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James Murdoch's Defense Crumbles 272

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Cathcart writes that whatever happens to News Corp., it will surely happen without James Murdoch, the clever, dashing heir apparent to his buccaneer father, Rupert, who has become a liability with little hope of survival. James Rupert told members of Parliament that when he approved a payment of about $1.1 million in 2008 to settle the first lawsuit brought by a phone-hacking victim, he was not shown an email that suggested phone hacking was more widespread at the News of the World, and not limited to one 'rogue' reporter. 'He is saying one thing—that in briefing him they gave an "incomplete picture" — and, remarkably, in a statement Thursday, they publicly denied that,' writes Cathcart. All the News Corp. executives used to tell the same story but one by one as the pressure has grown these people have been cast off or have drifted away and now as the little group has splintered and scattered, and they all need to save their own skins. 'It's not just James who is done,' writes David Carr in the NY Times. 'Rupert Murdoch, as we have long known him, is done as well.'"
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James Murdoch's Defense Crumbles

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  • Re:Unlikely (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @08:45AM (#36869504) Homepage

    What I still don't understand is how when the original "climategate" broke, nobody seemed interested in finding the hackers/source.

    And now we know who it was they still aren't locked up. If it was an ordinary person doing this there would be an Interpol arrest warrant out and massive punishments. I guess Murdoch has enough embarrassing photos in his collection to prevent this.

  • Re:Unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SenseiLeNoir ( 699164 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @08:46AM (#36869510)

    In addition, the entitiy that "kicked this off" was actually the British Public, who after realising that Millie dowlers phone got hacked, as well as teh dead servicemen, and their families, plus 7th July victims. The PUBLIC started a campaign to force the advertisers to not advertise in the NotW. This campaign, which was very grass roots in origin, bit, and advertisers started pulling out. That is what effectively lead up to the closure of NotW, and what we have now. Sure NI's Competitors have been lapping it up, but end of the day it was the British Public, who for once actually stood up, and gave the power.

  • Re:Unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Saint Fnordius ( 456567 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @08:49AM (#36869538) Homepage Journal

    The reason why now is pretty obvious: the phone scandal was the crack in the dam. The reporter working the story made damned sure to cover all bases, or Murdoch and the entire pool of NewsCorp sharks would have chewed him up and spat him out. When he testified before parliament, he was supposed to be ripped to shreds by bought and paid for ministers, but they couldn't find any chinks in his armour. And then the skewer he was wielding suddenly seemed even more potent.

    So now all of a sudden the meanest, biggest predator is wounded, and all those he intimidated now see the chance to get rid of the one they feared most. All of his riches no longer will help him, since tearing him down all of a sudden seems the more profitable route (profit in terms of power and influence, not mere money).

  • Re:Unlikely (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @08:53AM (#36869578)

    The timing of recent events was in my view largely down to News Intl's BSkyB takeover bid

    Hmm. I wonder who had "interesting" stock options on that deal that profited by the collapse of the deal. There's a reason why the 9/11/2001 stock options positions have never been released, and probably never will.

  • Re:Unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @09:19AM (#36869826) Homepage Journal

    "All the News Corp. executives used to tell the same story"

    Right there is the first indication that they were all lying. When everyone is telling the truth, or as much truth as they know, there will ALWAYS be inconsistencies. When there are no inconsistencies to be found, then you are looking at a conspiracy. Simple human nature tells you that much. You don't even need to have 20 years of investigative experience behind you to figure it out. Hell, ten years of parenting teaches that much to uneducated lackwits! Common sense, people - use it!

  • Re:Unlikely (Score:1, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 25, 2011 @10:51AM (#36870820) Journal

    But he has a point. It is pretty common knowledge that there was someone at the Pentagon who shorted the hell out of American Airlines stock a full 90 minutes BEFORE anyone knew that a single plane had been taken, much less that it was American Airlines. That is a pretty red hot smoking gun that someone there KNEW what was gonna happen and instead of trying to prevent the attack decided to profit from it. That would be not only treason but capital murder of over 3000 Americans yet to this day nobody will investigate. Why? Because no doubt it was someone high up, someone with real power.

    In the case of TFA Murdoch getting BSkyB would have given him incredible power there and somebody didn't like that. Murdoch had stepped on a LOT of toes, and been a real prick about it. Well someone got fed up with it and made sure that the rival paper had all they needed to hang old Murdoch. Who did it? We'll probably never know, as the list of powerful people that hated Murdoch is such that even single spaced would probably be long enough to wallpaper the cells of his boy and the rest of those at the top of NoTW.

    Will Murdoch himself spend a day in jail, even if they manage to trace it back to him? doubtful as guys with THAT much money simply don't have to follow the laws everyone else does. but his days of wielding power with impunity in the UK are over, hell he might as well pack his bags and move on. Sadly I'm sure he'd be welcome here in the USA as we've never met an ultra rich booty that our movers and shakers wouldn't bend over backwards to accommodate.

  • by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Monday July 25, 2011 @11:26AM (#36871234)

    A settlement of 1.5 million pounds and it was paid out without even questioning why? James Murdoch's excuse is hardly a convincing argumen, especially since its being refuted by his own lawyers. This guy is going down, possibly for perjury, possibly direct complicity in the hacking, or at the very least for an attempted cover up of the hacking. His problem isn't with UK parliament, but with the US justice department as what he is implicated in is a felony under US law, punishable by no less than 5 years in a federal prison.

    If the FBI confirms that in addition to the violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act now clearly established should the confirmation of the hacking of 911 and climategate emails surface, News Corp will have a tough time trying to retain their broadcast license during an election year. Already, the News Corporation underlings, who have been chosen to take the full responsibility for the scandal, are beginning to crack, especially since many may face extradition to the US to face their own felony trials in 2012.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan