News Corp is in sooooo much trouble you guys. For those of you who haven’t been following, right now the weekly British tabloid News of the World is in the midst of a public relations shitstorm after police started investigating the publication for hacking into the phones of various people, from Hugh Grant to the Royal Family to families of murder victims. In other words: totally illegal, hugely unethical journalistic sneaky shit.
Did you ever watch the first season of The Wire and think “geez it’s a really long difficult process for these guys to get a fucking wire tap” so they could listen to a bunch of proper criminals at large? The had to go through their superiors to the chief of police to the district attorney to a fucking judge in order to get permission. That’s because putting a tap on someone’s personal phone is a gross invasion of privacy, and so cops need considerable hard evidence against a criminal to get approval to tap their phone*. So for a media outlet to do it ILLEGALLY – and solely to get a scoop on a story – is outrageous.
The Wire scene involving phone tap:
News of the World is of course a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s all-powerful publishing conglomerate News Corporation, but things are currently looking fairly grim right now. The Sydney Morning Herald today reported that shares in News Corp dropped more than 3 per cent today as a result of the saga and advertisers are boycotting the paper (thereby removing one of its main sources of funding).
So far, the revelations of those targeted by the News of the World hackers are ever-growing and include the following ‘newsworthy’ people:
Manchester United F.C. manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Former Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom John Prescott
Actress Sienna Miller
Family members of murder victim Rachel Nickell
The parents of murder victims Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells
The actor and comedian Steve Coogan
British Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host Chris Tarrant
These are allegations are currently under investigation by the police, Scotland Yard, and yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron announced the government would be holding an inquiry into the News of the World and wider questions about the future of media regulation. It will be interesting to see how News Corp fares through this saga.
It’s a fascinating case and one worth reading about in more detail. We recommend The Guardian who have a dedicated section of their website for updates on the scandal.
To be continued…
*Things I learned from watching The Wire