Reporters at one of Rupert Murdoch/News Corp’s London newspapers, News of the World, were busted for hacking into people’s voicemails, which touched off a major scandal that was the subject of a New York Times Magazine piece this weekend
Michael Wolff frames The Times piece as another tactic in the paper’s war (or should we say non-war) with The Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch also owns.
The Times piece doesn’t get into how much information and what information Murdoch and his son James knew about the phone-hacking, making it “even more powerful as a threat,” Wolff Writes.
The Times story about how the Murdoch organisation systematically hacked into the voicemail messages of just about anybody who is anybody in London—a story that few UK news outlets, save for the Guardian, have touched, and that Scotland Yard has been loath to pursue—is a rousing whodunit with many smoking guns. But it is as menacing to the Murdochs for what’s not in it. Indeed, the story is even more powerful as a threat. Its second part is yet to be written. This is what they’re holding over Murdoch’s head—another shoe.
The story traces who knew what about the phone hacking and when they know it right up to Andy Coulson. And there it stops. In the chain of command at News International (News Corp.’s British subsidiary), if Andy Coulson knew something then his mentor and boss, Rebekah Brooks, knew it, and if Rebekah knew it, then James Murdoch knew it (this is a very tight office and social circle), and if James knew it, then his father knew it.
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