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mostlylurker

News of the World

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This case has been rumbling on for a long time but it's starting to get more legs now and it's shining an interesting and somewhat disturbing light on the goings on in the press. The Guardian has been pursuing it for a while, but the entry of the New York Times has given things more impetus, along with the election and change of government. When you read more detail it starts to get worrying. Apparently MPs who wanted to investigate further were "warned" by a Senior Tory that they should not pursue the matter or News International would start to probe into their own private lives. That just shows how politicians can be manipulated by the threat of press action. This just highlights the power of certain elements of the press (Murdoch primarily). When Labour was in power they did not want to upset News International and so they did not really pursue this case. Now they are out of power and now the ex editor of the News of the World is closely associated with the new Government and the Prime Minister they scent blood. What is even more murky is the apparent lack of interest of the police in pursuing this and you can easily see why. Journalists use contacts to find out about people in the public eye ("celebrities" royals, politicians, sports personalities) and you can see how some of this information could come from contacts in official or responsible positions who either "earn a little on the side" or are compromised because the press have something on them already (there have been a lot of things going on in the police in London with suggestions of discrimination on the grounds of race or sexuality plus factional infighting which the press would have reported and investigated so it's easy to see how people in the police might either be compromised or willing to feed information). The thing the NOTW did which was silly was to target the Royals and use information about trivial matters (one of William or Harry had a knee injury) which raised suspicions about how they were getting the information. Once the Royals came into the picture, the matter had to be investigated because of the security concerns and that cracked things open initially. It was pretty clear that neither the police nor News International wanted this to go further but some papers have been pursuing this doggedly and the alliance of ousted politicians and the press opponents of Murdoch (which is where the New York Times comes in) are keeping the issue alive. It's going to be interesting to see how this develops. Edited by chuzhuchichezhan

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Totally agree with you chuzhuchichezhan. Surprised it isn't as widely talked about as I would have thought... even still.

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Interesting to see what I wrote last September and to see how it has all exploded in the past 10 days. For anyone who has not been following it too closely, the straw that finally broke the camel's back was the revelation that NoTW journalists hacked into the phone of a girl who had gone missing and was subsequently found murdered. The fact that they did so and deleted some messages to make room for others meant that her friends and family thought she might still be alive. For anyone on this side of the pond, it has been a remarkable time when for the first time in many many years, politicians have felt released from the threat of exposure by Murdoch's empire and have been free to say what many of them have thought and what many of us have known for a long time, which is that Murdoch carries (or should that be carried) far too much power and influence over politicians who all felt, rightly or wrongly, that they had to cosy up to him to get elected and to maintain good coverage in his media outlets (primarily the tabloid press). There have been non-stop revelations in the last 10 days with further exposure of the seedy links between police (mainly the Met in London) and the Murdoch papers (police hiring Murdoch employees as advisers and Murdoch papers hiring senior policemen as columnists) and also between the Murdoch papers and some very dubious characters indeed. For far too long, these people have acted as if they felt untouchable (and it's not just the Murdoch empire, there are plenty of other tabloid papers that behaved in similar ways) and now that has all come crashing down. Indeed the Guardian newspaper has been repeatedly told that there was nothing to this story and it was just one rogue reporter - this line was also given by News International executives to a select committee in Parliament - but the whole brazen facade has been completely demolished. What I sincerely hope is that the politicians do not shy away from properly dealing with this issue and with a press (not just the Murdoch empire, though it was unquestionably the worst) that has been out of control and a law unto itself for decades. For too long they have hidden behind "press freedom" and used behind the scenes threats in order to continue to behave in an anarchic manner. The last two weeks have shattered that and I hope that the momentum and the desire for change do not let up. It's been a long time coming.

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Well said. I really hope people continue to put the pressure on and we also investigate news international's "business practices" here in the US.

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Well said. I really hope people continue to put the pressure on and we also investigate news international's "business practices" here in the US.

thumbs u0

No conglomorates controlling all news sources.

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Very well said Chuz! I just hope this will bring Murdoch down and he will take Fox News with him.

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The NOTW story is now incredibly wide-ranging but one area on which some journalists have been trying to defend the papers is the hypocrisy of celebrities.
For example Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan have criticised the intrusive behaviour of the tabloid press. They have both been criticised for complaining about the morals of the press.
This becomes harder and harder to defend now we know much more about what the journalists were up to. One journalist who was honest enough to speak out was found dead yesterday.
There is not reported to be anything suspicious about his death but the article below sets out just what the journalists get up to in pursuit of a story.
It was always hard to take the press seriously when they lecture their readers on morals, the article below just goes to expose even more of their hypocrisy. I always wondered what might have been found had the expenses of the press been subject to the same scrutiny as that of MPs in the expenses scandal of last year.


Guardian report on Sean Hoare

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Judging from what I have been reading, it seems like phone hacking is industry wide in the tabloid business. I wonder how much the phone companies know about this. They have been strangely silent.

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Judging from what I have been reading, it seems like phone hacking is industry wide in the tabloid business. I wonder how much the phone companies know about this. They have been strangely silent.


I am sure with some "campaign contributions" from the phone companies, the politicians will make sure they are protected.

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