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Dripdripdrip: the water torture of Rupert Murdoch

Posted by Charles II on July 28, 2011

Just when you think the Murdoch phone hacking scandal can’t get uglier, it does.

Nick Davies and Amelia Hill, The Guardian:

Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered in July 2000, has been told by Scotland Yard that they have found evidence to suggest she was targeted by the News of the World’s investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who specialised in hacking voicemail.

Friends of Payne have told the Guardian that she is “absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed” at the disclosure. Her cause had been championed by the News of the World, and in particular by its former editor, Rebekah Brooks. Believing that she had not been a target for hacking, Payne wrote a farewell column for the paper’s final edition on 10 July, referring to its staff as “my good and trusted friends”.

The evidence that police have found in Mulcaire’s notes is believed to relate to a phone given to Payne by Brooks as a gift to help her stay in touch with her supporters.

Click to read more

[This disclosure] will also revive speculation about any possible role in phone hacking of Brooks, who was personally very closely involved in covering the aftermath of Sarah Payne’s murder and has always denied any knowledge of voicemail interception.

Unlike the Milly Dowler case, this does not involve actively interfering with a police investigation by hacking the phone of a murdered child. It involves giving a phone to the mother of a murdered child so that you can track developments in a campaign of sensationalism launched by your newspaper. If Rebekah Brooks had even an inkling that this was happening, one can predict that she will be completely disgraced and possibly jailed. More here from James Robinson, The Guardian.

London’s mayor may be in hotter water than he was previously. Helene Mulholland, The Guardian:

[Mayor] Boris Johnson would have been “attempting to pervert the course of justice” if he knew police were actively investigating phone hacking when he described fresh allegations as “codswallop”, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has claimed.

Jenny Jones, a London assembly member for the Green party, made the claim after the mayor’s deputy for policing, Kit Malthouse, revealed he was informed that Scotland Yard was looking into claims made in a New York Times article on 10 September last year, five days before Johnson dismissed the allegations as a “political put-up job” by Labour.

Jones says that Boris Johnson would certainly have known about Malthouse’s conversation with Scotland Yard, since he claimed to be in constant communication with Malthouse. Malthouse has recently revised his story to admit that he did talk to Scotland Yard.

Sam Lister, London Independent, on how far into the system Murdoch’s tentacles extend:

The man leading the judicial inquiry into phone hacking pledged to carry it out in a “spirit of complete transparency” as he urged media bosses to volunteer examples of “inappropriate” practices.

Lord Justice Leveson sought to quash questions over his impartiality after it emerged he had social connections with the Murdoch family.

Pier Morgan of CNN again denies he was aware of phone hacking.

9 Responses to “Dripdripdrip: the water torture of Rupert Murdoch”

  1. Your turn in the phone-hack barrel, Boris.

  2. jo6pac said

    When you think they couldn’t get any uglier they lower the bar even more.

  3. MEC said

    They gave a crime victim a phone in order to get fodder for their sleazy stories? That’s beyond everything.

    • Charles II said

      Worse than interfering in the police investigation of a missing girl, later found dead, thereby giving the family false hopes?

      I’d call it a tie.

  4. Stormcrow said

    Cross your fingers, folks.

    It’s looks more every day like Rupert Murdoch and his empire have finally met their D. C. Stephenson moment. Not before time.

    Not really justice. That’d require that Murdoch rot in prison for the rest of his natural life.

    But this could take down his machine quite nicely, if the revulsion spreads well and deeply enough.

    • Murdoch apparently thought he’d succeeded in buying up enough cops to keep his ass safe. He thought wrong.

    • Charles II said

      I think you’re an optimist here, Stormcrow.

      The machine is absolutely huge, and its British arm is expendable. People have been braying on the boards about how much Murdoch “lost” in News Corp market cap. It’s illusory. The stock is up for the year, and outperforming the S&P. For the last three years, it’s only lost its cream. For that matter, the price bounced back from its lows.

      I wish the left would focus its energy on getting out the story of the Murdoch media, and how phone hacking is just one element in what increasingly looks like a criminal enterprise responsible for corrupting and paralyzing the political system in the entire Western world. Cost them their FOX viewership and it’s game over for Rupert, and the worst penalty of all: the permanent tarnishing of the Murdoch name and his dream of dynasty.

      • MEC said

        Back in 2001, I gave speech in which I mentioned how many TV “news” hosts had previous experience not in journalism but in politics. I remember the audience’s collective astonishment that Roger Ailes had worked for Nixon, Reagan, and Bush the Elder. Even today, I think most people don’t know to what extent we’re getting our “news” from professional partisans.

      • Charles II said

        I agree with you, MEC. I keep on being amazed at how ignorant even suposedlyt well-informed people are. A week or two ago on Thom Hartmann, Bernie Sanders was asked about ALEC. Had!not!a!clue!

        FOX is pretty blatant, using Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and if I recall Rick Santorum as “news analysts.” I’m sure I’m missing a few. Their contempt for the intelligence of their viewership is… apparently well-founded.

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