Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Murdoch Throws his Journalists Under a Bus: the Unintended Consequence of the Phone Hacking Scandal

I tend to avoid cross posting material from my work at the Daily Beast, but this is an important unintended consequence of Murdoch’s reaction to the Phone Hacking scandal which has sent a chilling effect through Fleet Street

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch holds up a copy of the newly launched The Sun on Sunday newspaper last February in London. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty)

Murdoch Journalists Thrown Under the Bus in Phone-Hacking Scandal

“What Rupert Murdoch has done is unprecedented in the free world,” says the veteran journalist Nick Cohen, author of a recent award-winning book about censorship, You Can’t Read This Book. “Managers have been tasked to go over every expense claim and emails for signs of wrongdoing,” he told The Daily Beast. In the process, Murdoch has “basically given up his journalists and their sources.”

Over a hundred people have been arrested since the phone hacking scandal engulfed Murdoch’s UK paper in the summer of 2011. Fifty five of them journalists. And the reason is not as simple as you would think:

During the height of the phone-hacking crisis that hit Murdoch’s London subsidiary in 2011, parent company News Corp. faced an even greater threat-an investigation in by the U.S. Department of Justice into alleged breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans payments to foreign officials. To reduce the potential hefty corporate fines and indictments of senior executives in New York, Murdoch created a beefed-up Management and Standards Committee (MSC), with access to a recovered database of more than 300 million emails from its London newspapers and a remit to cooperate with the police.

Since the phone-hacking scandal that shuttered the News of the World broke, there have been more than 100 related arrests. Fifty-five of these have been of journalists, and the majority not for suspicion of phone hacking, as in the six new arrests Wednesday, but on suspicion of corrupt payments to public officials, most of it on evidence provided by the MSC.

“Seriously,” Cohen points out, “more journalists have been arrested in Britain this year than in Iran.”

Also available in Orange

WAYBACK MACHINE: On Liberty and Self Censorship

Forgive me for reprinting this diary from December 08, but it’s just to start a conversation about what the Moose stands for – especially now we have plenty of new members.

We’re a diverse bunch, politically:  we don’t form any kind of faction or clique within any political party. We come from all wings of the Dem Party, many Independents, and several ‘Dang Furrners’. But we’ve united under the banner of ‘progress through politics‘ and therefore consider ourselves progressives with an eye to getting things done, and the world improved. This has led to us coming out in support of your current President on most occasions, but we’re far from uncritical. And of course the values we share will outlive any particular politician.

So please use the ramblings below to put your points of view across. The new comment thread starts here

Still recovering from this last amazing year, I’ve been reading the works of the original progressive blogfather. No I don’t mean the proprietor of MYDD, but the guy who effectively coined the term ‘Progressive‘. He was a Brit too – naturellement – one of the earliest and most vocal proponents of feminism and female equality, and also a bit of a looker.