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Murdoch Watch: The Hacking Scandal (and Beyond) Blog for Wednesday | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Murdoch Watch: The Hacking Scandal (and Beyond) Blog for Wednesday

With the hacking-and-so-much-more scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s corrupt News of the World and other aspects of his empire expanding by the day, I’ve decided to launch a live blog with frequent updates on the subject. Items and links will be added below, with the latest at the top, à la my long-running WikiLeaks News & Views blog—which, by the way, will somehow continue. My Nation associate Kevin Donohoe is helping out, as is Barbara Bedway.

UPDATE: The Thursday edition of this blog.

10:00  Christopher Hitchens: It took another dog to eat Murdoch’s dog (h/t Barbara Bedway). 

7:10 Brian Stelter at NYT wrap-up on how Brit scandal affecting Murdoch and company in USA now.

6:15  Two more Democratic senators (Boxer and Menendez) call for a probe into News Corp. ... and 9/11 families join calls.

6:10  A clip from Gordon Brown's  speech in the Commons today in which he defended his government's media policy record -- recalls Murdoch paper picturing him as Dr. Evil -- and accused Cameron of being in bed with News International. The Daily Telegraph leads with "The Revenge of Brown" and the BBC notes that "there's likely to be widespread reaction in the British media" the speech.   "Law-breaking on an industrial scale...linked to underworld." 

6:05  Mike Calderone: DOJ reviewing calls for Murdoch company prosecution.

6:00  If you missed Reuters' major retraction on News Corp. tax issues. 

4:25  Pro Publica:  Bancroft family says they regret ever selling the Wall Street Journal to Murdoch.

4:20 Full Guardian coverage of the day here plus many extras (and see my earlier items below), including editor Alan Rusbridger doubting PM Cameron's account.

4:10  The Nation presents the News of the World Murdoch scandal — in pictures!  new slide show.

4:05  Rightwing Republican (and frequent Fox guest) Rep. Peter King is requesting that the FBI investigates whether Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation hacked into the voicemail accounts of Sept. 11 victims.

2:35  This long take on Piers Morgan's NOTW history (a former editor), friendship with Coulson, his own possible hacking background, and much more will probably surprise you. (h/t Barbara Bedway)

2:25  Pathetic state of modern media criticism: New Wash Post "critic" Erik Wemple calls "garbage" -- no, "total garbage" --  the suggestions that maybe there's a problem with News Corp. and Fox outlets not covering the current scandal. He argues: oh, there are plenty of other news outlets to do that.

2:10  Fun fact from old pal Mike Calderone of Huff Post: Murdoch lives in 5th Ave triplex prev owned by the late Laurance Rockefeller, uncle of Senator now calling for News Corp probe.

2:00  Sen. Frank Lautenberg is asking U.S. authorities to launch a probe into News Corp.'s phone hacking activities. 

12:35 Now The Nation has assembled thirty years of coverage of Murdoch.

12:15 Murdoch, He Said: our own Don Guttenplan on today’s updates and asks, Is Sky falling on Rupe? Is it “over” for him overall?

11:20 Big NYT piece on today’s events—tops their front page of site with Murdoch snap.

11:15 Former Nation intern Nick Clegg on Murdoch dropping Sky bid for now: “This is the decent and sensible thing to do. Now that the bid has been called off and a proper inquiry set up, we have a once in a generation chance to clean up the murky underworld of the corrupted relationship between the police, politics and the press.”

11:00 How Twitter Tracked the Scandal—an analysis of half a million tweets. Makes my few dozen seem pretty paltry.

9:45 Breaking: News Corp. to withdraw bid for full Sky ownership. Share price has already dropped 2 percent today. May not be able to re-submit for six months or longer. Chase Carey, deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer, News Corporation, commented: “We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate. News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it.”

9:40 Gordon Brown to speak in House of Commons in a bit, after marathon morning Cameron session.

8:30 Major developments involving PM Cameron—and British media—today, see Guardian blow-by-blow of wild question time right now. Watch live. Cameron’s full statement on inquiry. Challenges by Labour leader Millband. Much more at Guardian site on all aspects.

8:25 Bullet points at the Guardian: Cameron claims his office did not pass on warnings over Coulson… Says News Corp should concentrate on “tidying up its act”—not on mergers… Ministers should record and publish details of all their meetings with media. Murdoch “considering News International selloff.”

8:00 Major New York Times story on how the hacking scandal has raised serious questions about British PM David Cameron’s relationship with News Corp. and threatens to divide the coalition government. “Mr. Cameron,” Times writes,” has been placed in the unaccustomed position of appearing vulnerable and behind the curve.”

12:05 Politico: Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) called Tuesday for the “appropriate agencies” to look into whether News Corp. has engaged in illegal activities in the United States.

12:00 News Corp.–owned Wall Street Journal reports, “The feeling among some [News Corp.] executives is, ‘If the U.K. government is going to be this vindictive, maybe we should just sell out altogether and let them see how these [newspapers] do without [us].’”

From late Tuesday

That’s a lotta D’oh: In a wonderful coincidence (we presume), the episode of The Simpsons lampooning “Fraudcast News” and Murdoch happened to air on Sky last night. Story and picture here.

ThinkProgress has launched a petition calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate News Corp.

Financial Times: Opposition Leader Ed Miliband and Deputy PM Nick Clegg “are demanding that a public inquiry into phone-hacking must go beyond Rupert Murdoch’s news empire, in a move that could expose the methods used by other parts of the newspaper industry to intense scrutiny.”

Peter Hart at FAIR points out (with transcript) that Bill O’Reilly wanted to prosecute people who hacked Palin e-mails but has so far been silent on his fellow Murdoch employees. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4342

My associate Kevin Donohoe sends along this beauty, which involves Coulson, Brooks and… Harry Potter. And 9/11.

Not sure what this means exactly, beyond the obvious, but they are highlighting: SkyNewsBreak “Sky sources: Hacking inquiry to include relations between police & press and present & former politicians may be called under oath.”

Great background on current scandal in major NYT Magazine story last fall, don’t miss.

Latest updates: Now it turns out Murdoch may not appear before probe committee next week. Also, the Sun denies getting medical records on Gordon Brown’s son in unethical manner, claiming it came from “public” source (even if true, doesn’t explain publishing it). Top police official backs second in commands Yates, despite his admissions today on dropping inquiry. And more right up to date.

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