved, or opposed the obvious corruption that infected his underlings.

None of this is to deny Murdoch’s competitive genius, his superior understanding of the modern media marketplace, or his dead-on reading of popular culture. He has made occasionally dull newspapers fun to read and TV news broadcasts fun to watch, and few of us would deny there are days when we love it. He’s been at his best when he’s come in from the outside: starting Sky News, which shook up a complacent British broadcasting establishment; contradicting conventional American media wisdom that a fourth TV network (Fox) could never get off the ground; reducing the power of Britain’s printing trade unions that were exercising a stranglehold on the U.K. press.

But Murdoch and his global media empire have a lot to answer for. He has not merely encouraged the metastasis of cutthroat tabloid journalism on both sides of the Atlantic. But perhaps just as troubling, authorities in Britain may respond to popular outrage at the scandal by imposing the kind of regulations that cannot help but undermine a truly free press.

The events of recent days are a watershed for Britain, for the United States, and for Rupert Murdoch. Tabloid journalism—and our tabloid culture—may never be the same.

Bernstein’s most recent book is A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

 

Excerpt from an article by Ryan Nakashima at huffingtonpost.com on July 7, 2011

News Of The World Closure Points To Murdoch Savvy

LOS ANGELES — Rupert Murdoch's decision to close the 168-year-old weekly British tabloid at the center of a phone-hacking scandal is an example of what the controlling shareholder of News Corp. does best – seize the news agenda, and when necessary, cut his losses.

He's also got his eye on a much bigger prize.

Analysts say the surprisingly bold move to shutter News of the World, a financial pipsqueak, is the best possible way to stem the flow of damaging headlines at rival newspapers and clear regulatory hurdles that stand in the way of New Corp.s' pending multi-billion-dollar acquisition of British Sky Broadcasting, a cash cow that will boost earnings of the media giant.

News of the World, accused of hacking into the phones of regular citizens, is "a drop in the bucket" compared to News Corp.'s overall $46 billion market capitalization, said Collins Stewart analyst Thomas Eagan.

He pegged the tabloid's value at an optimistic $650 million, or 25 cents per share. That's far less than the 70 cents that News Corp. shares have fallen since Wednesday when it was revealed the tabloid hacked into the voicemail of a murdered girl, potentially harming a police investigation, and jeopardizing the company's proposed takeover of BSkyB.

"I think it assuages some of the concern over ongoing problems at `News of the World,'" Eagan said. "It's unclear what it means for the actual (BSkyB) deal approval. But I would think that it would tend to assuage some of the concern."

Shutting a newspaper amid an industry-wide decline in print advertising revenue and increasing its stake in a profitable and expanding pay TV company will actually improve News Corp.'s profitability.

Most have a "buy" rating on the shares, thanks in part to an improving TV ad market, the recent decision to sell off money-losing social network Myspace, and its thriving cable channels such as Fox News.

Its TV and movie businesses accounted for practically all of the company's $1.06 billion in operating profits in the third quarter through March. The publishing division containing newspapers contributed $36 million, or less than 3 percent of the total, while Myspace and related Internet businesses lost $165 million.

News Corp. shares closed down just 4 cents at $17.43 on Thursday after being up most of the day following the announcement of the paper's closure.

"At some point when the smoke clears, we're optimistic that investors will ultimately return to analyzing News Corp. on the merits of its high quality media business, which first and foremost include its TV businesses," said Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente.

The British government on June 30 already gave its qualified approval, allowing News Corp. to purchase the 61 percent of BSkyB that it doesn't already own, on the condition it spins off Sky News as a separate company.

News Corp. made an initial offer of 700 pence per share to buy the 61 percent of the shares it doesn't already hold, valuing BSkyB at 12.3 billion pounds ($19.8 billion).

Analysts believe News Corp. may have to go as high as 900 pence per share to persuade shareholders to sell out.

At the time of the qualified approval, the tabloid's headline-grabbing hacks appeared to be limited to celebrities and politicians, to whom it was prepared to pay compensation.

But public sentiment was inflamed anew after it was revealed this week that the paper's targets included missing children, the relatives of soldiers slain in Afghanistan and the families of victims of London's 2005 terror attacks.

The outrage prompted the U.K. media regulatory body, The Office of Communications, to release an unusual statement on Thursday, confirming that "it has a duty to be satisfied on an ongoing basis that the holder of a broadcasting license is `fit and proper.'"

An investigation into whether News Corp. would pass this subjective standard of propriety was seen as potentially derailing Murdoch's BSkyB bid.

"You don't even want that question being posed if you're a media business do you?" said Louise Cooper, a markets analyst at London-based BGC Partners. "This is, to me, Murdoch taking back control."

Analysts see the BSkyB deal approval being delayed until at least September, as Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt is not expected to give his final go-ahead before the U.K. Parliament goes into recess on July 18.

Despite the public outcry, many analysts think Britain will still sanction the takeover, since officials have already said that threats to competition will be resolved with Sky News' spin-off.


Excerpt from an article at alternet.org by Adele M. Stan on July 6, 2011

Did Wall Street Journal Honcho Cover Up Murdoch Phone-Hack Scandal?

One of Murdoch's UK papers is in trouble over hacking private cell phones, including one belonging to a murder victim--and some familiar US faces may be part of the coverup.

Photo Credit: AFP

A scandal involving phone-hacking by a right-wing newspaper tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is threatening the administration of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Now the scandal is boomeranging back to New York, engulfing the top executive at the largest-circulation newspaper in the United States, the Wall Street Journal.

To clean up some of the mess, Murdoch has called upon the talents of former Bush administration Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, whose views on privacy are enshrined in the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act, and Joel Klein, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's union-bashing former schools chief, known for his phony claims of test-score gains.

The Crown Jewel and the Screaming Slime

Every corporate mogul likes to crown his empire with a jewel, and Rupert Murdoch is no exception. Having made a fortune acquiring screaming tabloids and making them scream louder, and acquiring a media company, Fox, now known for its ideological rabble-rousing, Murdoch wanted to buy his News Corp a little respectability. And so, in 2007, he purchased Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal, the pinstriped, grey-at-the temples, oxford-shod media presence of the global financial sector.

As CEO of the Dow Jones Company, of which WSJ is a part, Murdoch installed Les Hinton, who had previously run News Corp's British newspaper empire, known as News International. Now it appears that Hinton may have won his prize spot for his part in an apparent coverup of a multi-year phone-hacking operation that likely involved an editor who went on to serve as the prime minister's spokesperson, and another who would go on to run all of Murdoch's UK papers.

Today, in Britain, Murdoch's tabloid empire is facing the ire of the public, a Scotland Yard investigation and the yanking of the curtain on its political alliances, thanks to a long-running scandal involving the hacking of voice-mail accounts by agents of its reporters and editors -- a scandal given new life when the Guardian, a liberal rival to Murdoch's right-wing outlets, revealed a cruel hoax played by News of the World on the parents of a murdered teenager. Eager to break news on the disappearance of 13-year-old  Milly Dowler, editors at NOTW hired a private investigator to hack the girl's cell phone. They deleted some messages, giving Milly's family false hope that she was still alive and receiving her messages. Then the paper reported on the family's renewed hopes, based on the evidence created by NOTW.

This latest revelation comes on the heels of news that the paper hacked the voice-mail accounts of actors Sienna Miller and Jude Law, as well as staff members on the royal payroll (including Prince William's communications chief). The scandal has been unfolding for years, a genie reemerging from its bottle with renewed vigor. (Reuters has an excellent timeline here.)

Hoaxing a Dead Girl's Parents

The revelation that prompted today's furor -- the 2002 hacking of Milly Dowler's cell-phone -- is just the first in a spate of allegations over the last 24 hours implicating News of the World in similar operations on the voice-mail accounts of victims of the terrorist bombings of the London subway system in 2005 and possibly the cell-phone accounts of other murdered children. There are also credible allegations that the tabloid was paying law enforcement sources for newsworthy information.

This all comes as the British Parliament is about to give the go-ahead for News Corporation to purchase outright BSkyB, the nation's dominate cable TV service, in which it already holds a majority stake. Now the deal may be off.

But here in the U.S., an unseemly tale is unfolding about the steady unraveling of ethics at the Wall Street Journal since Murdoch's purchase of the paper and the appointment of Les Hinton as its CEO.

Cover up by Wall Street Journal Chief?

In January 2007, during an earlier blip of the News of the World hacking scandal, Hinton, then executive chairman of Murdoch's News International operation, assured British lawmakers that he had conducted a thorough investigation of the scandal and determined that only Clive Goodman, the News of the World reporter assigned to cover the royal family, was involved. The newspaper's editor, Andy Coulson, had no knowledge of the systematic hacking of royal voice-mail accounts, Hinton said in testimony before the House of Commons culture committee. (Coulson went on to become communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron.)

But the Guardian reports that News of the World staffers claim that Coulson, who resigned his government post in January, knew all about the hacking operation. Rebekah Wade Brooks, who now has Hinton's old job in the U.K., is also implicated.

Murdoch appears to be quite concerned about a U.S. angle on the scandal. As early as last month, according to the British paper, the Independent, Murdoch sent a team of U.S. attorneys "to investigate the extent of phone hacking at the News of the World."

As is typical of the Wall Street Journal since Murdoch's purchase, the paper did not disclose today the role its chief executive played in delivering misleading testimony before the British parliament. This is not surprising. AlterNet has previously reported on the paper's apparent partnership with David Koch's Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a relationship that is never disclosed in the Journal's reporting on the political activities of Americans for Prosperity, despite the fact that one of its editorial board members, Stephen Moore, has accepted at least $150,000 in speaking fees from the AFP Foundation.

The Journal did, however, disclose that it has paid settlements to several celebrities whose phones were hacked by the News of the World, and that those settlements were part of the work of a management-standards committee "overseen by News Corp. board members Joel Klein and Viet Dinh," who are also "deal[ing] with police." Dinh, while an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, "played a key role in drafting the administration's USA Patriot Act," according to the Washington Post.

Where are the Watchdogs?

While the good-journalism watchdogs and groups are paying keen attention to the more sensational aspects of this latest Murdoch scandal, only scant attention (Media Matters being the exception) is being dealt to the Journal's abysmal editorial standards regarding full disclosure and political involvement. The hacking of individual phones constitutes an horrific breach of individual privacy, and the News of the World's reporting makes a travesty of the idea of journalism ethics.

Yet the double-dealing of the Wall Street Journal -- its failure to disclose its executives' involvement in either the British phone-hacking scandal or the American political group from which at least one receives compensation -- corrupts the political culture of the United States. It's almost like somebody's afraid of Rupert Murdoch.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/addiestan


July 14, 2011
Disgusted, Satan Returns Murdoch’s Soul (Satire)

 

LONDON (The Borowitz Report) – In a blow that many insiders saw as the last straw for embattled media titan Rupert Murdoch, Satan today returned Mr. Murdoch’s soul to him and demanded his money back.

“Rupert Murdoch has done my bidding for decades, but that relationship is now terminated,” read the terse statement from the Prince of Darkness, who close associates said has been “disgusted” by Murdoch’s recent activities.

Purchased by Satan in Melbourne, Australia in 1951, Mr. Murdoch’s soul is estimated to have a current value of nine dollars (US).

Around the media world, observers were stunned by this latest setback for Mr. Murdoch, who in Satan is losing one of his closest and most powerful allies.

But according to Ian Langramstone, who at his post as the University of Nottingham has studied Mr. Murdoch’s relationship with Satan for years, the slap in the face from the Lord of Misrule should not come as a surprise.

“Satan never wants to be the last one to desert a sinking ship,” said Mr. Langromstone.  “He always takes his lead from British politicians.”

In what many saw a tacit admission of the depth of his current problems, Mr. Murdoch today cancelled plans to purchase the remainder of the British government that he does not already own.
 


Excerpt from an article posted on huffingtonpost.com by Will Bunch July 7, 2011

Murdoch's American Sins: Less Sensational, But More Dangerous

For more than three decades, as global press baron Rupert Murdoch amassed more and more power over both the journalism and the politics of the Western world -- usually to the detriment of both -- the question lingered in the air. What, if anything, could possibly bring down the empire of this turn-of-the-millennium Citizen-Kane-without-the-sled, a man who seemingly had the power to pick American presidents and collected British prime ministers as easily as Wingo cards on the way to fame and billions of dollars?

Now, not long after Murdoch celebrated his 80th birthday, we may finally know the answer.

It wasn't the years of influence trading on a global scale, but his paper's ruthless treatment of a murdered 13-year-old and her family.

That's always the way, isn't it? The stunning news today is that Murdoch is shutting down his reportedly most lucrative publication, the sleazy British News of the World tabloid, in the wake of a phone hacking scandal marked by intercepting messages left for the slain girl, Milly Dowler, in a way that impeded the police probe and gave her parents false hope she was still alive. The power of the scandal seemed a fitting a bookend to a week in which we debated what kind of news pushes our buttons -- and why.

It was only Tuesday here in America that a nation staggering from a years of a high unemployment -- with a crisis of governmental gridlock looming -- stopped to absorb every detail of a lurid Florida murder case -- and that shouldn't surprise anyone: It's as easy to get emotionally wrenched by the death of an adorable 2-year-old and the flaunting of bad motherhood as it's hard to wrap yourself around the true meaning of $14 trillion, or understand why there are no new jobs in America anymore.

Viewers prefer human dramas involving total strangers over the ideological debates that affect our actual lives; likewise, journalists crave these simpler morality plays of good and evil -- where the facts are smaller yet objectively provable or disprovable -- over the ever-so-complicated big picture. In American politics, we saw a president impeached for lying about an extramarital affair of no national import, while no punishment even close to that was seriously discussed for his successor who invaded a sovereign nation under false pretenses, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

And so now it's the simple memory of a slain Brtitish teenaged girl -- with the added shock that family members of casualties in that Iraq War and in Afghanistan were also phone-hacked, and reports of police officers taking bribes from journalists -- that brings the world's largest media empire to the edge of the abyss.

Right now, there's still a big disconnect between the uproar over the Murdoch empire in Great Britain -- salacious, tabloid-style crimes committed by tabloid journalists -- and closer scrutiny of the press baron's operation in the United States, which in addition to the highly profitable Fox television network also includes the politically influential Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post among its outlets.

I Would Argue There's No Disconnect At All.

There are important differences but also key similarities between the way that Murdoch -- an Australian by birth who amassed a lot of a fortune first in the UK and finally in America, where he is now a citizen -- does business on either side of the Atlantic. The common denominator is a seamless rinse-repeat cycle of using his media power to gain political influence and then using that influence to gain greater wealth. In England, the dirty tricks and apparent lawbreaking of The News of the World helped Murdoch on the wealth side by selling lots of newspapers with scoops about racy murders and celebrity gossip -- but it's less clear how that pseudo-journalism mucked up the nation's broader politics.

In the U.S. of A., it's a different story, and it cannot be understated. Here, Murdoch's sins were less sensational -- but more important, arguably a matter of life and death on some stories. With his most audacious move, the invention of the Fox News Channel, Murdoch and his minions created a vortex of misinformation and emotion draped in an American flag that changed a nation's politics for the worse. That affects a lot more people than phone hacking, no matter how heartless that was.

Murdoch had help from brilliant, cynical aides on both sides of the pond. In England, it was the massively ethically challenged, wild-eyed redhead Rebekah Brooks; in America, it is the frumpy and grumpy Roger Ailes, the only man to run the Fox News Channel since it was launched in the mid-1990s. As recent documents have shown, Ailes -- who learned the American conservative politics of middle-class resentment at the foot of the master, Richard Nixon -- was long involved in a scheme for a conservative TV counterweight to the so-called "liberal media." But it took the arrival of Murdoch years later to execute the plan with the vision that a conservative cable news network could make millions in profits while wielding influence on a scale that a "Headless Body in Topless Bar" newspaper could only dream of.

But Ailes and Murdoch -- with a typical disregard for the consequences -- created a monster as their FNC grew in popularity over the course of the 2000s. They held onto to their millions of viewers by playing to their emotions, and to what they felt was true about America -- regardless of whether it was actually true. Over the years, misinformed Fox viewers wielded more and more clout over a directionless Republican Party that in turn drove the U.S. body politic, with disastrous consequences.

You Want Examples?

Iraq and the war on terrorism: America's misguided "pre-emptive war" in the oil-rich Persian Gulf would not have been possible unless the 9/11 attacks and a response to terrorism became conflated with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which for all its horrors had nothing to do with the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Fox News Channel, and its parade of GOP-talking-point infused hosts and military "experts," helped to make sure that wrongful conflation took place, as later evidence proved.

A 2003 poll by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) at the University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks found that regular Fox News viewers were significantly more likely than other news consumers to believe one of three significant falsehoods about the Iraq war -- that Iraq was somehow connected to 9/11, that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, or that global opinion was in favor of the war. These jingoistic myths -- most heavily adopted by Fox viewers -- fueled years of continued fighting in a war in which thousands of Americans and Iraqi civilians died needlessly.

Climate change: It's hard to believe in 2011, but there was a time a few years ago when a majority of Republicans, just like a majority of all Americans, believed that man-made global warming was real and needed to be addressed in some fashion. That was before a parade of global warming skeptics and outright deniers on Fox News Channel -- a development that was actually encouraged by FNC top management. Most famously, FNC's Washington bureau chief wrote in a December 2009 memo " we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

In recent years, Fox News Channel has found a variety of ways to spread misinformation and outright lies about the state of the world's climate -- claiming, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the world is actually cooling -- and the plan has worked. A majority of Republicans now believe that climate change theories endorsed by 90 percent of the world's leading climatologists are a hoax, and more importantly, so do the political leaders they elect. Fox-fueled opposition scuttled what appeared to be momentum for climate change legislation in Washington, even as the planet records its hottest years on record and predictions of future food shortages and natural disasters grow more dire.

The 2010 elections: The right-wing tide that changed the direction of Congress last November was powered by a large turnout of conservative voters, who once again -- as research showed -- were misinformed on the issues if their primary source of information was Fox News. It started with what the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking outfit Politifact called its Lie of the Year for 2010 -- the reporting on Fox News that President Obama's health care plan was "a government takeover" of the system.

But that was just one area where Fox News viewers had bad info, according to a new report (PDF) by the Program on International Policy Attitudes; this study found that FNC watchers were much more likely to think that their taxes went up (they were cut in 2009 for most Americans) or that health care reform increases the deficit (it lowers it) or that Obama was possibly not born in the United States.

There's more, but I think you get the idea. Meanwhile, misinformed Fox viewers are the tail wagging the dog of American politics; just ask the now former South Carolina congressman who had the nerve to criticize the then-popular, now-departed FNC host Glenn Beck before his 2010 primary defeat. Increasingly, it's impossible to tell where Fox News stops and the Republican Party begins, which is why it wasn't surprising to hear that FNC's Ailes even lobbied a would-be candidate, New Jersey's Chris Christie, to enter the 2012 White House race. Did Ailes think that would be good for the country or good for ratings?

That's the kind of ethical question that doesn't get asked any more at Murdoch's Fox News Channel than it was asked at Murdoch's News of the World. But the stakes in this country -- endless wars, looming environmental disasters, lousy policies that are leaving America mired in economic despair -- are far greater. So if you are outraged tonight by what the Murdoch empire was up to in Great Britain all these years -- and you should be -- than you should be doubly outraged by what they've pulled off here.

The only real question for America is what are we going to do about Rupert Murdoch now?

 

Follow Will Bunch on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Will_Bunch


Who is Rupert Murdoch

Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KCSG (born March 11, 1931) is an Australian-born media mogul, wrinkled-up sourpuss, and a very dishonest person in our opinion and many others opinions. 

We are learning more about Rupert every day and it isn't flattering.   As the owner of several media outlets, as well as the majority shareholder, chairman, and managing director of News Corporation, Murdoch is single-handedly responsible for the tabloidification of mainstream news across the globe, in all formats. 

While Rupert Murdoch does, in fact, come from the Land Down Under, should you ask him if he “speaks-a your language,” he probably won’t just smile and hand you a Vegemite sandwich.

With a net worth of $4 billion, Murdoch ranks as the 132nd-wealthiest person on earth. Of course he’s still getting his ass waxed by Bill Gates, the entire Walton family, and the Sultan of Brunei. At least he’s still beating Oprah.

Ted Turner wants to tear Rupert Murdoch a new one so bad, he’d sell all his rights to the Oglalla Acquifer—and throw in a used pair of Jane Fonda’s panties—just to get him in the Octagon for one round.

Early Life and Family

Murdoch began exploiting humankind’s desire for minute-by-minute updates on the comings and goings of train-wreck public personages from his birth on March 11, 1931, a birthday he shares with fellow stiff old cranks Sam Donaldson and Antonin Scalia, Bobby McFerrin, statutory rapist Joey Buttafuoco, and the sixteen-year-old actress who bares her little perkies in "American Beauty" (not coincidentally Joey’s Buttafuoco’s favorite scene).

While Murdoch likes the world to think of him as self-made, he is actually the son of a wealthy and powerful Australian newspaper man and an Irish noblewoman. Young Murdoch attended Geelong Grammar school, a snooty Australian private school. For a time, he also went to Oxford, a university whose list of dick alumni outstrips even that of Harvard. And we’re talking about salty, old-school, Victorian-era dicks, too, like the kind that subjugates whole races of indigenous peoples whilst sipping tea and wearing monocles...

Building an Empire

Rupert Murdoch’s father died in 1952; his dying wish was for his son to become a journalist. While young Murdoch did insinuate himself into the role of managing director of "News Limited," his pursuits were more along the lines of wheeling and dealing, than writing and editing. For the next twenty years, Murdoch proceeded to eat up nearly every media outlet in the country and transforming them into sensationalist rags, or, if already a sensationalist rag to begin with, into outright libelous vehicles for his own economic and political gain.

Of course, one must never underestimate humanity’s appetite for crap. By the late 1960s, as Australia’s leading purveyor, Rupert Murdoch had by all accounts become the country’s most powerful non-elected official. But then, at that time nobody really gave a bloomin’ onion about Australia, not until 1988, which saw both the release of Yahoo Serious’ "Young Einstein" and the opening of the first Outback Steakhouse. Naturally, for a megalomaniac like Murdoch, this meant flinging his dick boomerang—or “dickerang”—into the northern hemisphere.

Beginning in 1969, Rupert Murdoch began acquiring, then systemically destroying the journalistic integrity of, several large British newspapers, including "News of the World," "The Sun," "The Times," and "The Sunday Times." Along the way, he also managed to spark several violent strikes by British print unions, and collude with high government officials to illegally quell said strikes.

With only so many Commonwealth citizens to swallow his current events-based butt pee, Murdoch began to focus his attention on the most tender, willing mouth of all: the United States. In 1973, soon after whetting his dick appetite by acquiring the San Antonio Express-News, he founded Star, a supermarket tabloid that blends celebrity gossip with blatant fabrication, along the lines of “George W. Bush’s Alien Encounter” and “Bat Boy Found… In Britney’s Limo.” Murdoch also owns the "New York Post," perhaps the most laughable newspaper in America, noted for its extensive use of dollar signs instead of the letter “S” in headlines, no matter how tenuous the story’s relation to finance.

In 1985, Murdoch totally dicked over his home country of Australia by renouncing his citizenship and becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. He did this so he could legally own American TV stations, cutting his dick teeth by purchasing the Fox Network. So maligned has this network been by pretty much every comedian since Murdoch’s takeover, it is impossible to write any kind of fresh jokes about it. Go ahead, try. We’ll wait.

A mere ten years later, Murdoch decided to enter the cable news market with the Fox News Channel, a 24-hour cable news network that became a dick incubator—or “dickubator”—of such giant throbbing dicks as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, and the grand-dick-daddy of them all, Bill O’Reilly.

Murdoch also owns a 34% stake in DirecTV, as well as the company that held MySpace.com. Good thing no one goes on My Space any more, except pedophiles and that guy who does “To Catch A Predator” on MSNBC.

Rupert Murdoch’s publications and cable news channels have been branded as conservative, though Murdoch himself could most accurately be considered an opportunist. For instance, while his New York Post did not endorse her, Murdoch hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2006 Senate re-election. Even more telling, while most Fox News commentators regard the Obama Administration as the sixth sign of the apocalypse, Murdoch himself has gone on record as a supporter. If only he used his powers for good.

Personal Life

Like many dicks, Murdoch has a string of ex-wives. In 1956, he married Patricia Booker, who was—what else?—an airline stewardess. The two divorced in 1967, the same year he married Anna Torv, a cub reporter from his Sydney newspaper. After sticking it out for 32 years, they divorced. Seventeen days later, at the age of 68, Rupert Murdoch remarried to 30-year-old Wendi Deng. Pretty impressive for someone with such old balls. In fact, he’s recently managed to sire two children. (There are rumors that Rupert should get a paternity test) Again, if only he used his powers for good.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and television executive Wendi Deng pose aboard his yacht during their marriage voyage in New York Harbor, Friday, June 25, 1999. Eighty-two guests attended the private ceremony Friday evening aboard ''Morning Glory,'' which left from Chelsea Piers as a string ensemble played Mozart. The couple were married by state Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann. (AP Photo/Grace Studio, Tom Rollo)

 

Rupert Murdoch, left, and his wife, Wendi Deng, attend the 20th Century FOX party following the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng Murdoch attend Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala on Thursday, May 8, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch and his wife Wendi arrive at the Elysee Palace prior to the lunch opening the e-G8 Forum, in Paris Tuesday May 24 2011. The two-day gathering is bringing together Internet and media world gurus like Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Murdoch, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that governments need to lay down and enforce rules in the digital world _ even as they need to foster creativity and economic growth with the Internet. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

 

 

Rupert Murdoch, right, and his wife Wendi Deng, left, poses on the red carpet prior to the opening ceremony of the Shanghai International Film Festival at Shanghai Grand Theater Saturday June 11, 2011 in Shanghai. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

 

Wendi Deng Murdoch, is Coming Out From Behind the Scenes

Last week, when Wendi Deng Murdoch stole the show at the parliamentary tabloid hearings with a sock to the face of her husband's pie-wielding aggressor, it seemed like the demure woman who calls Rupert Murdoch her "hubby" had suddenly turned fierce. In fact, Deng's impromptu reaction may have revealed more about her true self than she'd like to let on.

For the previous two hours, Murdoch's 42-year-old third wife had sat behind him and his son James, right in the middle of the television camera's frame, dressed in a pink blazer better suited to a Barbie doll than an actual adult woman. She flipped her hair, patted her octogenarian husband on the back and pointed to herself, laughing, when Rupert mentioned that he had taken his family to 10 Downing St. in the past, always entering through the back door.

The entire afternoon had a theatrical air, with everyone playing a role: James Murdoch acted apologetic and contrite while distancing himself from any wrongdoing. Rupert, the billionaire media mogul, channeled his inner Mr. Magoo, coming across as doddering and perplexed.

For her part, Deng seemed feminine. Soft. Doting. Strictly ornamental. It's a persona she's been cultivating for years.

Shortly after their 1999 wedding, Murdoch announced that Deng, who was born in China and holds a master's degree from the Yale School of Management, would be stepping down from her executive role at a News Corp. subsidiary in Hong Kong. He described her as "busy working on decorating the new apartment."

Ever since, her public image has been that of a glamorous housewife and doting mother to their two daughters, and recently as a co-producer of the film "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." But behind the scenes, she's also a shrewd businesswoman who has held great influence over News Corp.'s investments in Asia, the company's fastest-growing market. The Murdochs do not like to advertise this fact, which should come as no surprise: They're not exactly known for transparency.

A 2000 Wall Street Journal profile reported that Deng frequently accompanied her husband and stepson to meetings with high-ranking Chinese officials, where she would sometimes intervene "to smooth over potentially awkward situations."

 

 

 

 

Rupert Murdoch’s pastimes include collusion, anti-competitive business practices, flying into unpredictable rages, tax evasion, and bee-keeping.

 

 

 

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