Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Moral Rot At The Core Of Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire

Here's the latest:

Rupert Murdoch faces a revolt from journalists and employees at The Sun who feel he is throwing them to the wolves in order to save himself in the police bribery/hacking scandal.

The Mirror gets a good quote from one Sun journalist on just how bad the war within News Corporation is:

One senior executive said: “We are being destroyed from within. As we saw with the News of The World, there is nothing the Murdochs will not do to protect their own backs.

“It beggars belief they can so readily throw to the wolves good, decent, loyal journalists who have dedicated so much to the paper. They are being treated like hardened villains.

“The Sweeney-style operations are entirely disproportionate. It appears to be all about keeping the Murdoch family out of the line of fire, but we won’t stand meekly by this time.”

The Independent reports that Murdoch and News Corporation are now facing legal action here in the U.S. over the hacking scandal:

Rupert Murdoch's global empire is set to face new legal action in the US over alleged illegal practices by News Corp journalists. The lawyer at the heart of the phone-hacking scandal in the UK, Mark Lewis, who was instrumental in exposing the scale of illegal voicemail accessing at the News of the World, is in the "advanced stages" of bringing his first case against News Corp on the other side of the Atlantic.

The news comes as Mr Murdoch prepares to fly to London following a series of arrests of senior Sun journalists.

The prospect of Mr Lewis supervising legal action in the US will do little to reassure the embattled board of News Corp that a new front on illegal practices is about to open in their own back yard. US authorities, including the FBI, are already accelerating their own inquiries into the Murdoch media empire over alleged violations of US law on corrupt payments to foreign officials.

With the arrest of five more senior Sun journalists over the weekend on suspicion of corruption and conspiracy - adding to the four former and current Sun employees arrested last month - a visit to London this week by News Corp's chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, is already being viewed, according to one News Corp executive, as "five-star crisis management" with the future of The Sun on the line.

Sources close to Mr Lewis's legal team have already scheduled key meetings in New York to take place within the next few weeks. Although US investigators have so far found little evidence to support allegations that News Corp journalists illegally accessed the voicemails of 9/11 victims or their families in the US, the FBI have remained focused on allegations of bribery and illegal payments made by News Corp employees.

The Independent also reports that Sun employees are not at all reassured that Rupert Murdoch is committed to the paper:

Inside News International's London headquarters, there is growing concern among journalists that the arrests are primarily being made to protect News Corp's global brand. One Sun journalist described Mr Mockridge's email about "due process" as "a sham of emotionally laden drivel".

Although Mr Mockridge claimed that the Sun's editor Dominic Mohan was "committed to leading the paper through this difficult period", The Independent has been told that Mr Mohan has confided to close colleagues he fears that he could soon joins the ranks of those arrested by the Met's specialist unit investigating corruption, Operation Elveden.

Another NI journalist, who asked not to be named, said: "Far from Dominic offering guarantees about leading the paper, he's told some of us he thinks he'll get his collar felt. He said his email traffic was 'colossal' because a lot of people preferred not to knock on his door in the climate. So he may have missed stuff that will be seen as dodgy."

Murdoch's biographer, Michael Wolff, wonders if this is the week that Rupert's son, James, gets arrested.

Finally, The Independent wonders if and when the cancer infecting Murdoch's business in Britain will spread across the Atlantic:

The danger for News International's remaining UK media stable is growing by the day. Operation Elveden could turn out to be far more toxic for the future of the company even than Operation Weeting, which is the inquiry into phone-hacking allegations.

As the Management and Standards Committee, the investigative body set up by News International's parent company, News Corporation, continues ploughing through millions of journalists' emails, feeding information to Scotland Yard, the prospect grows of the cancer originally confined to the NOTW spreading across the Atlantic and from one part of Mr Murdoch's media empire to another.

I'll say again, I have a difficult time believing that if journalists at all three of Murdoch's British papers engaged in hacking, bribery, extortion and other crimes, some of those same journalists didn't engage in the same kinds of crimes when they moved over here to work at The New York Post or The Wall Street Journal.

1 comment:

  1. Not that MLK Jr has anything to do with this, but I always show my students an old Mtv Bio Rhythm about the great Civil Right leader after a unit of Richard Wright's, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow." In it, Luther says in a projected voice, "You shall reap what you sow!" in defense of the militant movement calling the peaceful marches useless. Hearing this news of Murdoch, I can only hear those loud projected words, "YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU SOW!"