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Friday, July 15, 2011

Fmr. Fox News Executive: Americans' Phones Were Hacked, Murdoch's The Saga Continues



Fmr. Fox News Executive: Americans' Phones Were Hacked

The Anomaly - dailykos.com - SUN JUL 17, 2011 AT 10:56 AM PDT

Roger Ailes  Rupert Murdoch
Former Fox News executive Dan Cooper has claimed that a special bunker, requiring security clearance for access was created at the company's headquarters to conduct “counterintelligence” including snooping on phone records:
“Has Roger Ailes been keeping tabs on your phone calls?”
That’s how Portfolio.com began a post back in 2008, when a former Fox News executive charged that Ailes had outfitted a highly secured “brain room” in Fox’s New York headquarters for “counterintelligence” and may have used it to hack into private phone records.
After helping chairman Roger Ailes create the Fox News channel in 1996, Cooper was fired for doing an anonymous interview with New York Magazine:
”I'm frightened right now,” said a former Fox employee, noting the vast array of powerful connections Ailes maintains throughout the political and media worlds.  “I've been told that if Ailes figures out I talked to you, he'll hunt me down and kill me.”
Negotiating the ground rules for an off-the-record meeting, Ailes came on like an Edward G. Robinson character in a B movie.  “Three people in the world hate me,” he blustered.  “You're not going to get to them, and everyone else is too scared.... Take your best shot at me, and I'll have the rest of my life to go after you.”
Cooper says that Ailes discovered he was the source by gaining access to his phone records through Fox's “brain room”.
Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client--or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust. Cooper continued: 
“I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”
In a Rolling Stone piece, Tim Dickenson corroborates Cooper's account of a “black-ops” room deep within Fox HQ:
Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes also housed his newsroom in a bunker. Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and an endless cube farm along the other. In a separate facility on the same  subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the “brain room” – that requires special security clearance to gain access. “The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from,” says Cooper, who  helped design its specs. “It’s where the evil resides.”
If that sounds paranoid, consider the man Ailes brought in to run the brain room: Scott Ehrlich, a top lieutenant from his political-­consulting firm.  Ehrlich – referred to by some as “Baby Rush” – had taken over the lead on Big Tobacco’s campaign to crush health care reform when Ailes signed on with CNBC. According to documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Ehrlich gravitated to the dark side: In a strategy labeled “Underground Attack,” he advised the tobacco giants to “hit hard” at key lawmakers “through their soft  underbelly” by quietly influencing local media – a tactic that would help the firms “stay under the radar of the national news media.”



Ex-Murdoch aide Brooks arrested; Police chief out



LONDON (AP) -- Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch's former British newspaper chief, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of phone hacking and bribing police, and the escalating scandal shaking Murdoch's global media empire also claimed the job of London's police chief.
The arrest of the 43-year-old Brooks, often described as a surrogate daughter to the 80-year-old Murdoch, brought the British police investigations into the media baron's inner circle for the first time.


Hours later, the resignation of Britain's most senior police officer, Paul Stephenson, who quit over his links to an arrested former editor at the same Murdoch's tabloid that Brooks once edited, was the latest shock in a scandal engulfing Britain's political and media elite.
Brooks' arrest came only 48 hours before she, Rupert Murdoch and his son James were to be grilled by U.K. lawmakers investigating widespread lawbreaking at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World tabloid. It also raises the possibility that Murdoch's old friend Les Hinton, who resigned Friday as publisher of The Wall Street Journal, or his 38-year-old son and heir apparent, James, could be next.


Brooks' detention also moved the police inquiry closer to the heart of British political power. Brooks is the ultimate social and political insider, who dined at Christmas with Prime Minister David Cameron and counts numerous celebrities and senior politicians among her friends.
Cameron's Conservative-led government and the London police are facing increasing questions about their close relationship with Murdoch's media empire.
Stephenson said he was resigning as commissioner of London's force because of "speculation and accusations" about his links to Neil Wallis, a former News of the World executive editor, who also worked for the London police as a part-time PR consultant for a year until September 2010. Wallis was arrested last week.


Stephenson said he did not make the decision to hire Wallis and had no knowledge of Wallis's links to phone hacking, but he wanted his police force to focus on preparing for the 2012 London Olympics instead of wondering about a possible leadership change.
"I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging," Stephenson said. "I will not lose any sleep over my personal integrity."


Until Friday, Brooks was the defiant chief executive of News International, Murdoch's British newspaper arm, whose News of the World tabloid stands accused of hacking into the phones of celebrities, politicians, other journalists and even murder victims. In the tumultuous last two weeks, she had kept her job even as Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old tabloid and tossed 200 other journalists out of work.


On Sunday she showed up for a prearranged meeting with London police investigating the hacking and was arrested. She was being questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications - phone hacking - and on suspicion of corruption, which relates to bribing police for information.
Brooks' spokesman, David Wilson, said police contacted her Friday to arrange a meeting and she voluntarily went "to assist with their ongoing investigation." He claimed that Brooks did not know she was going to be arrested.


The arrest threw Brooks' appearance at Tuesday's parliamentary hearing into doubt.
"Obviously this complicates matter greatly," Wilson said. "Her legal team will have to have discussions with the committee to see whether it would still be appropriate for her to attend. "
Lawmaker Adrian Sanders said if Brooks did not appear, "that is not going to go down very well with my fellow committee members."


The arrest was the latest blow for Murdoch, the once all-powerful figure courted by British politicians of all stripes. Now Murdoch is struggling to tame a scandal that has already destroyed his muckraking tabloid News of the World, cost the jobs of Brooks and Hinton and sunk the media baron's dream of taking full control of a lucrative satellite broadcaster, British Sky Broadcasting.


"(Murdoch) needs to come absolutely clean about what he knew, about what his senior executives knew, and why this culture of industrial-scale corruption - so it is alleged - appeared to have grown up without anyone higher up in the food chain taking any real responsibility for it," Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Sunday.
Even more senior figures could face arrest, including James Murdoch, chairman of BSkyB and chief executive of his father's European and Asian operations. James Murdoch did not directly oversee the News of the World, but he approved payments to some of the paper's most prominent hacking victims, including 700,000 pounds ($1.1 million) to Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor.


James Murdoch said last week that he "did not have a complete picture" when he approved the payouts.
Britain's bribery law gives authorities the power to prosecute corporate chiefs for failing to prevent bribery, something that had previously been difficult, but the bar for proof is high.
Chandrashekhar Krishnan, executive director of Transparency International UK, said British prosecutors seeking to prove that bribes that were approved at a high level would have to uncover strong evidence such as memos or minutes of a meeting.


"That usually proves to be very, very difficult," he said
James Murdoch's ties to the hacking scandal might bolster the position of his 42-year-old sister, Elisabeth Murdoch, who was not with News Corp. during much of the period in question.
Hinton, too, could face questioning over wrongdoing at the News of the World during his 12 years as executive chairman of News International. But Hinton is an American citizen living in the U.S., so British authorities would have to seek his extradition if he refused to come willingly.
Brooks stepped down Friday as head of Murdoch's British newspapers, saying she was going to "concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record."
She was editor of the now-defunct News of the World between 2000 and 2003, when some of the phone hacking took place, but has always said she did not know it was going on, a claim greeted with skepticism by many who worked there.


At an appearance before U.K. lawmakers in 2003, Brooks admitted that News International had paid police for information. That admission of possible illegal activity went largely unchallenged at the time and lawmakers are keen to ask her about it again.
Police have already arrested nine other people, including several former News of the World reporters and editors, over allegations of hacking and bribery. Those include Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor who became Cameron's communications chief before resigning in January. No one has yet been charged.


Some Murdoch critics were suspicious of the timing of Brooks' arrest, which may draw attention away from uncomfortable questions about police actions.
"The timing stinks," said Mark Lewis, lawyer for the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered 13-year-old whose phone was hacked by News of the World journalists in 2002.
Stephenson quit as London police are under pressure to explain why their original hacking investigation several years ago failed to find enough evidence to prosecute anyone other than News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Detectives reopened the investigation earlier this year and now say they have the names of 3,700 potential victims.


Records show that senior officers have had numerous meals and meetings with News International executives in the past few years.
Stephenson, who became police chief in 2009, said he had "no knowledge of, or involvement in, the original investigation into phone hacking in 2006." He said he was "unaware that there were any other documents in our possession of the nature that have now emerged."
Tuesday's televised public inquisition by a parliamentary committee is one both Murdochs fought to avoid, but later reluctantly agreed to attend.


Politicians want answers about the scale of criminality at the News of the World, while the Murdochs wan to avoid incriminating themselves or doing more harm to their business. They will have to walk a fine line: misleading Parliament is a crime.


Murdoch is eager to stop the crisis from spreading to the United States, where many of his most lucrative assets - including the Fox TV network, 20th Century Fox film studio, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post - are based. The FBI has already opened an inquiry into whether 9/11 victims or their families were also hacking targets of News Corp. journalists.


On Sunday, Murdoch took out full page ads in British newspapers promising that News Corp. would make amends for the phone hacking scandal, with the title "Putting right what's gone wrong." News Corp. vowed there would be "be no place to hide" for wrongdoers.


That followed a full-page Murdoch ad Saturday declaring, "We are sorry."
But Murdoch's critics say that is not enough. Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said Sunday that Murdoch has "too much power" in Britain and his share of media ownership should be reduced.
Murdoch still owns three national British newspapers - The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times - and a 39-percent share of BSkyB.
---
Christopher Torchia in London contributed to this report

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_BRITAIN_PHONE_HACKING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-07-17-14-38-33


Biographer claims Elisabeth Murdoch's outburst was directed not just at Rebekah Brooks but also her brother James
Jamie Doward and Lisa O'Carroll - guardian.co.uk, Saturday 16 July 2011 19.03 BST


Sibling rivalry: Elisabeth and James Murdoch. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Tensions at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's empire are threatening to explode into the open amid claims that the media mogul's children are turning on each other.
A biographer of Murdoch, Michael Wolff, claimed that the tycoon's daughter, Elisabeth, had said her brother James had "fucked the company".
This week Murdoch denied she had said something similar about the ousted News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks. But Wolff wrote on Twitter that those reports were "incomplete": "She said: 'James and Rebekah fucked the company.' " Wolff said Elisabeth made the remark on Sunday at a book launch for the political analyst Philip Gould, hosted by her husband, Matthew Freud, and the editor of the Times, James Harding.
News Corp insiders questioned the truth of the claims, pointing out that Wolff has long been a critic of James Murdoch and has written about him disparagingly many times. But Elisabeth is known to have been dismayed by what is happening to her father's empire and it is understood there are tensions within the family.
Wolff, who stood by his claims on Saturday, said: "What we are seeing is an enormous amount of frustration. James absolutely cannot survive. Whether or not he is legally culpable, he certainly mishandled this entire situation and has done for a long period of time."
Wolff suggested the world was witnessing the end of the Murdochs' dynastic ambitions. "The Murdochs will be moved out of this company. James will go into some form of exile and Rupert will be put out to pasture and an outsider not named Murdoch will be put in charge."
Reliable sources have told the Observer the family have been having quarterly "summits" to discuss News Corp's long-term future. "The family have been getting together every quarter to discuss News Corp's legacy and what it stands for; the last meeting they had was held in Australia," said the source. "The fascinating thing now is that whatever the brand stood for earlier this year has been shot to pieces. News Corp is a world-class company in terms of how it is run and who it employs – it employs the brightest and the best throughout. Now it could be all over, if they find any evidence of hacking of 9/11 victims."
The concerns will add to the sense of crisis enveloping James Murdoch, who next week will be placed under further pressure when a parliamentary committee asks him to name those within News International whom he has publicly referred to as "wrongdoers".
In a highly unusual twist, the culture, media and sport select committee is contemplating placing Brooks and James and Rupert Murdoch under oath when they appear before it on Tuesday.
The committee is keen to probe James Murdoch on his statement to News International staff shortly before the News of the World was closed down. He said at the time: "Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued. As a result, theNews of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter."
A series of News International figures had previously appeared before the committee to insist there was no evidence of widespread phone hacking at the paper, including Les Hinton, former chief executive; Stuart Kuttner, then managing editor; former editor Andy Coulson and then editor Colin Myler; and Tom Crone, then its senior lawyer.
"Our inquiry is not going to end on Tuesday," said Paul Farrelly, a Labour MP on the committee. "We are going to ask James Murdoch which of the people who have come in front of us, as far as he knows, told us the truth or not."
Farrelly said the committee would recall witnesses in the light of Murdoch's statement. "We couldn't believe what he said when he closed the News of the World," Farrelly said. "He must have realised he would be summoned."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/16/elisabeth-james-murdoch-family-crisis



Rupert Murdoch is rapidly losing allies on both sides of the Atlantic, with his media empire under pressure from all sides. Journalist Afshin Rattansi believes Murdoch still has some "ammunition" to battle his enemies. "[Murdoch] basically had newspapers so that he could manipulate monopoly concerns over his broadcast interests which actually did make money unlike the newspapers. Newspapers are just tools of war," Rattansi said. "It is interesting that he owns these newspapers and they always say Rupert Murdoch loves newspapers." "He has lots of enemies out there," Rattansi added. "He probably has lots of ammunition to hurl back at them, thanks to all those muckraking journalists who spent their time looking at sex scandals." Rattansi admitted that Murdoch still has a lot of friends, but for him it seems like "some MPs find it unbelievable that he has the right to own any form of media in this country."
RT on The Web: http://rt.com/



Veterans Today Senior Editor, Gordon Duff, on Press TV. The subject is Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, Israel and the recent spy and bribery scandal.


Rupert Murdoch's Massive Spying Operations Finally Exposed


A powerful U.S. senator with jurisdiction over privacy and telecommunications issues late Tuesday urged regulators to look into whether News. Corp. had violated any U.S. laws when its British journalists gained unauthorized access to several individuals' voice mails to pursue stories.

"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals--including children--is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics," said Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller in a press statement.


"Why would Murdoch be interested in spying on 9/11 and 7/7 victims' families..?
That must be answered..
Was there a foreign country's hand in all of this..?
And, more to the point, is it time to question just exactly why FOX News was so eager to accede to AIPAC's request to bury Carl Cameron's story about the Israeli spy ring?
And, if you watch that Carl Cameron story, even as they admit to the existence of evidence that Israel knew of 9-11 in advance and did nothing to warn the US, note how the FOX commentators keep reminding the audience that Israel had nothing to do with 9-11, even though there is no factual basis for them to deny such a link, and at least one piece of evidence suggesting that Israel did indeed take part in 9-11 in that story!
"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information." -- US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.
Is Rupert Murdoch a Mossad asset, or at the very least a Sayan, protecting Israel with his media empire??"





SAUDI ALWALEED SAID 'SHE MUST GO'.-News Corp shareholder says Rebekah Brooks "has to go"-BBC
Alwaleed says his Kingdom Holding is the second biggest shareholder in News Corp and controls seven percent of the votes.
News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch was last week closed the News of the World, Britain's top-selling Sunday tabloid, over growing allegations that its journalists had illegally accessed voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain's war dead.
Al-Waleed began his business career in 1979 upon graduation from Menlo College in California. The Prince's activities as an investor came to prominence when he bought a substantial tranche of shares in Citicorp in the 1990s when that firm was in difficulties. With an initial investment of $550 million ($2.98 a share after adjusting for stock splits, acquisitions and spin-offs, according to Bloomberg calculations) to bail out Citibank caused by underperforming American real estate loans and Latin American businesses, his holdings in Citigroup now comprise for about $1 billion. His investments in Citibank earned him the title of Saudi Warren Buffett.

His stake in Citibank once accounted for approximately half of his wealth, prior to the recent financial crisis. At the end of 1990 he bought 4.9 percent of Citicorp’s existing common shares for $207 million ($12.46 per share)—the most that he could without being legally obliged to declare his interest. In February 1991, as American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia were preparing for war with Iraq, the prince spent $590m buying new preferred shares, convertible into common shares at $16 each. This amounted to a further 10% of Citicorp and took his stake to 14.9%.[4]

Later, he also made large investments in AOL, Apple Inc., MCI Inc., Motorola, News Corporation Ltd and other technology and media companies.




In October 2001, following the World Trade Center attacks, New York mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down a $10 million donation from Al-Waleed for disaster relief after the prince suggested the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack," and "re-
examine its policies in the Middle East.
Giuliani interpreted his statements as drawing "a moral equivalency between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone terrorism." 



In 2002, Al-Waleed donated 18.5 million British pounds (US$27 million) to the families of Palestinians during a TV telethon following Israeli operations in the West Bank city of Jenin. The telethon was ordered by Saudi King Fahd to help relatives of Palestinian martyrs. The Saudi government maintained the term "martyrs" referred not to suicide bombers but to "Palestinians [who are] victimized by Israeli terror and violence.



LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - A major News Corp shareholder said on Thursday that News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks should quit because of a telephone hacking scandal that has engulfed the company.
"For sure she has to go, you bet she has to go," Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told the BBC's Newsnight programme.
The scandal has piled pressure on Brooks, who has not resigned despite a call from former friend Prime Minister David Cameron and other politicians to do so.
"Ethics to me is very important, definitely. I will not tolerate to deal with a company that has a lady or a man that has any sliver of doubt on her or his integrity," Alwaleed said.
Alwaleed says his Kingdom Holding is the second biggest shareholder in News Corp and controls seven percent of the votes.
News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch was last week closed the News of the World, Britain's top-selling Sunday tabloid, over growing allegations that its journalists had illegally accessed voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain's war dead.
He was also forced to back down on his biggest acquisition plan yet, the buyout of British pay TV operator BSkyB (LSE: BSY.L - news) .
Alwaleed said News Corp could make another bid for BSkyB in six months, when British takeover rules allows it to.
"BSkyB has been shelved right now, but it's not dead forever," Alwaleed said, adding that he was speaking in a personal capacity. "We will see what happens after six months." (Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; writing by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Jon Boyle)
http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/UPDATE-1-News-Corp-targetukfocus-1850618853.html?x=0
Rebekah Brooks FINALLY quits over phone-hacking scandal as Murdoch's daughter 'accuses her of f****** the company'
David Cameron says her resignation was the right decision 
  • Second biggest shareholder said last night that 'she must go'
  • MP Chris Bryant says she should have gone sooner
  • James Murdoch to come under the spotlight after Brooks departure
  • News International will apologise in ALL national newspapers this weekend
  • Brooks to be replaced by Sky Italia chief exec, Tom Mockridge

Last updated at 6:13 PM on 15th July 2011



Rebekah Brooks has finally resigned as chief executive of News International a day after it was alleged that Elisabeth Murdoch said Brooks had 'f***** the company'.
The decision to step down came amid deafening calls for her to quit by the likes of David Cameron, Ed Miliband and senior figures within News Corporation.
In an internal email to staff she announced she was standing down saying: 'I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt.
'I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist.'
News Corp announced that the 43-year-old is to be replaced by Tom Mockridge, 55, chief executive of Sky Italia.
Pressure was mounting on her to quit after Rupert Murdoch's daughter's comments which came at the same time that the second biggest shareholder at News Corp declared that she 'must go'.

Scroll down to read Rebekah Brooks's statement in full


Miss Murdoch, 42, is understood to be 'furious' that her father's media empire has been thrown into the spotlight over the last fortnight.
Had Brooks resigned last week, there is speculation that the News of the World could have been saved and media commentators suggested that the paper was sacrificed for her.
Miss Murdoch 'railed' against the former News of the World editor and made her scathing remarks to friends, it was alleged by the Daily Telegraph.
The rhetoric of Miss Murdoch's comments shows just how their friendship has dissolved over the years.
In 2001 the pair were photographed on Miss Murdoch's hen night during which the group of friends was being followed in their white stretch-limo by a Ford Mondeo.
Brooks, then Rebekah Wade and editor of the News of the World, called the picture desk and, using the car's number plate, was able to identify the paparazzo driver.
She called him, identified herself and said that unless he stopped following them she'd see to it that no Murdoch publication would do business with him again.
The Mondeo immediately performed a U-turn and disappeared.
In a debate in the House of Lords today, Lord Prescott ridiculed Brooks's claim that her 'desire to remain on the bridge had made me a focal point of the debate.
and that is why she has gone,' he said.
'I was a seafarer of 10 years, I wouldn't have liked her on the bridge if she didn't know what was going on or where she was going and what direction, 

Elisabeth Murdoch, far left, invited Brooks, third from left and then editor of NotW, to join her on her hen night
Elisabeth Murdoch, far left, invited Brooks, third from left and then editor of NotW, to join her on her hen night
Rebekah Brooks seven days in Tweets


He added: 'All these others are small bit players, it's Mr Murdoch (senior), he is the spy in the middle of this net and if we don't deal with him he will just come back to the same old practices.'
Seafarer: John Prescott ridiculed the notion that Brooks had a 'desire to remain on the bridge' during the crisis


A close aide of Lord Prescott suggested that what he was trying to say was 'spider in the middle of this web'.
The Murdochs have presented a united front in public but behind closed doors there were growing ructions, according to the Daily Telegraph.



Murdoch, 80, was pictured smiling as he left a restaurant in central London with his arm round Brooks following an hour-long meeting at his luxury flat last weekend.
When asked what his top priority was, Murdoch gestured at Brooks and said: 'This one'.
Saudi Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, who holds seven per cent shares in News Corp, made his position clear that she should leave. 'For sure she has to go,' he told BBC's Newsnight 'you bet she has to go.'
Speaking on his luxury yacht, the billionaire - known as the 'Arab Warren Buffet'- added: 'We hope that as this things unfolds the truth will come out.'
'It's very important to me and my company who have been investors in News Corp for 20 years to get this in order because ethics to me are very important' he said.
Asked about hacking into Milly Dowler's phone, Alsaud said he wanted to differentiate between the News of the World and News Corporation as a whole.
'I think we have to wait for the commission that's been appointed by the Prime Minister and look at the results,' he added in response to allegations that James Murdoch had known about illegal activity.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud said on BBC's Newsnight yesterday that Rebekah Brooks 'must go'When asked about alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, Prince Waleed Alsaud said he wanted to differentiate between the News of the World and News Corporation as a whole
When asked about alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, Prince Waleed Alsaud, left, said he wanted to differentiate between the News of the World and News Corporation as a whole

Alsaud, who could lose hundreds of millions if News Corporation's stock market value crashes even more, said that the scandal should not be 'over-criticised'.
Rupert Murdoch launched an astonishing defence of News International's handling of the crisis saying that the company had only made 'minor mistakes'.
He could have prevented the phone-hacking scandal by taking editorial control over his newspapers, the House of Lords was told today.


Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Fowler said the News Corp boss disagreed with celebrity coverage in the Sun and News of the World, which ultimately led to journalists hacking into voicemails.
Opening a debate on News International's position in the UK media landscape today, Lord Fowler recalled the Lords communications committee interviewing Mr Murdoch in New York four years ago.
Lord Fowler said: 'He did not exercise daily editorial control. He said if he had, there wouldn't be the degree of celebrity 'gunge' there was in his tabloids.
'He added that he didn't understand the interest in Big Brother contestants and, by implication, their private lives.
'That, he said, was up to his editors. I think today he might be rather regretting that hands-off approach as his empire shows signs of cracking.
'What has brought it low has been the preoccupation with private lives and private tragedies and the totally unacceptable means one of his newspapers, the News of the World, used to avoid the law.'
Today's debate was delayed by five minutes because few peers were in the chamber ready to start after earlier business finished ahead of schedule.
Lord Prescott, a leading critic of Mr Murdoch's regime, was giving an interview to Sky News and arrived late for the start of proceedings.
The under-pressure tycoon dismissed Gordon Brown's claims that the Murdoch empire was 'part of a criminal underworld' as 'lies'.
A worker leaves News International's headquarters in Wapping earlier today
A worker leaves News International's headquarters in Wapping earlier today
Rupert Murdoch accepted Rebekah Brooks' resignation today. He has twice previously turned down her offer to quit
Rupert Murdoch accepted Rebekah Brooks' resignation today. He has twice previously turned down her offer to quit


In his first interview since the hacking crisis exploded, Murdoch caused further insult to hacking victims as he shrugged off the scandal saying he was 'tired' and will 'get over it'.
In the Wall Street Journal he said the claims of breaking the law on an industrial scale were 'nothing that will not be recovered'  adding that he has a reputation for 'good works'.
David Cameron's spokesman today said that the Prime Minister believes her resignation was the 'right decision'.
A spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister said: 'This is the right thing for Rebekah Brooks to have done. It is an important first step in cleaning up this mess.
'People will, rightly, expect Mrs Brooks to come to the Select Committee next week to give evidence.
'People still need answers. She owes it to the victims of phone hacking and the country at large to explain her role in what happened.'
Yesterday Neil Wallis, a former executive editor at News of the World, was arrested and later bailed over phone hacking allegations.
His alleged involvement in the crisis is a further embarrassment for Scotland Yard as it turned out the 60-year-old was paid £1,000-a-day as a consultant between October 2009 and September 2010.
As a result head of the Yard, Sir Paul Stephenson, also faces being dragged before MPs to explain himself and his relationship with Wallis.

Brooks will appear before the Home Affairs Select committee next week to answer questions from MPs led by chairman Keith Vaz..

Earlier today he said he was surprised she had resigned despite the fact that she has twice before offered her resignation to Rupert and James Murdoch.
He also said it was important that News International continued to cooperate with the investigation into phone hacking in the wake of her resignation
'We must make sure that the resignation does not mean that there is not that continued cooperation,' he told Sky News. 'We need to still get to the bottom of matters.'
Upon hearing the news that she had resigned, Mark Lewis, the lawyer of Milly Dowler's family, said: 'She should have resigned when Andy Coulson resigned.'
He added: 'News International, News of the World, had ruined people's lives.
'In a sense it is the chicken coming home to roost. It is time. Every dog has its day and Rebekah Brooks, I suppose, is that dog.'
A spokesman for the Hacked Off Campaign, which is lobbying for a full investigation into phone hacking, welcomed Mrs Brooks's resignation but said it was more important for the full truth about the scandal to be uncovered.
He said: 'The Hacked Off Campaign's main focus is on getting an inquiry with the right scope, powers and timescale to get to the truth, but all the victims we have spoken to have told us that they cannot see how Rebekah Brooks could remain in her job, given what has so far been revealed.
'The key issue is not, however, whether Rebekah Brooks is in work, but whether she lied to Parliament, told the full truth to the police or was engaged in a massive cover-up. That is what the victims want to know.'
James Murdoch issued a statement after her resignation  saying: 'I understand her decision and I want to thank her for her 22 years of service to the Company.
'She has been one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive.'
Mr Murdoch announced that apologies will appear in all national newspaper this weekend over phone hacking.
Replacement: Tom Mockridge will take over as chief executive of News International
Replacement: Tom Mockridge will take over as chief executive of News International
James Murdoch today said that the company had made mistakes and would be apologising in all national newspapers this weekend
James Murdoch today said that the company had made mistakes and would be apologising in all national newspapers this weekend

REBEKAH BROOKS' RESIGNATION LETTER IN FULL

At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons.
Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.
As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert’s wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.
I would like to thank them both for their support.
I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world.
News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives.
I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.
As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.
My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.
I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.
I wish every one of you all the best.
Rebekah

Mr Murdoch also said that the company will try to rebuild bridges with advertisers, announcing that News Corp would be 'sending letters to our commercial partners with an update on the actions we are taking'.
He added: 'Next week, my father and I will appear before the (Culture Media and Sport) Select Committee and will speak to them directly about our determination to put things right.
'The Company has made mistakes. It is not only receiving appropriate scrutiny, but is also responding to unfair attacks by setting the record straight.
'I would like to conclude by saying thank you. Throughout this time, you have gotten out great papers every day and have stayed focused. I am deeply grateful for that.'
Murdoch's leadership is now likely to come under close scrutiny as the spotlight shifts onto him instead of Brooks.
Labour MP Tom Watson, member of the Culture, Media and Sports Committee said he had 'questions to answer' about why he authorised payments to hacking victims.
'The focus of attention will be on him and his corporate leadership of the company,' he told the BBC.
Mr Watson, who has campaigned on phone hacking for the last two years, said he expected the Murdochs and Mrs Brooks to give a series of 'non-answers' when they appeared before the committee next Tuesday.
'None of this pleases me, it is a deeply unpleasant scandal,' he added.
Mr Watson also urged Prime Minister David Cameron to 'co-operate fully' with the FBI investigation if it turned out 9/11 victims had been hacked.
Labour frontbencher Chris Bryant, who has been a leading critic over the phone-hacking scandal, said Mrs Brooks should have left before.

'I think it is right that she goes. I think she should have gone a very long time ago,' he told Sky News. 'Frankly, she should have gone when she said she had paid police officers for information back in 2003.'
He added: 'I thought it was disgraceful when the newspaper last week was closed as a way of trying to protect Rebekah Brooks and then Mr Murdoch saying that she was his priority.
'It felt like those in the boiler room were carrying the can for those who were really at the helm of the ship.'
Ed Miliband said on hearing the news: 'It is right that Rebekah Brooks has resigned. No one should exercise power without responsibility.
'It's right Rebekah Brooks has finally taken responsibility and resigned. Mr Murdoch still hasn't apologised to the victims of phone hacking.'
Chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee John Whittingdale said he believed her resignation had been 'inevitable'.
'I think this is the right decision. I think many people expected it to come rather sooner, but I think her position was extremely difficult,' he told Sky News.
'I think the most shocking revelation of all, perhaps, was the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, which took place when she [Mrs Brooks] was the editor of the paper and there has obviously been a stream of revelations since then.
'This was inevitable and it is the right thing.'

JAMES MURDOCH'S STATEMENT IN FULL

I am writing to update you on the actions we have been taking as a company to solve the problems at News International relating to the News of the World, in addition to continuing to co-operate fully and actively with the police and settling civil claims.
Earlier today, Rebekah Brooks resigned from her position as CEO. I understand her decision and I want to thank her for her 22 years of service to the company. She has been one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive. We support her as she takes this step to clear her name.
We have created an independent management and standards committee and I want to emphasise its importance. The committee has direct governance and oversight from News Corporation board members and is codifying standards that will be clear and enforced.
We made the difficult and necessary decision to close the News of the World.
A number of other executives have now left the company.
News Corporation also withdrew its proposal to acquire the shares in BSkyB it does not own. This is a strong signal that our top priority in the UK is to address the issues facing News International.
Looking to the future, I am also pleased to tell you that Tom Mockridge will become CEO of News International. Tom is in London today and will start right away. Tom is a highly respected and accomplished media executive who has served as CEO of Sky Italia since its launch in 2003.
Tom, who has also been in charge of our European television business, started his career as a newspaper journalist in New Zealand and he has held a range of top roles in the newspaper industry. The creation of TG-24, Italy's only truly independent 24 hours news channel, is a credit to Tom's leadership and integrity.
This weekend, News International will run advertisements in all national newspapers. We will apologise to the nation for what has happened. We will follow this up in the future with communications about the actions we have taken to address the wrongdoing that occurred.
We are also sending letters to our commercial partners with an update on the actions we are taking.
Next week, my father and I will appear before the CMS [culture, media and sport] select committee and will speak to them directly about our determination to put things right.
The company has made mistakes. It is not only receiving appropriate scrutiny, but is also responding to unfair attacks by setting the record straight.
I would like to conclude by saying thank you. Throughout this time, you have gotten out great papers every day and have stayed focused. I am deeply grateful for that.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015067/Rebekah-Brooks-resigns-head-News-International-phone-hacking-scandal.html#ixzz1SEsUU3U9



Murdoch Faces Spying And Hacking Probe In US
By Darryl Mason 

It's been a long time coming, but the world is finally learning that media mogul Rupert Murdoch has spent at least a decade funding one of the biggest corporate spying and intelligence gathering operations in history.

It's being called 'Murdoch Hacking Scandal' but spying and intelligence gathering is exactly what it was. Murdoch's attack dogs even hacked the phones of the police investigating them, or so claim detectives.
The targets of Murdoch's spying were celebrities, politicians, the British police, Scotland Yard detectives and the families of terrorism and murder victims. And that's just for starters.
More than 3400 people, were targeted by Murdoch journalists and private detectives in the UK.
If you haven't been following this sickening story on the most intrusive of privacy violations, here's a round up :


In October, 2010, Rupert Murdoch denied any knowledge of the spying and hacking that made him even richer. This is what he said to a shareholders meeting that month :

"We have very, very strict rules. There was one incident more than five years ago … the person who bought the bugged conversation was immediately fired. If anything was to come to light, and we have challenged those people who have made allegations to provide evidence … we would take immediate action"
At the time of that comment by Murdoch, his son James Murdoch was paying off victims of their phone hacking to maintain their silence. Some received Shut The Fuck Up payments of more than $US1 million. And Rupert knew nothing about this? Sounds highly, highly unlikely.

Now the truth is getting out, thanks to the dogged pursuit by UK Guardian journalist Nick Davies, Rupert Murdoch remains cold and calculating in his response to the scandal, and the trauma suffered by the victims of this spying and hacking :



Now the police accused of illegally taking money from Murdoch journalists and executives are facing questions from British parliamentary committees, and Rupert Murdoch himself, along with his son James Murdoch and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, are to face politicians next week. Incredibly, this scandal may end with the jailing of James Murdoch or Rebekah Brooks, or both of them.

Here's an hilarious video of Scotland Yard deputy commissioner denying he took money from journalists or executives at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper empire :


Protesting just a little too much there?

The Murdoch Spying Scandal is now hitting Murdoch where it really hurts, wiping more than $7 billion of the value of News Corp stock in the US, and billions more in stock value losses in Australia and the UK.

So what about Murdoch's media operations in Australia and the United States, including Fox News?

Do they, like his British journalists, hack the phones and financial records of civilians and politicians and pay police for information and protection from prosecution? It seems hard to believe that the 'news gathering' techniques so entrenched in Murdoch's British media, and other British tabloids, are not endemic across his empire.

In the meantime, Rupert and James Murdoch are now considering which of their newspapers to close next. His flagship print newspaper The Australian is on the block for the chop within two years, but there will be many more newspaper closures, and mass journalist sackings, to come.

Newspapers are how Murdoch has controlled politicians for decades, but all that is over now, as the minor sex and corruption scandals that they would have once been so ashamed to have blasted across a Murdoch front page pale in comparison to the mind-boggling levels of spying, corruption and blackmail involving chief Murdoch executives.

There is so much more to come....

Screengrab from front page of British tabloid The Daily Mirror


UPDATE : Well, Rupert Murdoch is totally fucked now :
A powerful U.S. senator with jurisdiction over privacy and telecommunications issues late Tuesday urged regulators to look into whether News. Corp. had violated any U.S. laws when its British journalists gained unauthorized access to several individuals' voice mails to pursue stories.
"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals--including children--is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics," said Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller in a press statement.
"This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated," he added. "I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe."
It couldn't happen to a more miserable, vile, corrupt and corrupting scumbag.


As you watch this story from 2001, note how every time the factual evidence suggests a link to Israel, how the FOX commentators immediately leap in to assure us that Israel could never ever have done such a terrible thing to the United States (which is what FOX news says every time the survivors of the USS Liberty attack speak out).

"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information." -- US official quoted in Carl Cameron's Fox News report on the Israeli spy ring and its connections to 9-11.






Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is a 2004 documentary film by progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald that is highly critical of the Fox News Channel, and its owner, Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the channel is used to promote and advocate right-wing views. 


The film says this pervasive bias contradicts the channel's claim of being "Fair and Balanced", and argues that Fox News has been engaging in what amounts to consumer fraud. 


The documentary was not released theatrically, but rather was distributed in DVD format by the progressive Political action committee MoveOn.org, and sold online through Internet retailers such as Amazon.com, where it was a top-seller in July 2004. MoveOn.org had helped promote the DVD release by taking out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. 


The film examines the global growth of Murdoch's media enterprise in the context of concentration of media ownership considerations, and argues that having one person in control of a large media conglomerate might infringe freedom of the press. 


Outfoxed negatively portrays Fox News on several fronts: It criticizes Fox News' coverage during the lead-up to, and the aftermath of, the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It claims that commentators such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity attempt to intimidate guests with whom they disagree, such as author and activist Jeremy Glick. It states that more airtime and coverage is given to Republican politicians, particularly those in the George W. Bush administration, than to Democrats. 


It portrays Fox News management, including owner Rupert Murdoch and president Roger Ailes, both conservatives, as controlling the network's content, and further portrays editorial control from Murdoch on down as ensuring which stories and issues are covered and that the coverage is from a strongly conservative perspective. It asserts that suspensions or other reprisals are given to reporters and producers for not promoting the channel's political point of view. 


Former Fox News journalists appear in the film critiquing the methods and perceived integrity of their former employer. For example, Jon Du Pre, a former reporter for Fox News' West Coast bureau, alleged that he had been suspended by Fox News management because his live shots from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Ronald Reagan's birthday — which Du Pre described was like a "holy day" to Fox News' hierarchy — were not "celebratory enough." 


A former Fox News military contributor, Larry C. Johnson, also claimed that he was in high demand to give on-air analysis on the War on Terror, until he called into question on Hannity & Colmes whether or not the United States could fight two wars (in Afghanistan and Iraq) simultaneously, an incident after which Johnson says he was promptly ignored as a potential Fox News contributor. http://www.outfoxed.org/ Outfoxed documentary about Fox News from producer/director Robert Greenwald. Creative Commons license: Sampling Plus

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