Will Scandal Drown Rupert Murdoch?

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[Media: Black Star News Editorial]

Rupert Murdoch's and James Murdoch's assertions that they both didn't know the massive extent of the phone hacking operation that brought down The News of The World and now threatens the rest of the Murdochs' empire is preposterous.

What's even more revealing is the fact that the members of the parliamentary committee who questioned the Murdoch duo in London didn't say so to their face. It shows you the level of power that Murdoch still has with his stranglehold control over British media. Even members of parliament may still be wary of taking an adversarial position against the Murdochs.

Rupert Murdoch is so powerful --and yet so unsavory-- that he visits No. 10 Downing Street, official residence of British Prime ministers, through the back door. Which is also precisely the type of journalism he's engaged in.

How is it possible that the Murdoch duo didn't know the extent of the back door journalism when, as reported, millions of dollars were paid to settle cases with victims of the hacking and interceptions of calls and messages? One victim alone was reportedly paid nearly $800,000 while two others shared $1.2 million. How is it possible that the Murdoch duo did not know when several fired Murdoch employees are still being paid in order to hush up about what they know?

James Murdoch also told the parliamentary committee that he was "as surprised as" they were to learn that his company had been paying the legal fees of Clive Goodman, royal reporter for The News of the World and James Mulcaire, the newspaper's phone hacking specialist: both men went to prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to phone hacking charges.

Does any one in her or his right mind believe that The New of The World's reporters, and top editors such as now dismissed Rebekah Brooks who most recently was a senior official at News International, could on their own volition and authority engage in hacking people's phones, intercepting messages, and bribing police officials, without the consent of the head of the empire?

It's very likely that the Murdoch duo was lying.

Several reporters, many of whom were probably not involved in the Murdoch brand of journalism, lost their source of income when he abruptly shut down news of the world. Editors and officials have resigned and some, like Brooks, was arrested on the phone hacking and alleged police bribing incidents. In New York, Les Hinton, Publisher of the Murdoch-owned The Wall Street Journal also resigned; he once was head of News International. In 2007 he and others claimed  --wrongfully-- to U.K. officials that only one "rogue" reporter had been involved in the phone hacking scheme.

The chief of Scotland Yard, Paul Stephenson, and his deputy John Yates, have both resigned. It's likely that as this house cleaning continues more damning information will revealed by the British authorities, including how much Prime Minister David Cameron knew of the role Andy Coulson played while he was editor at The News of The World; Cameron later hired him as his communications director. Coulson was also arrested earlier this month.

Finally, if indeed Rupert Murdoch did not know about all this back door journalism, as ceo of News Corporation, why should he remain as chief? If indeed, James Murdoch who oversees News International also did not know, as deputy chief operating officer and heir apparent, why should he hope to ascend to the top? It was also revealing, and pathetic, that when Rupert Murdoch was asked whether he should accept responsibility, he offered a remorseless response: "No."

A Murdochian twist where the chief says "The buck doesn't stop here."

The Murdochs' non-response responses will only open up other lines of questioning in the days ahead or, to paraphrase one British member of parliament, the water is "lapping at the ankles" of the Murdochs and may soon start rising fast.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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