Is this the beginning of the end of Rupert Murdoch's media empire?

Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2012 11:50 am
I believe in equality, at least before the law.

If you ask the ladies on A2K who they think is the more misogynistic out of you and me, I'm confident they'll say you.................by a landslide.
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2012 11:55 am
That's because you have mesmerised the poor buggers out of their wits.
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2012 03:50 pm

Let's hear it for the pink chubbies.
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Reply Thu 27 Sep, 2012 02:35 am
It seems to have taken a lifetime to have reached this point! :

Phone hacking trial set for September 2013
Updated 10 hours 28 minutes ago
By Europe correspondent Mary Gearin, wires

Photo: Rebekah Brooks and her husband Charlie Brooks arrive at the Old Bailey court in central London. (AFP: Will Oliver)

The woman who once ran the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, Rebekah Brooks, will face trial in September next year on charges of phone hacking.

Brooks is also charged with attempting to conceal evidence and corrupt payment to officials.

Ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson will also go on trial for phone hacking in September 2013.

None of the 14 accused over phone hacking allegations are yet to enter a plea, but Brooks has previously indicated she will fight the charges.

A British judge set the date for the first trial in the scandal, which led to the News of the World's closure in July 2011, after several defendants appeared at London's famed Old Bailey court on Wednesday.

Brooks, 44, is a former head of News International and a close friend of prime minister David Cameron.

Coulson, also 44, is Mr Cameron's former director of communications.

Judge Adrian Fulford gave directions for the management of two separate cases: one relates to the illegal hacking of mobile phone voicemails, while the other is over alleged attempts to pervert the course of justice.

The proposed trial date was September 9, 2013, with a further preliminary hearing on December 12 and 13 this year.

Brooks and all other defendants spoke only to confirm their names and their bail was extended.

Appearing with Brooks and Coulson on the phone hacking charges were the News of the World's former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, reporter James Weatherup, and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Stuart Kuttner, the News of the World's former managing editor, has also been charged with phone hacking but was not in court.

Police say the case involves the hacking of 600 people's voicemails, including Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney.

Perversion of justice

Separately, Brooks faces three charges of perverting the course of justice by removing boxes of material from the archive of News International (NI) and trying to hide documents, computers and other material from police.

The charges relate to the last days of the 168-year-old News of the World in July 2011, as Murdoch was shutting it down.

Rebekah Brooks's racehorse trainer husband Charlie Brooks, her personal assistant Cheryl Carter, her chauffeur Paul Edwards, NI head of security Mark Hanna, and Daryl Jorsling and Lee Sandell, who provided security for Brooks supplied by NI, also face one charge each.

The judge imposed tight reporting restrictions on the case, including whether any pleas were entered.

Rebekah Brooks edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003 before taking up the same post at The Sun, Murdoch's top-selling British daily tabloid.

At one time she moved in the highest circles of British politics, and testified to a press ethics inquiry in May about her close friendship with Mr Cameron.

She resigned as NI chief executive days after the News of the World closed.

Coulson edited the News of the World from 2003 to 2007 and went on to become Mr Cameron's communications director, leaving that post in January 2011.

Mr Cameron's closeness to two of the key figures in Murdoch's empire led to criticism from his political opponents and he set up a judge-led inquiry into the ethics of the British press in response.

Senior judge Brian Leveson is due to release his findings, which are expected to include recommendations on the regulation of newspapers, later this year.

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Reply Tue 15 Jan, 2013 08:19 pm
More proof that the Murdoch press is about propaganda as much as journalism:

This on twitter, the AAP feed (right), the the staff writer's rewrite (left) click on image for bigger picture higher res.
Reply Tue 15 Jan, 2013 09:03 pm
good grief
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Reply Tue 15 Jan, 2013 10:54 pm
I've been sitting on this one, only just got around to reading it.


Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency
Did the Washington Post and others underplay the story through fear of the News Corp chairman, or simply tin-eared judgment?

Carl Bernstein
The Guardian, Thursday 20 December 2012 16.41 GMT

The Ailes/Petraeus tape made clear to many that Murdoch's goals in America have always been nefarious. Photograph: Reuters

So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch's ultimate and most audacious attempt – thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance – to hijack America's democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.

In the American instance, Murdoch's goal seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election.

Thus in the spring of 2011 – less than 10 weeks before Murdoch's centrality to the hacking and politician-buying scandal enveloping his British newspapers was definitively revealed – Fox News' inventor and president, Roger Ailes, dispatched an emissary to Afghanistan to urge Petraeus to turn down President Obama's expected offer to become CIA director and, instead, run for the Republican nomination for president, with promises of being bankrolled by Murdoch. Ailes himself would resign as president of Fox News and run the campaign, according to the conversation between Petraeus and the emissary, K T McFarland, a Fox News on-air defense "analyst" and former spear carrier for national security principals in three Republican administrations.

All this was revealed in a tape recording of Petraeus's meeting with McFarland obtained by Bob Woodward, whose account of their discussion, accompanied online by audio of the tape, was published in the Washington Post – distressingly, in its style section, and not on page one, where it belonged – and, under the style logo, online on December 3.

Indeed, almost as dismaying as Ailes' and Murdoch's disdain for an independent and truly free and honest press, and as remarkable as the obsequious eagerness of their messenger to convey their extraordinary presidential draft and promise of on-air Fox support to Petraeus, has been the ho-hum response to the story by the American press and the country's political establishment, whether out of fear of Murdoch, Ailes and Fox – or, perhaps, lack of surprise at Murdoch's, Ailes' and Fox's contempt for decent journalistic values or a transparent electoral process.

The tone of the media's reaction was set from the beginning by the Post's own tin-eared treatment of this huge story: relegating it, like any other juicy tidbit of inside-the-beltway media gossip, to the section of the newspaper and its website that focuses on entertainment, gossip, cultural and personality-driven news, instead of the front page.

"Bob had a great scoop, a buzzy media story that made it perfect for Style. It didn't have the broader import that would justify A1," Liz Spayd, the Post's managing editor, told Politico when asked why the story appeared in the style section.

Buzzy media story? Lacking the "broader import" of a front-page story? One cannot imagine such a failure of news judgment among any of Spayd's modern predecessors as managing editors of the Post, especially in the clear light of the next day and with a tape recording – of the highest audio quality – in hand.

"Tell [Ailes] if I ever ran," Petraeus announces on the crystal-clear digital recording and then laughs, "but I won't … but if I ever ran, I'd take him up on his offer. … He said he would quit Fox … and bankroll it."

McFarland clarified the terms: "The big boss is bankrolling it. Roger's going to run it. And the rest of us are going to be your in-house" – thereby confirming what Fox New critics have consistently maintained about the network's faux-news agenda and its built-in ideological bias.

And here let us posit the following: were an emissary of the president of NBC News, or of the editor of the New York Times or the Washington Post ever caught on tape promising what Ailes and Murdoch had apparently suggested and offered here, the hue and cry, especially from Fox News and Republican/Tea Party America, from the Congress to the US Chamber of Commerce to the Heritage Foundation, would be deafening and not be subdued until there was a congressional investigation, and the resignations were in hand of the editor and publisher of the network or newspaper. Or until there had been plausible and convincing evidence that the most important elements of the story were false. And, of course, the story would continue day after day on page one and remain near the top of the evening news for weeks, until every ounce of (justifiable) piety about freedom of the press and unfettered presidential elections had been exhausted.

The tape of Petraeus and McFarland's conversation is an amazing document, a testament to the willingness of Murdoch and the wily genius he hired to create Fox News to run roughshod over the American civic and political landscape without regard to even the traditional niceties or pretenses of journalistic independence and honesty. Like the revelations of the hacking scandal, which established beyond any doubt Murdoch's ability to capture and corrupt the three essential elements of the British civic compact – the press, politicians and police – the Ailes/Petraeus tape makes clear that Murdoch's goals in America have always been just as ambitious, insidious and nefarious.

The digital recording, and the dead-serious conspiratorial conversation it captures so chillingly in tone and substance ("I'm only reporting this back to Roger. And that's our deal," McFarland assured Petraeus as she unfolded the offer) utterly refutes Ailes' disingenuous dismissal of what he and Murdoch were actually attempting: the buying of the presidency.

"It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have," Ailes would later claim while nonetheless confirming its meaning. "I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate."

The recording deserves to be heard by any open-minded person trying to fathom its meaning to the fullest.

Murdoch and Ailes have erected an incredibly influential media empire that has unrivaled power in British and American culture: rather than judiciously exercising that power or improving reportorial and journalistic standards with their huge resources, they have, more often than not, recklessly pursued an agenda of sensationalism, manufactured controversy, ideological messianism, and political influence-buying while masquerading as exemplars of a free and responsible press. The tape is powerful evidence of their methodology and reach.

The Murdoch story – his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – is one of the most important and far-reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30 years, an ongoing tale without equal. Like Richard Nixon and his tapes, much attention has been focused on the necessity of finding the smoking gun to confirm what other evidence had already established beyond a doubt: that the elemental instruments of democracy, ie the presidency in Nixon's case, and the privileges of free press in Murdoch's, were grievously misused and abused for their own ends by those entrusted to use great power for the common good.

In Nixon's case, the system worked. His actions were investigated by Congress, the judicial system held that even the president of the United States was not above the law, and he was forced to resign or face certain impeachment and conviction. American and British democracy has not been so fortunate with Murdoch, whose power and corruption went unchecked for a third of a century.

The most important thing we journalists do is make judgments about what is news. Perhaps no story has eluded us on a daily basis (for lack of trying) for so many years as the story of Murdoch's destructive march across our democratic landscape. Only the Guardian vigorously pursued the leads of the hacking story and methodically stuck with it for months and years, never ignoring the underlying context of how Rupert Murdoch conducted his take-no-prisoners business and journalism without regard for the most elemental standards of fairness, accuracy or balance, or even lawful conduct.

When the Guardian's hacking coverage reached critical mass last year, I quoted a former top Murdoch deputy as follows: "This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch's orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means."

The tape that Bob Woodward obtained, and which the Washington Post ran in the style section, should be the denouement of the Murdoch story on both sides of the Atlantic, making clear that no institution, not even the presidency of the United States, was beyond the object of his subversion. If Murdoch had bankrolled a successful Petraeus presidential campaign and – as his emissary McFarland promised – "the rest of us [at Fox] are going to be your in-house" – Murdoch arguably might have sewn up the institutions of American democracy even more securely than his British tailoring.

Happily, Petraeus was not hungering for the presidency at the moment of the messenger's arrival: the general was contented at the idea of being CIA director, which Ailes was urging him to forgo.

"We're all set," said the emissary, referring to Ailes, Murdoch and Fox. "It's never going to happen," Petraeus said. "You know it's never going to happen. It really isn't. … My wife would divorce me."
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 03:14 am
I saw that in the paper. Amazing, eh?
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Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 03:53 am
What McTag said.
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 05:03 am
He's not called the Dirty Digger for nothing.

It doesn't surprise me in the least.

It's coming anyway at some point. Television is an unmitigated disaster. The hubris is even palpable in the guys who drive the equipment vans. At the O'Reilly level one wonders why his head doesn't explode.

"You are entering THE No Spin zone!!!!!"

The 'fluence is worked on the ladies I'm sorry to say. Take a close look at the Fox Extra girls if you want a good laugh.

Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 09:51 am

I think Rebekah is going to jail, especially since that police woman was found guilty (has she been sentenced yet? not sure) and I'm looking forward to that enormously.
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 10:03 am
So am I Mac. I'm hoping she demonstrates that hell really has no fury like a woman scorned.
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Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 02:54 am
In case you are unaware News Ltd aka Rupert Murdoch have taken a very anti-government stance in Australia, there are even rumours that the opposition leader works strategy in partnership with them/him (photographed entering the building sans entourage, several insiders admitting that there are regular meetings).

I have oft wondered why? I mean I think Rupert is more an intensely competitive (mostly immoral, or at least unethical - if that's not a tautology) businessman rather than a right wing ideologue. So what was the business angle? I mean he owns most of Australia's media and even he would concede that fighting the legislation for the scraps he doesn't own isn't worth the negative publicity.

So.... the twitblogosphere offers up this
Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

Background: NBN is the current government's massive infrastructure project to provide optic fibre connections to virtually all Australian homes (offering speeds around 100mbps) it would operate as a govt monopoly - but business would provide the services delivered by the network - offering a level playing field not currently available to telco's because most of the phone infrastructure is owned by the privatised remnant of the national telco. Foxtel here is a satellite service - we don't have cable like the USA does.

The opposition talk it up as a white elephant, that the bandwidth is over the top, and the cost exorbitant, their alternative plan is a hybrid of technologies that end up with copper to home from local nodes, and a bit of wireless chucked in. It looks like at best they will offer a quarter of the speed, for about 60% of the price.

So, now the News Ltd shark attacks on the govt make sense - anything to protect Foxtel's investment in satellite broadcast, and simultaneously kill the possibility of IPTV
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 03:02 am
You'd think he was just a businessman, but certain aspects of political life rub him up the wrong way. He was very much in favour of the Iraq war, and hates the EU with a vengeance.
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 08:54 am
He did anoint Bush, Blair and Howard as his papal knights in the 2000s. I imagine he hates the EU because of all those infernal regulations - particularly about privacy. Not so sure why he was pro-Iraq war. Like Richard Dawkins I'm saving my dancing shoes for his grave.
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 09:58 am
hingehead wrote:
Like Richard Dawkins I'm saving my dancing shoes for his grave.

You might have a long wait, his mum's only just died. Never mind, Thatcher's dead.
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 04:19 pm
Thatcher didn't/doesn't offend/distress or pervert my world like Murdoch does/has. Like I've said or reported in a couple of previous posts, she served Australia as a salutary warning on what path not to follow. I have no drive to dance on her grave though I can understand why many in the old dart would.

Rupert on the other hand....
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Reply Sat 6 Jul, 2013 12:01 pm

6 July 2013 Last updated at 03:41 ET

Committee urged to recall Murdoch over secret tapes
Rupert Murdoch Rupert Murdoch was secretly taped speaking to journalists

MPs are being urged to recall News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch to answer questions over secret tapes of him criticising a police corruption probe.

Campaign group Hacked Off says his comments cast doubt on the reliability of his evidence to the Culture and Media Select Committee two years ago.

News Corp said Mr Murdoch had been showing "empathy" to troubled staff when he was covertly recorded in March.

A committee spokesman said it was unlikely Mr Murdoch would be recalled.

In the recording obtained by the Exaro website, Mr Murdoch is heard addressing a group of Sun journalists - many of whom are under investigation.

He told them he regretted the level of his company's co-operation with the police over their investigation into alleged illegal payments to police and public officials.

He also complained about "totally incompetent" police officers

Reply Sat 6 Jul, 2013 12:14 pm
It was Channel 4 that broke the story.
Reply Sat 6 Jul, 2013 03:23 pm
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the affair the Dirty Digger seems like a good boss to have.

And Team Sky won the stage today of the Tour de France and took over the YJ.

BTW--I'm feel sure he knew he was being recorded.
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