A parody version of a fictional New York Post front page created by the online version of Vanity Fair shows News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch covered in shaving foam. The New York Post, which usually reports the humiliation of the powerful with gleefully pun-filled headlines and outlandish photo montages, passed on the chance to make a splash with the News Corp chairman’s testimony. The news was buried on Page 35, leaving Vanity Fair to come up with its own satire of how the Post might have covered the story if News Corp did not own the tabloid and if Murdoch weren’t listed as chairman on the newspaper’s masthead. (Vanity Fair)
Phone Hacking Scandal News Update of the Day: News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare was found dead this morning in his Watford home by Hertfordshire police. The former News of the World showbiz reporter was the first to explicitly state that former editor Andy Coulson was not only aware of the phone hacking by staff members, but was actively encouraging it.
Coulson denied allegations that he knew phones were being hacked under his watch, but Hoare told the BBC Coulson was lying, and that he had personally been asked by Coulson to tap into phones.
A police statement concerning Hoare’s death stated that while it was “currently being treated as unexplained,” it was “not thought to be suspicious.”
Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal joined its sister company Fox News in attempting to downplay the severity of the charges brought against its parent, saying their “competitor-critics” want “readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.”
For those apt to see the Phone Hacking reports as naught but Schadenfreude (which the WSJ says is “so thick you can’t cut it with a chainsaw”), Salon offers a helpful refresher on the scandal so far:
News Corp. is accused of not just phone-hacking but also bribery of police officers and illegal access to private medical and banking records, obtained with the assistance of multiple private investigators and a convicted con artist. The crimes may not have been limited to the now-shuttered News of the World, but may have also included the Sunday Times. News Corp. withheld information from Parliament and paid hush money to hacking victims in order to avoid making the extent of its crimes public. People in charge of the News of the World during the hacking and the coverup of the hacking went on to much more powerful and influential positions in News Corp. and in the current Conservative government. The Guardian’s suggested questions for Rebekah Brooks, James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch are also a good summary of the scandal as we now understand it.
And in a late addition to the Schadenfreude-fueled “not thought to be suspicious” file, Rebekah Brooks’ husband Charlie unsuccessfully attempted to retrieve a bag found in a garbage bin near their home that reportedly contains a computer, a phone, and paperwork. The contents of the bag are now being examined by police.
"Labour lawmaker Tom Watson, who sits on parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said the panel wanted to speak to News Corp boss Murdoch, his son James and Rebekah Brooks, who runs News Corp’s British newspaper arm."
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.
Billy Bragg - Never Buy The Sun
Oh Billy, a journalism ethics protest song? This is what I’ve always wanted.