Tag Archives: Rupert Murdoch

Phone hacking is a “worthy tool”?

Umm, you have to read this for yourself.

After Paul McMullan, a former deputy features editor at Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, had finished his jaw-droppingly brazen remarks at a judicial inquiry on Tuesday, it was hard to think of any dubious news-gathering technique he had not confessed to, short of pistol-whipping sources for information.

This is his justification

“Phone hacking is a perfectly acceptable tool, given the sacrifices we make, if all we’re trying to do is get to the truth,” Mr. McMullan said, asking whether “we really want to live in a world where the only people who can do the hacking are MI5 and MI6.”

No, he said, we do not.

“For a brief period of about 20 years, we have actually lived in a free society where we can hack back,” he said.

Journalists in Britain have traditionally justified shady practices by arguing that they are in “the public interest.” Asked by an inquiry lawyer how he would define that, Mr. McMullan said that the public interest is what the public is interested in.

Which means of course…

The year he became deputy features editor, he said, the department had a budget of £ 3.1 million — more than $4.5 million — to pay sources, buy stories and hire outsiders to find addresses, medical records and other information. “That was the joy of working for Murdoch,” he said. “They had that big pot of money.”

The other problems are these pesky privacy laws.

Mr. McMullan said he thought that privacy was “evil,” in that it helps criminals cover up their misdeeds.

According to McMullan and others, there was no privacy for anyone who would help them sell newspapers.  They could do anything to anyone as long as the public was interested in it and they could pull it off.  It was a company with no sense of ethics at all.

The News Corp. Coverup

This is from the Columbia Journalism Review.  It’s structured in a way that you want to read and watch all of it.  My question is how did everyone not see this coming?  You have a news organization that has made it’s name being intellectually dishonest and selling sensational stories and now they seem shocked that this could have happened.  I like Prime Minister David Cameron but News Corp. is engaged in this kind of stuff all over the world.  My gosh look at the libel suits brought against the News of the World.  This kind of behaviour is part of their corporate structure and they rewarded their staff for doing it.

Update: Here’s more.  Predictably there looks like there is a cover-up.