News Corp. Whistleblower Found Dead; Management Faces Phone Hacking Scrutiny

Sean Hoare, the whistleblower who outed News Corporation’s phone hacking scandal last fall, was mysteriously found dead yesterday in his Watford, Hertfordshire home. Police, with a straight face, are treating the matter as a potential suicide and that his death was “not thought to be suspicious.”

Oh, how convenient. Right when the heat is turning up on the News Corporation senior management, who may have approved and known of the phone-hacking scheme for years, the originator of the claims turns up dead. Allegedly, Hoare was battling addiction and overdosed. That’s sure possible. And Bigfoot is having dinner with the Loch Ness Monster, right now, at the Olive Garden.

Anyway, when the claims first came out, how did the News of the World newspaper respond? The official line was, “We reject absolutely any suggestion there was a widespread culture of wrongdoing at the News of the World.”


So, just how high up does the scandal go? One source for the Sunday Telegraph told the paper that the phone hacking scandal was known by senior management at the company, and that the management may have conspired to keep this information from law enforcement.

According to the source, “News International appears to have covered up this scandal. That is potentially a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. It would have to be proved that James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks or any other senior executive knew the information handed over in 2011 was actually in the system in 2006 and suppressed it.”

Can that be proved? And will anyone at News Corp escape scrutiny if the government can prove that the entire enterprise was corrupt and in on the scandal from the beginning? Will James Murdoch get the ol’ prison treatment?

“The way they are sacking people at the moment, you can’t rule out further information coming out.”


Bullish: For investors that are confident in the long-term outlook for the company, this scandal has offered up a nice entry point. It is hard to believe that this scandal, as bad as it is, is going to matter 5 years from now.

Bearish: From a trading perspective, the NWSA scandal is offering up new bearish headlines everyday, which have been met by lower prices. This is exactly what you want if you are a short seller.

— John Thorpe

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