Wednesday 8th of July 2020

uncle rupe and his nags...


Scotland Yard helped the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks to go out hacking, it was revealed yesterday – but the arrangement owed nothing to the interception of mobile phone messages.

Instead the Metropolitan Police loaned the flame-haired newspaper executive a loyal steed which she used to hack ("to ride a horse in the country for pleasure": Oxford English Dictionary) across the Cotswolds for nearly two years. The horse was loaned to Ms Brooks by the Met's Mounted Branch in 2008, a year after the News of the World's Clive Goodman was jailed for phone hacking. The revelation raises further concerns over the relationship between Rupert Murdoch's media empire and Britain's largest police force, which has been criticised for the inadequacy of its initial investigation into criminality at News International.

a trojan horse at steptoe and son...

The Metropolitan police gave Rebekah Brooks – former chief executive of News International – a horse. On loan, of course. And that's normal, apparently. "When a police horse reaches the end of its working life," explained the Met, in one of their weirder statements, "Mounted Branchofficers find it a suitable retirement home." Suitable, in this instance, meaning with the editor of a tabloid newspaper. Putting talk of bribes, hacking and corruption to one side for a bit, we're just delighted with the idea that police assets are up for grabs when the force are done with them. Here are a few of the Met's coolest bits of kit we would happily offer a home to:

Water cannon Think of the fun you could have on a hot summer's day mounting one in a bedroom window and sending the kids flying across the garden.

tabloid rights...


It became clear this week that the crusade against Britain's phone-hacking tabloids is not, as we have been led to believe, a simple case of concerned citizens trying to clean up corrupted red-tops.

Rather it is an all-out clash between the state and the press, between jackboots and journalistic liberty, between police who want to punish the press and pressmen who want the right to publish and be damned.

Fair enough... And this would be no problems if there was enough publications that were not "tabloid" gaining a good circulation as well... I could argue that the tabloids' exploitation of the gutter would not be such a problem if a) the tabloids did not disseminate falsehood about whatever, setting the tone for society's poor understanding of things... including politics. b) Most journalists in tabloids aren't behaving like "journalists" but comentarialists with little proper knowledge of say sciences and social hurt... But they spread the crap as if they were novelists... Furthermore the "bribing" of police is not that funny....

Other stuff tabloid does is such as this:

The co-host of Channel Ten program The Circle has publicly apologised for making a sexist and disrespectful comment about Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith, saying she had never met the Australian war hero and "felt sick" at the angry backlash she had received after branding him brainless.

Yumi Stynes admitted she did not know much about Corporal Roberts-Smith when she commented on a photograph of the shirtless war hero in a swimming pool yesterday, saying: "He's going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there."

Stynes's guest, co-host and veteran journalist George Negus had then quipped: "I'm sure he's a really good guy, nothing about poor old Ben. But that sort of bloke, and what if they're not up to it in the sack?"

Read more:


Not a good look... But the worse is that more often than not, THEY DON'T APOLOGISE for being stupid... George Negus is a crack journo but he has been caught into the kultur of crap on this occasion... He knows best. But the others?... They are comedians, not journos... but they get more attention spreading shit rather than those giving the boring facts... And our social kultur goes down the drainpipe a notch...

the glue factory...


James Murdoch has resigned as executive chairman of News International, the scandal-ridden British arm of his father's media company.

News International has been embroiled in a phone hacking scandal which has seen the arrests of several former top editors and the abrupt closure last year of the News of the World.

After four years in the role, Mr Murdoch is handing over responsibility for papers including the Sun, it's new Sunday edition, and the Times.

Meanwhile at Hacking Central:

Rebekah Brooks's phone was hacked twice a week by colleagues at the News of the World while she was editing The Sun, the Leveson Inquiry heard today.

Scotland Yard invited her to join their 2006 prosecution of a journalist and private detective working for the Sunday tabloid as a potential victim of illegal interception of voicemails.

Ms Brooks - who was herself a former editor of the News of the World, The Sun's sister paper, and became chief executive of parent company News International in 2009 - did not take up the offer.



Rupert Murdoch has leapt to the defence of Rebekah Brooks, saying his former protegee is being criticised for "saving an old horse from the glue factory".

Mr Murdoch took to Twitter to defend the former News International chief executive after it emerged Scotland Yard chiefs loaned her a police horse which she later returned in a "poor" condition.

He wrote: "Now they are complaining about R Brooks saving an old horse from the glue factory!"


Gus: at the moment, my typing on the old keybrd is atrocious... The old arthritic jnts in the rists and fingrs ar makng me miss a fw keyz... sorry...



more on tabloid rights..


"He didn't think it was malicious in any way, shape or form," Negus told The Project.

"He actually used the term himself when I spoke to him, 'I know you had your tongue in your cheek, basically I know you weren't having a crack'. And we talked about it and I apologised. I said 'I'm sorry if I've offended you, your family, your colleagues in the army, the SAS, if unintentionally or accidentally I actually offended you'."

Negus also took aim at media coverage of the incident, which he claimed misrepresented what he said.


Read more:


Sure... But I know of instances where privacy was invaded by tabloids and people got terribly hurt by this... The answer from the tabloids is more or less: "tough titties, sue us... until we break your back or send you broke..." Sometimes they pay a few bucks shut up money AND THE OFFENDING ARTICLE(S) ARE STILL ADORNING THEIR WEBSITES...

in the cooler...

LONDON: The former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and her husband were among six people arrested in dawn raids yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

They were arrested by officers from Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police inquiry into phone-hacking, and their homes were being searched.

Mrs Brooks, who rose from editor to chief executive of News International, the British arm of the Murdoch media empire, was arrested at her Oxfordshire house with her husband Charlie, a millionaire racehorse trainer and columnist for the London Telegraph newspaper.

Read more:

the noose tightens .....

The FBI has told Scotland Yard it is "prepared to step in" if the Metropolitan Police fails to investigate the full extent of impropriety in the Murdoch empire. The warning came at a meeting between the transatlantic law enforcement groups at the Ministry of Justice in London.

Every piece of evidence surrendered by News Corporation to Scotland Yard is also being passed to US investigators. The disclosures, which prompted more than 20 arrests, including Sun journalists, have also sparked a separate FBI inquiry into whether News Corporation bribed officials in Russia. US investigators are collecting evidence given to the Leveson inquiry and parliamentary select committees.

"The FBI made it perfectly clear that if the British police drop the ball on this they will pick it up and run with it," said one legal source familiar with the US investigation.

Fear of such a US investigation, where financial penalties and potential jail sentences are held to be more punitive than in the UK, is one reason cited why News Corp, Murdoch's US holding company, has stepped up efforts to assist UK police in recent months. It is widely believed to be one of the reasons it handed over to police a cache of millions of emails containing evidence of possible crimes, to the dismay of many of its own staff. The Murdoch operation has assembled a team of US legal "big guns" to deal with inquiries by the FBI and other investigators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is reported that the FBI has found no evidence of phone hacking by News Corp in the US so is focusing on potential breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act designed to stop US-based firms bribing officials overseas. Murdoch executives could be vulnerable if evidence exists that they demonstrated "wilful blindness" by failing to question rigorously wrongdoing.

James Murdoch, former chairman of News International, which oversees the scandal-hit newspapers, stood down from the board of Sotheby's, the auctioneer, on Friday. His departure followed demands he resign over his role in the phone-hacking scandal. Critics said the scandal made him "ill-suited for service" as a company director. Mr Murdoch resigned from the GlaxoSmithKline board in January. He quit as chairman of News International last month.

A Sotheby's spokesman said he decided not to stand for re-election at the annual meeting in May in order to focus on his role as News Corp's deputy chief operating officer. James Murdoch repeatedly denied knowing about widespread hacking at the now defunct News of the World, though executives have called this into question.

The former editor of The Times Sir Harry Evans, who resigned his editorship after disagreements with Rupert Murdoch, yesterday told BBC radio that Mr Murdoch should be deprived of his ownership of The Times: "He's not the only saviour of the beast. This is part of the mythology 'the only man who can save Times newspapers' – hellfire! The Sunday Times was a hugely profitable newspaper before he took it over – he's made it more profitable ... – but it doesn't in my view obviate all the things that came about." He added: "Time and time again, Times newspapers have been used to push his commercial interests", showing a "lack of integrity". It was, he said, "against all my concepts of what an independent newspaper should be".

He added that corruption was the penalty Britain had paid because "the leadership of the country is so in hock to a press proprietor".

Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, yesterday blamed a concentration of media power for a sense of "invincibility and impunity" and urged the Government to make the "fit and proper person test" the first hurdle for proposed cross-media takeovers. She admitted Labour had also failed to do enough to curb the "media barons".

FBI Poised To Step Up Investigation Into News Corp

even more doo doo ....

from Crikey …..

Paul Barry: James Murdoch walks the plank at BSkyB

Paul Barry of The Power Index writes:

Another day, another defeat for James Murdoch, who quit overnight as executive chairman of the family's pay-TV business BSkyB after nine years in charge.

James's empire at News Corporation -- where he is technically third in charge, behind his father and Chase Carey -- has now shrunk to only the Italian and Asian pay-TV operations. This can hardly be what Rupert's anointed son would have been hoping for when the News of the World scandal blew up so spectacularly last July.

But with a damning report from the House of Commons phone hacking investigation expected after Easter, the mini mogul clearly felt it was best to walk the plank unaided, before he was forced to do so at gunpoint.

James's decision was immediately welcomed by committee chair John Whittingdale, who told the media, "I think his judgment was correct", before adding he should also have stepped down as a director of BSkyB, to cut all links with the News of the World scandal.

No doubt that will be his next step, if the House of Commons committee rules -- as it may well do -- that James misled parliament and/or that he knew phone hacking was widespread but covered it up.

Certainly, Whittingdale's comment does not bode well for him, because the Tory MP is one of Murdoch's mildest critics on the committee, which has been split on how hard James should be whacked.

James's fate may not yet be sealed, but as readers of The Power Index's analysis of the evidence will know, he is up to his neck in doo doo.

Not surprisingly, some of the NotW hacking victims reacted gleefully to James's latest setback, with the best quip coming from Labour's former deputy prime minister John Prescott who tweeted: "It's the Son Wot Lost It". This is a cute rephrasing of The Sun's famous headline from 1992, "It's The Sun Wot Won It", bragging about the defeat of Labour leader Neil Kinnock, which has gone down in history.

Labour's communications spokesman Harriet Harman also took the opportunity to dance a little jig, proclaiming: "Murdoch owns too many newspapers. Never again must we allow any individual or organisation to acquire such a concentration of power when it comes to media ownership."

The next episode of this ripping yarn should be on after Easter, with the release of the House of Commons committee's report. Then, in the week beginning April 23, James and his father are expected to appear before the Leveson inquiry in London's High Court to be grilled by Robert Jay QC, who may well be a far sharper interrogator than most of the MPs.

Others on the menu at the Leveson inquiry include eminence rouge, Rebekah Brooks, and Rupert's three favourite prime ministers: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

With sport like this on offer, does London really need the Olympics?

an informed nag...

British prime minister David Cameron will be allowed to read the testimonies of two key witnesses before they appear before the Leveson Inquiry.

The inquiry was set up in response to a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.

Mr Cameron's former communications director Andy Coulson and the disgraced former head of News International Rebekah Brooks will testify at the public inquiry next week.

Mr Cameron is one of eight government ministers who have been granted "core participant" status at the probe.

Core participants have the right to see evidence before it is presented in court, can ask for evidence to be redacted and can pose questions to witnesses via the judge's senior counsel.

It is believed Mr Cameron wants to view the testimonies to prepare for any potential criticism. He was previously accused of being too close to the Murdoch empire.

politics and the media soup...

David Cameron agreed to a meeting with one of Rupert Murdoch's senior executives that was arranged by the lobbyist now at the centre of the Jeremy Hunt scandal, The Independent on Sunday has learnt.

Frédéric Michel, whose numerous emails to Mr Hunt's special adviser have put pressure on the Culture Secretary to resign, set up the secret talks between Mr Cameron and Jose Maria Aznar, the former prime minister of Spain and a member of Mr Murdoch's News Corporation board.

The involvement of Mr Michel, the head of public affairs for News Corp, in such a top-level meeting severely undermines his portrayal by Mr Hunt and the Prime Minister as simply a lobbyist and "Walter Mitty" fantasist.

The previously undisclosed meeting in November 2009 also shows how Mr Cameron was being assiduously courted by News Corp executives beyond the Murdoch family, as the company was gearing up for its bid to take over BSkyB.

George Osborne and William Hague were also present at the talks,The IoS understands.

The Prime Minister is under increasing pressure over the Leveson inquiry ahead of the appearances this week of the former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and Mr Cameron's ex-communications chief, Andy Coulson.

sly fox is mitt's father....


Murdoch’s Pride Is America’s Poison


ROGER AILES is (a) the genius who midwifed the astoundingly successful Fox News; (b) the sharpest thorn in the side of Barack Obama; and (c) the most important surviving officer in Rupert Murdoch’s global media army.

You can see why he would be a great subject for a biography. He is also (d) a political operator of the first order, which is why there are now three Ailes books in the works, two of which look to me like pre-emptive strikes by Ailes himself.

We’ll come back to this little publishing intrigue, but first the news: Murdoch Inc. sinks deeper and deeper into crisis. His newspapers hemorrhage money. The political clout that once justified all that red ink is waning, as exposés of illicit phone-hacking, police payoffs and possible lobbying improprieties make him unwelcome company in any politician’s photo op. Murdoch’s hopes of expanding his substantial foothold in British broadcasting have been dashed by the scandals. Last Tuesday, a parliamentary committee, voting on party lines, issued a verdict that Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run a major international corporation. Meanwhile, the acid rain of criminal charges and civil lawsuits continues.

In this beleaguered family of news enterprises, Fox is the good son. It is the most reliable profit center, expected to net a billion dollars this fiscal year. It is untainted so far by the metastasizing scandals. It is a source of political influence more durable than Murdoch’s serial romances with British prime ministers. This year the Fox News Primary probably did more to nominate Mitt Romney than New Hampshire or Michigan.      


hand-picked for licking uncle rupe's butt...

The memo came out during evidence from Mr Hunt's former special adviser Adam Smith, who resigned on April 25 after it emerged that he had leaked confidential information to Frederic Michel, a News Corp lobbyist.

In the memo, Mr Hunt told Mr Cameron that Mr Murdoch's son James was "pretty furious" that Mr Cable had referred the bid to British media regulators.

It urged Mr Cameron "not to cave in" to criticism by BSkyB's competitors, including the BBC.

News Corp was forced to abandon the deal in July 2011 amid the phone-hacking scandal at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

The memo has raised questions about why Mr Cameron allowed Mr Hunt to continue to adjudicate that matter when he already knew of the culture secretary's strong support for the takeover of the BSkyB.

attempted to blackmail politicians?...

Detectives carrying out the multimillion-pound investigation into illegal newsgathering techniques at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group have been asked to investigate whether it attempted to blackmail politicians.

The alleged plot centres on News International's apparent efforts to warn off MPs on a parliamentary committee from disproving its discredited defence that phone hacking was the work of a single "rogue reporter".

According to the former senior News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck, News International ordered the Sunday paper's reporters to scour the private lives of MPs on the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2009. At the time, Mr Murdoch's company was mounting what it now admits was a mistakenly "aggressive" response to allegations that the interception of voicemail messages was rife at its headquarters in Wapping, east London. On the advice of the parliamentary authorities, the Labour MP Tom Watson has now asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate the allegation.

free and vibrant role...

Mr Hunt was questioned about a congratulatory text message he had sent Mr Murdoch at a crucial moment in the bid for BSkyB.

"Congrats on Brussels, just Ofcom to go!" the text said, referring to a decision by EU regulators in Brussels to approve the takeover and to a decision yet to be taken by British regulator Ofcom.

Mr Hunt admitted he sent the text to Mr Murdoch, who is Rupert Murdoch's son and was chairman of BSkyB.

He also admitted he was "sympathetic" towards News Corp's bid to take a controlling stake in the satellite broadcaster, but denied being biased.

"I have a concern actually that the model of the newspaper industry is not financially viable in the long-term because of technology changes," Mr Hunt said.

"Because of that I saw this bid and the potential of this bid as an opportunity to help modernise the industry so that it could carry on playing that sort of free and vibrant role."

please ponder...

secret iMurdoch account...

Last night, Labour MP Tom Watson said people would be "shocked" to learn that the smartphones had been issued to key NI executives, while the company's disclosures focused only on the BlackBerry Vodafone accounts.

Mr Watson said he hoped that News Corp's Management and Standards Committee, which is responsible for all matters relating to phone hacking, would enforce its own promise of full transparency and appropriate disclosure, by revealing all the data and logs held on the discovered phones to both the police and the Leveson Inquiry. Last night, a spokeswoman for News International, said: "Mr Murdoch fully co-operated with the Leveson Inquiry. It is ridiculous to suggest that James Murdoch keeps or kept a 'secret phone'."

Meanwhile sources close to the Leveson Inquiry have denied that Lord Justice Leveson threatened to quit his judicial investigation following comments made in February by Michael Gove.

codswalloping boris...

Boris Johnson’s links to News International came under fresh scrutiny today after it emerged he had an undeclared dinner with Rupert Murdoch days before the Metropolitan Police launched a new inquiry into phone hacking.

The Mayor of London met Mr Murdoch at his home in London on 24 January 2011, at a key time in the growing pressure on Mr Murdoch’s British newspapers.

It took place three days after the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson resigned from Downing Street and two days before the Met opened Operation Weeting into illegal voicemail interception.

Mr Johnson, whose responsibilities include policing and who previously chaired the Metropolitan Police Authority, had previously insisted that he had declared all his meetings with News International, saying on 23 May: "My meetings with News International have already been made public."

Mr Murdoch is chief executive and chairman of News Corp, which owns News International, publisher of the Sun, Times and Sunday Times and the now-closed News of the World.

Mr Johnson’s links with the Murdoch empire have already been the subject of controversy because in September 2010 he dismissed calls for London’s police force to re-open its botched investigation into hacking as “codswallop.”

charged for hacking...

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, former lead editors of the News of the World tabloid in Britain, were among eight of News Corp.'s ex-journalists charged with hacking into celebrities' voice mail to get stories.

The two former editors of the paper were charged with multiple hacking offenses, including accessing the voice mail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler in 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

Read more:

business as usual ....

The media regulator Ofcom has found that BSkyB remains a "fit and proper" owner of a broadcast licence despite the phone-hacking affair which embroiled its parent company and during which, it said, James Murdoch's conduct repeatedly fell short of the standard to be expected.

The review, carried out in the wake of the scandal and News International's closure of the News of the World, was aimed at establishing whether the satellite television group – whose largest shareholder is News Corporation – remained eligible to broadcast in the UK.

If it had decided that either Murdoch – the younger son of Rupert Murdoch who stood down as chairman of News International in March and as chairman of BSkyB in April, but remains on the board as a non-executive director – or the company itself were not fit and proper owners, the regulator could have revoked BSkyB's licence.

But despite finding fault with James Murdoch's response to the phone-hacking allegations, Ofcom concluded BSkyB could keep its licence.

The ruling found: "There is no evidence that Sky was directly or indirectly involved in any of the wrongdoing either admitted or alleged to have taken place at [NoW] or the Sun.

"In the circumstances, and notwithstanding our views in relation to James Murdoch's conduct, we do not consider, having taken into account all the relevant factors, that on the evidence available to date Sky is no longer fit and proper to hold broadcast licences.

"Whilst we consider that James Murdoch's conduct in various instances fell short of the standard to be expected of the chief executive officer and chairman, we do not find that James Murdoch's retention as a non-executive director of Sky means that Sky is not fit and proper to hold broadcast licences.

"We recognise that whether it is appropriate for James Murdoch to be a director in light of the events is a matter for the board and shareholders of Sky."

Sky Is A Fit & Proper Broadcaster, Rules Ofcom

return to business as usual...


The return of Rebekah Brooks to run Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper operation has been described as “two fingers up to the British public” by the shadow culture secretary, in a strikingly aggressive intervention.

Chris Bryant, who has personally clashed with Brooks in the past, condemned the apparent reappointment of Brooks as chief executive of News Corp’s UK operations – a year after she was cleared of all charges related to the phone-hacking scandal.

He claimed it was evidence Murdoch had only feigned remorse over the scandal that rocked his empire and suggested the controversial news had been leaked ahead of the bank holiday weekend to limit its impact.

Bryant, who was compensated with £30,000 by the newspaper company after it was revealed he was a victim of phone hacking by the News of the World, said he also believed the move was premature given the Crown Prosecution Service is said to be still considering corporate charges against News Corp.


read more: