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<nettime> transcript of March 6 Murdoch meeting with The Sun's staff
nettime's_fly_on_the_wall on Thu, 4 Jul 2013 15:17:50 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> transcript of March 6 Murdoch meeting with The Sun's staff


Mike Darcey: "So, we met... we talked about one or two
things there. We had a bit of an update in both directions
in terms of state of play. I don't think we need to go
through all that again. But, in a way, one of the key
questions you left me with is you would really welcome the
opportunity to chat to Rupert, just to hear his views and
express your views to him, if that was possible, if he's in
town. He's in town, so he's come along today, and was happy
to come and meet you. I thought it would be a good chance
for him to hear how you're getting along, the state of play
at the moment, and give you the opportunity to ask him
questions you've got, any concerns that you have been
raising with us that you'd like to hear as well."

Rupert Murdoch: "Yeah, look, please be just as honest as you
want to be, and I'll try and respond."

Graham Dudman (The Sun's former managing editor): "Okay, can
I- If I could start by introducing myself. I'm Graham
Dudman, I was the managing editor for seven years, until a
couple of years ago. We spoke many times on the phone when I
was editing, and I just wanted to thank you today for your
time, appreciate that. We met earlier on this afternoon, all
of us, and I was given the job of just sort of introducing-
kicking it off. So, you will know that the people in this
room are the human cost of the decision that was taken -- we
believe in haste -- to set up the MSC and give it, what we
believe, was the sole aim of protecting News Corp at all
costs. We believe that we are the human cost of that

"Until their arrests, everybody that you're looking at in
this room today was a loyal, hard-working employee devoted
to you personally, to The Sun, to News International and
everything that this company and you stand for, and have
been proud to work here -- proud to work here.

"People are at different stages of their career. You can see
by just looking around this room. Some are at the beginning,
some are half-way through-ish, some are approaching the
final stages of their career. People are beginning to plan
their lives around News International. Other people have
given their lives to News International. Some faces you will
recognise, some you won't. One thing that everybody in this
room shares -- everybody in this room shares -- whether we
are 20-something, 30-something, 40-something, 50-something
or 60-something, is that we were arrested, thrown into
police cells, treated as common criminals in front of our
children, our families, and our neighbours, and our friends
and our colleagues, for doing nothing more than the company
expected of us -- nothing.

"So, as I say, we met earlier today. We have some questions
that we would like to ask, we are very happy for you- to
hear what you'd like to say. We've got the questions simply
to give the meeting a kind of structure, some of the issues
that we would like to address in the limited time that we've
got, and I'm happy to kick off. Several of us-"

RM: "Can I just say first that I appreciate very much what
you're saying. I'd be saying the same thing if I was in your
chair. And I'm sure we've made mistakes. But it's hard for
you to see it this way. I'm just as annoyed as you are at
the police, and you're directing it at me instead, but never
mind. I mean, it is absolutely -- and we will be returning
to this as a paper, if we can get through a bit more of this
(Murdoch slaps table) -- what they're doing, what they did
to you, and how they treated people at the BBC, saying 'a
couple of you come in for a cup of tea at four in the
afternoon,' you guys got thrown out of bed by gangs of cops
at six in the morning, and I'm just as annoyed as you are.
But all I'd ask that you remember is that in that first
month, you said was panic, maybe there was panic that we
closed the News of the World, but we were working in the
belief -- I think rightly -- the police were about to invade
this building, and take all the computers out the way, and
just put us out of business totally. And everyone could have
lost out.

"And it was done to protect the business. We thought,
protecting everybody, but that's how it started. And if you
want to accuse me of a certain amount of panic, there's some
truth in that. But it was very, very- I don't know- it's
hard for you to remember it, it was such- but it was- I was
under personal siege -- not that that mattered -- but it
was- the whole place was- all the Press were screaming
and yelling, and we might have gone too far in protecting
ourselves. And you were the victims of it. It's not enough
for me to say you've got my sympathy. But you do have my
total support. But go ahead, please."

GD: "On that line of support, which is useful. [Redacted.]
In the event that any of us go to court, and in the event
that we are convicted of whatever offences we're convicted
of, what assurances can you give us about our individual
future at News International, and any continued medical
support that is being given, and the current support that we
are receiving now?"


RM: "Well, of course, I expected that question. And,
naturally, anyone who's released or anyone who's acquitted
will just continue. I've been told that I must not give
guarantees, but I can give you something."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "Medical support?"

RM: "I guarantee you that will continue. And I will do
everything in my power to give you total support, even if
you're convicted and get six months or whatever. I think
it's just outrageous, but- and I don't know of anybody, or
anything, that did anything that wasn't being done across
Fleet Street and wasn't the culture. And we're being picked
on. I think that it was the old right-wing establishment,
[Lord] Puttnam, or worse, the left-wing get-even crowd of
Gordon Brown. There was a sort of- we got caught with dirty
hands, I guess, with the News of the World, and everybody
piled in. It was a get-even time for things that were done
with The Sun over the last 40 years, 38 years, whatever it
is. But that's no help to you guys in your personal
situation. All I have to say is, you thanked me for giving
you an hour today, I spend more than an hour every day
thinking about this, and will just do anything I can to help
and support you. Doesn't make good what's happened to you,
or what is happening to you, or the torture that you and
your families have been put through. Still, I mean, it's a
disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are
totally incompetent. So, I'll just ask you a question, I
don't want to interrupt you, are you happy with the lawyers
that have been provided?"

GD: "Personally, yes."

RM: "Anyone who is unhappy, say so, and we'll do what we can
to give you the choice of another lawyer. We were assured
we've done a pretty good job of choosing, but I don't know."

Geoff Webster (The Sun's deputy editor): "I think most
people are comfortable with the legal representation, and
one or two people have traded in the initial lawyers for
people they feel more comfortable with. So I think on that
score, we're pretty confident we've got good people behind
us. [Redacted.]"

RM: "I think the worst thing that's going to happen is that
some of you will be charged shortly, and some of you will be
released shortly. And the bulk of you will be made aware
after three or four months. It's just disgraceful what
they're doing, but we'll see."

GD: "Can I follow up the first question? ... Will News
International -- we asked this question last time of Mike --
will News International be allowed to make a decision --
will the decision rest with News International -- on whether
somebody is retained in employment with the company? Or will
that be taken by people in New York?"

MD: "Sorry, when you asked that last time,,, we don't know
what you meant by, 'people in New York'. Were you
specifically referring to the MSC?"

GD: "The MSC, or a News Corp lawyer who says, 'No, Rupert.
You can't do that. You've got to do this.'"

RM: (Chuckles.) "Well, we all take legal advice. I'll take
that decision. I'll take responsibility. Absolutely. And I
don't think there's any problem about that. But-"

GD: "Sorry, basically, on that note, sorry for interrupting
you. So you, as chairman, you would be prepared to go
against the advice of -- legal advice -- if you felt that
was appropriate?"

RM: "Sure."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "You referred to, you used the
phrase, things were done on The Sun for over 40 years. I
personally have been here for less than ten. But I'm pretty
confident that the working practices that I've seen here
were ones that I've inherited, rather than instigated. Would
you recognise that all this pre-dates many of our
involvement here?"

RM: "We're talking about payments for news tips from cops:
that's been going on a hundred years, absolutely. You didn't
instigate it."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "No."

RM: "I don't know, you know in your own heart, I'm not going
to ask you now, but I would have thought 100 per cent -- but
at least 90 per cent -- of payments were made at the
instigation of cops, saying, 'I've got a good story here.
It's worth 500 quid,' or something. And you would say, 'No,
it's not,' or 'We'll check it out,' or whatever. And they'd
say, 'Well, we'll ring the Mirror...' (Whispers) It was the
culture of Fleet Street.

"I remember when I first bought the News of the World, the
first day I went to the office... and there was a big
wall-safe... And I said, 'What's that for?'

"And they said, 'We keep some cash in there.'

"And I said, 'What for?'

"They said, 'Well, sometimes the editor needs some on a
Saturday night for powerful friends. And sometimes the
chairman [the late Sir William Carr] is doing badly at the
tables, (laughter) and he helps himself...'

"Now there was a law passed against this in 1906. That's
when it was first recognised as a problem. The previous
chief of public prosecution, who we hired for a few days
then he realised it was too embarrassing, he had to give it
up, [Lord] Macdonald. He said he knew that on Fleet Street
there were payments made, and he decided not to go after it
because it was all too petty -- and too complicated. The
idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you
out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is

Sun staffer: "I'm [redacted]. I'm the [redacted], and have
been for the last decade. [Redacted.] This is the only paper
I've ever worked for, the only national newspaper. Would it
surprise you to know that the first time I heard of the 1906
Misconduct in Public Office Act was when I was arrested? No
one had ever told me about that. I'd never seen-"

RM: "About what?"

Sun staffer: "The first time I heard about the 1906
Misconduct Act was when I was arrested. No one had ever told
me about this in this company-"

RM: "The first time I heard about it was a couple of weeks
ago, but go on."

Sun staffer: "So, completely oblivious to the fact that the
long-term practice of this company to pay public officials
was illegal, my job description meant that as a result of
that, it came directly through my particular department
[redacted]. You can understand how we all feel that we are
effectively being made scapegoats."

RM: "Yeah. And one of these high-priced lawyers would say
it's our fault, but that situation existed at every
newspaper in Fleet Street. Long since forgotten. But
absolutely. Do you think you will be charged, in your case?"

Sun staffer: "[Redacted.] My lawyer- he says no one can tell
in this particular situation, but we are caught in the
middle of a perfect storm in many ways. You've got a police
force desperate to make up for previous mistakes. The MSC
continue to hand over information on each and every person
in this room-"

RM: "No, they're not. No, they're not. Haven't given them
anything for months."

Sun staffer: "In which case the police are using the
databases that they have been given-"

RM: "I know. Kathleen Harris, the lawyer, has told them to
stop doing it, because they're lying."

Sun staffer: "Well, they have, they're putting vast amounts
of evidence in front of me, dating back an entire decade,
since I took the job as [redacted]. Expenses forms,
notebooks- And, as I say, the first time I was aware that
[redacted] was on the day they arrived at my house
completely out of the blue and arrested me -- 14 of them --
who went as far as to use cameras to search under the
floorboards of my flat to see whether I had been stashing
illegal information."

RM: "I mean, if it wasn't so sad and so terrible, it would
be laughable. But if your lawyer puts that- You won't get
any help from judges -- but, I think, juries. I've got --
not absolute faith -- but a lot of hope in juries. I think
you'll all make fine witnesses. And you want a lot of help
from your lawyers, and practice. Because your juries are
your best hope."

GD: "Can I ask about something that Sue Akers said. Akers
was the original commander of Elveden. She said at Leveson
that when the cops came to News International, they were
investigating hacking at News of the World. And at the time,
they had no intention of coming into The Sun. Weren't
interested. That was until the MSC handed over mountains and
mountains of evidence connected to people in this room. Why
did they do that?"

RM: (Long pause.) "Because- it was a mistake, I think. But,
in that atmosphere, at that time, we said, 'Look, we are an
open book, we will show you everything.' And the lawyers
just got rich going through millions of e-mails, stuff I
wouldn't even have thought was suspicious, but they thought,
'Hand it over.' A lot of which I'm sure the police didn't
take any notice of. We just went through the whole company.
We went through the New York Post, went through the papers
in Australia -- everything. Everything they wanted to see."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "Can I ask you a question, Mr

RM: "Yes."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "Quite a number of us in this
room were selected for an interview with Linklaters, the
lawyers, long before any suggestion there would be arrests
or there had been any wrongdoing. The interviews were
conducted on the basis that Linklaters just wanted to get a
feel for how the newspaper was put together, who did what,
how it worked, all the rest of it. And then, perhaps not
surprisingly now, nearly every single person interviewed by
Linklaters found themselves arrested. And, indeed, large
chunks of the interviews we gave to Linklaters was produced
to us in the police station on our arrest. Which naturally
leads us to believe that we had been selected, perhaps for
no other reason than most of the people arrested at that
point had the title 'editor' behind their role. And, I have
to say, we're deeply suspicious of Linklaters' role in all
this that names were cherry-picked, if you like. We went
through the process with Linklaters, and then soon after we
were arrested. That doesn't sit comfortably with us really.
That doesn't suggest to me that evidence was gone through
meticulously by the MSC, and then handed to police with the
best intentions, perhaps. I think it was the other way
around. I think our names were picked out-"

RM: "Excuse me. When you went to Linklaters, weren't you
advised to have a lawyer with you?"

GW: "We could if we wanted."

RM: "But you thought it wasn't necessary."

GW: "Maybe we were too trusting."

RM: "Exactly. If they want to see anyone again, don't see
them without a lawyer. Anyone. I mean it. Don't speak to

GW: "Well, none of us move without a lawyer with us at the
moment, so that might be an issue. But you can see where I'm
coming from. A lot of us do feel that rather than the
evidence being found and then fitted to the names, perhaps
the other way around. It's very difficult to shake that idea
off, to be honest. So, we are where we are, and that's that.
We'll see how the process goes. But I just wanted to make
you aware of that. You may be aware of that or not."

RM: "I was told about that this morning, but I wasn't aware
that happened. And I don't know who was behind this, your
victimisation. I understand exactly where you're coming
from. But why are the police behaving in this way? It's the
biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing."

GW: "Well, it's preposterous."

RM: "And now they're arresting their own, who never even
took money."

GW: "Well, quite. Quite. They're out of control."

RM: "They're going to put all newspapers out of business.
Someone tweeted from The Times today, there was a tweet
saying he'd just had lunch with one of his contacts, and he
was on the way down to the police station to drop the guy in
it. It was a joke. It's unbelievable. Actually, it's good
for all of us, in that it's going to get the whole of Fleet
Street thinking it's preposterous."

GW: "Well, I hope so. There's a piece being done tomorrow:
Keir Starmer -- I haven't seen the statement -- but he's
making a statement today-"

RM: "Who?"

GW: "Keir Starmer, the head of the CPS [Crown Prosecution
Service], making a statement today which relates to the
Savile inquiry and historic sexual offences and all the rest
of it, also includes children. The Met Police have got 13
coppers dedicated to chasing paedophiles, and they've got
nigh-on 200 looking at us. And the support staff that goes
with that 200 will be at least another 100."

RM: "Yeah, I've heard bigger figures... They've had waves of
people come in. The second wave has knocked over the first
wave. It goes on, and on, and on. It doesn't help you to
know that the police are incompetent."

GW: "It would be nice to hit back when we can."

RM: "We will, we will."

GW: "And hit back by pointing out the cost, the manpower,
perhaps put an FOI in for the overtime on Elveden in
particular. You can bet these officers aren't turning up at
six in the morning for nothing. And we should publish all
this. We should be giving it to them. We've got nowt to

RM: "The people who came in and turned over Rebekah [Brooks,
former chief executive of News International and ex-editor
of the News of the World] on a Monday morning, and her
mother-in-law -- there [were] about 15 or 16 -- most of
them, a dozen or so, came from Manchester, a murder squad or
something. And there were three local cops. It's ridiculous,
quite openly. But that's no- it doesn't get you off the

GD: "Can I return to the issue of the support which you've
shown and expressed today, for which I think everyone will
be very grateful-"

RM: "Yeah, but emotional support is not enough. I've got to
do more. I mean, at least, everybody will be paid. You're
all innocent until proven guilty. What you're asking is,
what happens if some of you are proven guilty? What
afterwards? I'm not allowed to promise you- I will promise
you continued health support- but your jobs -- I've got to
be careful what comes out -- but frankly, I won't say it,
but just trust me. Okay?"

GD: "And again, there's a point related to that, and I just
wanted to bring it up, cos this was discussed earlier. We're
very grateful for that: don't get us wrong. But what happens
if you're not here?"

RM: "That's a good question. I might not be here tomorrow-"


GD: "Will the company's support vanish overnight if you're
not here?"

RM: "Yes- If I wasn't here, the decision would be- Well, it
will either be with my son, Lachlan, or with Robert Thomson
[News Corporation chief executive]. And you don't have any
worries about either of them."

GD: "Not a lawyer? It wouldn't be a lawyer's decision?"

RM: "No."

GD: "Lachlan or Robert, then?"

RM: "People are going to express opinions, but it's the
leadership of the company who would take the decision."

Rhodri Phillips (Sun reporter): "Mr Murdoch, you said
earlier that you think most of us would be okay -- would be
in the clear. Is that just a gut feeling, a hunch, or is it
information that you know that we don't?"

RM: "It's nothing much more than a hunch. Whether it's 30
per cent, or 50 per cent, that they don't go ahead with,
release, they will take their bloody time about it just in
case, and keep torturing you. But the very fact that there
are any, will be almost an admission that they went too far.
Okay, the whole thing is going too far, but it's going to
weaken them. But what I worry about for your sakes is that
those who are charged may not get to court until next year.
They're unbelievably slow... It's just getting dragged out
and dragged out, through incompetence...

"But I think, fairly soon, we've been told to expect some
charges and some releases, but not by any means covering all
of you. It's the best indication we have, but I don't really
trust anything they tell us..."

Sun staffer: "The big issue for most of us going to trial
is, let's be honest, most of us won't get a fair one, even
if the judge decides we will or claims that we are. Because
it's News International, it's The Sun, it's Rebekah, it's
you, with respect Mr Murdoch, it's what the papers have been
all about. It's trying to go for News International, and
we're the people that will be sat in the dock facing it."

RM: "I don't think that's totally fair. I think that we've
been a paper that's never been frightened to get- wade into
big controversies, and as such we've made some enemies, many
times, but we've made a lot of friends too. And I don't
think it's all one way. But they wouldn't be buying- two
million people wouldn't be buying The Sun every day. But,
yeah, I know what you're saying. Well, where would I, or The
Sun, be most unpopular? It would be with the judges."

Sun staffer: "Absolutely, absolutely. Completely agree..."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "I'm not too worried about the
legal situation. But the worst thing has been... last year a
friend and good contact of mine was arrested. He sent me
some stuff, totally in the public interest, no money paid
for. He was arrested under data protection for unauthorised
disclosure of information... He feels very aggrieved towards
the company that he gave me this material in good faith, and
through no fault of my own, the golden trust, if you like,
of journalistic confidentiality has been breached..."

RM: "Did he give you stuff that he shouldn't have done?"

Unidentified Sun journalist: "We haven't published some of
it yet. But it was in the public interest..."

RM: "The thing about public interest- the judges and lawyers
will tell you it's not a legal defence. But I think it's a
massive defence with the jury..."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "The genie here has been let
out of the bottle by the MSC, and the police are now going
in different directions with this. It's almost like this
company has lost complete control of that. But do you not
feel there's a principle here that we betrayed, in terms of
journalistic confidentiality? I mean that with respect, sir.
I mean how do we ask sources of information to trust us in
future when this has happened? It's something that could
possibly- will undermine the whole industry, never mind just
this company. I just need to get that off my chest."

RM: "Yes. We've got to correct that in some way, for the
future. But you've got to protect sources. In one case we
paid a bundle, a huge bundle of money, it was at News of the
World. But a woman then said she'd been hacked. I think
we've got records of how we actually paid for them, legally,
on round about ten occasions, where that information had
come from, but I think some idiot at News of the World
thought they'd better be careful. The law of libel is so
tough. So they hacked it just to check, it would seem. I
don't know, we've never seen [the private investigator's]
diary. The cops have got it. But the people there said we
can't disclose the fact that we first got all that
information, on ten occasions, from somebody else, not the
hacking thing at all. So, you know. Sure, I think you've got
to protect your sources."

GD: "But yet you set up the MSC..."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "And yesterday -- my lawyer's
probably not going to thank me for saying this -- but when I
was interviewed Monday, the police put in front of me
photocopies of my contacts book that they had taken from my
office desk. That's disgraceful. And this company was
complicit in giving that to them, by the actions of the

RM: "Well, we didn't go round collecting it, and saying here
it is. They came and searched the offices."

GD: "Based on what the MSC had originally done."

RM: "They said, if you go to his office you'll find all
this? I don't think so. They [police] were in Rebekah's
office for two days, thereabouts, when there were three
executives in there with them. And they [police] say how
they came in and got all this stuff against great
resistance. But there was none. They [executives] were just
watching. And they [police] didn't get anything worthwhile
anyway, but that's another matter."

Unidentified Sun journalist: "The thing is, sir, that no one
is in any doubt whatsoever that the [redacted] have done
exactly what we've all done. As you say, it's this culture
that went right across Fleet Street. But the difference has
been that [redacted] we as a company, through the MSC, have
willingly embraced what the police want from us."

RM: "All I can say is, for the last several months, we have
told, the MSC has told, and Kathleen Harris, who's a
terrific lawyer, has told the police, has said, 'No, no, no
-- get a court order. Deal with that.'

"They said, 'We will,' and, of course, it never happened...
There's no channel at all."

Sun staffer: "It's a bit like shutting the stable door after
the horse has bolted for every one of us."

RM: "Oh absolutely, absolutely, you're right."

(Long pause.)

Unidentified person: "Anybody else, before we go? Can we-"

RM: "All I can say to you is that I feel terrible about it.
But here we are."

Neil Millard (Sun reporter): "How much do you regret setting
up the MSC in the first place?"

RM: "I don't know anything about that. I guess I wasn't
focussed enough. But it came out of the News of the World,
which I have told. The company had been in the wrong, and
they had covered up. And hacking was something which was- I
mean, they knew they were breaking the law, because it was a
very recent law. And everyone was piling in, saying, "Oh, we
were hacked," when they weren't even mentioned in the

Unidentified Sun journalist: "One of the issues that we've
not really addressed is the emotional pain and hurt for our
families, and our wives and children. Deidre, as you know,
is The Sun's agony aunt, has got a letter that- (turning to
a colleague) do you want to explain this? As it's your

Sun executive: "When we knew that we would be fortunate
enough to meet with you today, my wife went off into the
study, and came back with a letter that she presented to me,
which she wanted me to pass on to you. And I felt, as
Deidre's here, this is pretty much a broad representation of
what most people caught up in this have gone through, and
so, sort of handed it to Deidre to explain-"

Deidre Sanders: "I think there are a lot of partners who
would have liked to have been here today because they have
been so affected by this as well."

(DS reads out letter from wife of Sun executive:)

     Dear Mr Murdoch,

     *I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know
     what it's like to be a wife of one of your arrested and
     bailed journalists. We all feel much the same way: betrayed.
     Just over a year ago, lying in bed asleep, the phone rang.
     It was the Met Police asking how to find my home, as they
     were coming to arrest my husband.*

     *I handed him the phone. I felt sick. I'd recently come out
     of... hospital having had a heart operation. I knew I had to
     keep calm, but didn't know what to do. My husband went to
     let the police in. There were 10 of them. I heard them
     charge him with conspiracy and corruption. It all felt
     surreal. *

     *My husband, who loves News International, had been arrested
     for doing his job. The man who'd left family holidays
     mid-week because they needed him, who'd never been to a
     school nativity play or carol concert, who wouldn't even
     park on a yellow line, was being arrested at the hands of
     the company whom he'd worked so hard for.*

     *After he'd been led away the police went into our house,
     room by room, looking for evidence. By then I was comforting
     my two-year-old grand-daughter, who was a witness to her
     granddad being led away to prison. The police left with all
     our old video-tapes: 'If you can't prove what's on it, we
     have to take it,' and a small bag of expenses sheets and
     letters from the editor etc. Seven hours later, after most
     of the TV crews had gone, he came home shattered by the
     unending questions, as well as by the betrayal at the hands
     of the MSC.*

     *Many other partners had their underwear drawers rifled,
     cereal boxes emptied in front of their children, neighbours
     blocked in by a seemingly endless supply of police cars. A
     disgusting show of bullying. None of our property has been
     returned. *

     *So, time's passed and we've been left in a horrible limbo.
     Our relationships are at breaking point, some of the kids
     who watched their dads dragged away are still in

DS (aside to RM): "And I have to say as well, I know that
some are starting counselling now.

(DS continues to read letter:)

     *And one 15-year-old girl has had her hair fall out in
     clumps because of the stress. Characters have changed. There
     have been suicide attempts. For what? A hideous political
     game: for what end? To save News International's integrity,
     put way before the well-being of its employees. They deserve
     better, these are... not the debris. They've been on the
     firing line, literally for you, and have loved every minute.
     Those people will never come back, they've been lost

     *There appears to be no end in sight, and while the master
     of this drama has been sent to America to do some fancy new
     job, he's left behind a huge mess. A man who under
     oath at Leveson said, it's the fundamental right of all
     journalists to protect their sources, was happily handing
     the Met Police all the Sun's sources and contacts, along
     with payment details. Priceless.*

     *He even sanctioned Powerscourt to brief the Press against
     us, using the phrase: 'Drain the swamp'. *

     *Only last week one of the journalists was told he was going
     to be charged. His daughters took days off work-*

RM (interjects): "That was a lawyer who said, 'Drain the

DS: "It's Powerscourt, the PR company."

RM: "They were briefed, yes."

(DS continues to read letter:)

     *Only last week one of the journalists was going to be
     charged. His daughters took days off work and university to
     support their distraught mum, only to have the police change
     their mind. He is of course still on bail, and just waiting
     for the next episode. *

     *I'm waiting for March... when my husband's day is up again.
     Weeks of, 'What shall we do?' ifs, if he's charged, what
     happens afterwards? Will he ever be allowed to leave News
     International to go elsewhere? So, we're stuck between a
     rock and a hard place. He's a changed man. No longer do we
     have the same relationship. He is tortured, and as a
     consequence, so are we.*

     *I've always admired you, and liked the fact that you had
     such a great family ethic. We're the families who made the
     sacrifices that allowed our partners to give you the loyalty
     and respect you sought. The husbands, wives and children,
     not to mention parents and friends who are all affected by
     the work of the MSC, feel abandoned and isolated. *

     *There are men at the very top of their game who fear for
     their future. Their reputation's destroyed, and their
     freedom, possibly about to be taken away. Can you tell us
     what happens next?*

[Name of letter writer redacted.]...

RM: "Thank you very much. That's very moving... I'll go and
shove it down the throat of the company lawyers. That was
the most ups-"

(Sun executive sobs.)

RM: "It's a very, very moving letter. Alright?"

MD: "That probably brings us to an end, anyway, doesn't it?"

RM: "Okay. Thank you very, very much, and I'm sorry it's
like this. Sorry."

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