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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Murdock scandal explodes

Rupert Murdock is due to face the fury of British MP’s.

Allegations of phone hacking and police bribery are flying all the faster after the arrest of Rebekah Brooks, Murdock’s former British newspaper chief, and the resignation of the head of Scotland Yard, Paul Stephenson.

Both Brooks and Stephenson have strenuously denied claims of wrongdoing, but no one is buying their stories.

Brooks, 43, often described as Rupert Murdock’s surrogate daughter, was arrested over the weekend, as British police investigation of the mogul’s inner circle gained momentum. She was released on bail twelve hours later, but attention is now on Les Hinton, Murdock’s crony, who has resigned his job as publisher of The Wall Street Journal. There is also speculation that Murdock’s 38-year-old son and putative heir, James, is being investigated.

Both Rupert and James are to be grilled by a parliamentary committee. Top of the agenda will be accusations of hacking into the phones and voice mails of celebrities, politicians, rival journalists, and families of dead soldiers and murder victims. Prime Minister David Cameron is to face particular fall-out – as late as last Christmas, one of his dinner guests was Rebekah Brooks.

He and his fellow Conservatives are facing an intensifying barrage of embarrassing questions about their close relationship with Murdock’s media empire.

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