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<nettime> Worst Is Yet to Come for News Corp.
michael gurstein on Mon, 18 Jul 2011 09:57:58 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Worst Is Yet to Come for News Corp.


I believe it was the Guardian who have nudged this story along from the
beginning...

If these folks did (or even I guess, tried to do) the hanky-panky with 9/11
then in their Aussie/Brit journalistic "exuberance" they surely have
"touched the third rail". 

Anyone care to assess the political/cultural fall out from a fallen Fox
News? 

M

-----Original Message-----
From: Portside Moderator [mailto:moderator {AT} PORTSIDE.ORG] 
Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:48 PM
To: PORTSIDE {AT} LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: [SPAM] Worst Is Yet to Come for News Corp.

Worst Is Yet to Come for News Corp.

By Matt Wells
Guardian (UK)
July 15, 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/15/les-hinton-news-corp?INTCMP=SRCH

    Les Hinton sacrificed, but the worst is yet to come
    for News Corp. Every time Murdoch ditches a key
    executive, the flames of scandal flick ever closer
    to him.

No relationship is safe, no loyal bond strong enough
for Rupert Murdoch who - looking more than the sum of
his 80 years - is mounting a final battle to save the
company he built from nothing.

His decision to throw Les Hinton to the wolves is his
most dramatic move yet. For more than 50 years, as a
journalist and then an executive, Hinton loyally served
the Murdoch empire from its roots in Australia to the
height of its power in New York.

Now, in a desperate effort to save News Corporation's
most valuable assets - its 27 US broadcast licences and
the 20th Century Fox movie studio - Murdoch is prepared
to sacrifice one of his closest allies.

The problem for Murdoch is that every time he ditches a
key executive, the flames of scandal flick ever closer
to him.

Hinton was ditched because he was the crucial link
between Murdoch's valuable US businesses and the
tainted operation in Britain. He was at the helm of NI
- the holding company for his UK newspapers including
the News of the World and the Times - when it seemed
that everyone who was in sniffing distance of a
significant news story found their phones being hacked.

Questions were being raised about what Hinton knew
about corrupt payments to London police officers: if he
was shown to have been aware of them, that would be a
felony in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act.

The problem for News Corp now is that, at every stage,
its attempts to contain this story have failed. The
decision to close the News of the World was motivated
in part to save the chief executive of NI, Rebekah
Brooks: that decision bombed and Brooks resigned on
Friday.

But the departure of Brooks was not enough to contain
the scandal in Britain, so Hinton, who has been more significant to the
company's fortunes and to Murdoch personally for far longer than Brooks,
also left.

The inevitable next move for Murdoch is prolicide. His
son James, appointed in 2007 as chairman and chief
executive of News Corporation's operations in Europe
and Asia, based at News International's headquarters in Wapping, east
London, clings on - but only for now.

In London, James Murdoch oversaw the response to the
hacking scandal. He approved the £700,000 hush money
paid to Gordon Taylor, the former chief executive of
the Professional Footballers' Association - a decision
he has blamed on poor advice. (The legal director of
News International, Tom Crone, was one of the
executives of News International to leave this week.)

The departure of Hinton suggests that News Corporation
has finally got to grips with the global significance
of this story, but the worst is yet to come. The FBI
has launched an investigation into accusations that
News of the World journalists asked a former New York
police officer for the phone records of relatives of
9/11 victims. If that toxic allegation is shown to have
been true, one thing is certain: Fox News is finished,
along with the rest of News Corporation as we know it.

The emotional supercharge of 9/11 in the US is many
times greater than Milly Dowler in the UK - and look
what happened here.

Commentators have compared the crisis to Watergate;
Carl Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter
whose revelations helped depose a US president, says it
is evident to him the events of the past week "are the beginning, not the
end, of the seismic event".

To coin a famous Murdoch newspaper headline: will the
last person to leave News Corporation turn off the
lights?

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