Is Rupert Murdoch’s media empire just another criminal enterprise?
The UK phone hacking scandal has already taken down Murdoch’s News of the World, drawn in two prime ministers, and caused Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to go nearly blind, deaf and dumb. But the scandal is only getting bigger, and wider.
From the Independent UK:
The crisis engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire dramatically worsened last night when it was claimed that private investigators working for The Sun and The Sunday Times targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown.
In another extraordinary day in the phone-hacking scandal, News International’s denials that illicit newsgathering techniques stretched beyond the News of the World came under strain in the face of well-sourced claims that two of its other best-selling titles were also involved in serious wrongdoing.
As Scotland Yard launched a fierce attack on News International for undermining its new inquiry into the alleged bribery of police officers by reporters, it was claimed that private investigators for Britain’s largest newspaper group attempted to access Mr Brown’s phone, medical records and bank account.
Illegal attempts were made by a “blagger” apparently working for The Sunday Times to access Mr Brown’s account from the Abbey National bank in 2000. In a letter to The Sunday Times’ editor John Witherow, Abbey National’s senior lawyer wrote: “On the basis of facts and inquiries, I am drawn to the conclusion that someone from The Sunday Times or acting on its behalf has masqueraded as Mr Brown for the purpose of obtaining information from Abbey National by deception.”
This is not good, Rupert. And now, some are wondering how he is still managing to stay at the helm of News Corp. Some investors are already calling for him to go. And there are questions over whether the metastasizing scandal could jeopardize the Aussie conservative’s FCC license here in the states.
This isn’t getting better.
Cue Tina Brown.