Rupert Murdoch caught on tape

Murdoch caught out again by leaked comments

Rupert Murdoch caught on tape

In the wake of the latest damning revelations about the culture and practices prevailing inside the former News International’s newspapers, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has agreed to again front the House of Commons culture, media and sports select committee. This is the same forum in which, two years ago, Murdoch and his son James were cross-examined over the widespread phone-hacking at the now closed News of the World.

This latest instalment in the ‘phone hacking’ scandal, engulfing Murdoch’s UK titles, has been precipitated by a secret recording of a meeting the chairman had with journalists from his Sun newspaper, who have been arrested for allegedly bribing police and other public officials for stories.

The 45-minute secret recording reveals a very different attitude towards the police investigations to that displayed two years ago when he told the parliamentary committee it was “the most humble day of my life”. His UK company and its employees were being investigated over the practices of cash for comment and phone-hacking. In the latest recording, he lashes out at “incompetent police” and vows to hit back when the time is right.

The investigative journalism website, Exaro News, published the clips and they were, in turn, telecast by Channel 4 and have now been reported in all the main Australian news media, but not in News Ltd titles. Murdoch’s comments to the senior journalists include “We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops. That’s been going on a hundred years, absolutely” and “I don’t know of anybody, or anything that wasn’t being done across Fleet Street and wasn’t the culture”.

The newly rebadged News UK has always maintained that Murdoch “never knew of payments made by senior staff to police before the company disclosed that to UK authorities”. He’s expected to appear in the northern autumn when, according to his spokesperson, “Mr Murdoch welcomes the opportunity to return to the Select Committee and answer their questions. He looks forward to clearing-up any misconceptions as soon as possible”.

To read more visit the Guardian UK website


Opinion: Does the end justify the means?

Once one has acknowledged the delicious irony of the arch phone-hacker being hoist by his own petard, several other questions arise in the wake of this latest News UK blow-up.

It would have been naive to have expected the illegal ‘news gathering’ practices to have magically ended with the Levison Enquiry and the charging of the former News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, inter al.  Murdoch’s undoubtedly correct when he points out the long history of such practices. But it is still difficult to believe that he, his management and reporters have learned nothing from such a recent, highly publicised and damaging public airing of the corporate ‘dirty laundry’.

Is it the breathtaking arrogance of corporate leaders and high-profile political and media personalities which blinds them to (a) the possibility of their less flattering utterances being leaked and (b) the public reaction to such revelations?

Murdoch is by no means an isolated example. In the recent US Presidential election campaign, Mitt Romney fell foul to a leaked video. Closer to home, the Sydney shock-jock, Alan Jones, plumbed new depths, with his tasteless remarks at a Liberal Party fundraising dinner concerning then PM Julia Gillard and her recently deceased father.

Then, there’s the age old issue of the role of the media in a healthy functioning democracy. Traditionally, it has fallen to the press, and in particular the quality broadsheets, to keep governments, oppositions and all those in authority, both public and private, honest. To shine a light into all the darkest corners of society. But if the same darkest corners include major sections of that very same media, then we’re in deep trouble or, in biblical terms, “if (the) salt has lost its taste how shall its saltiness be restored?”

And, at a more personal, human scale, there’s the question of who should be held to account when these illegal practices are, eventually, revealed. Why should the most recent batch of News employees, those 20 Sun journalists take the rap for policies clearly in place prior to many, if not all of them, joining the company. If this was (and still is) the prevailing culture at News UK papers, with employees expected to conform and encouraged by a policy of the end justifies the means, shouldn’t those who initiated and presided over such policies be held to account? Surely, they, who had the power to extinguish such illegal, corrupting and downright sleazy practices, should be subject to more serious criminal charges than the employees. The latest leaked recording would suggest that at least some of the Sun journalists are asking this question.

What do you think about these latest revelations? Do you think it’s possible to cleanse the media of such anti-social behaviour? Or do you believe that it’s a legitimate defence by the media that the end justifies the means?


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    11th Jul 2013
    Considering our government is hacking our phones our emails our social accounts what exactly are you critising that someone leaked a Murdoch conversation? Or that the police are corrupt?
    You know very well that this blog will immediately go into critising Murdoch and News corp as pet hates of the left
    11th Jul 2013
    Gee Pete really ?
    This is a man who took on American citizenship to further his media empire. He would do anything to make money and gain power.
    He controls information ...

    If you cannot perceive the importance of a fair and impartial press ... then cynical Pete blame the government, the police , the Left, the ABC, the leaded petrol and do not work on making a better world.

    Pull the blanket over your head and go back to sleep
    11th Jul 2013
    Pete !! Pete !!!! ZZzzzzzzzzzz.
    11th Jul 2013
    It only took one post to go off subject . But I guess that was the intention .
    11th Jul 2013
    It seems a bit contrary that governments are bring to task others for the same sort of things that they have been doing to their citizens for years

    11th Jul 2013
    Murdoch in the DOCK.....the verdict... 'SEND HIM DOWN... he can keep his mobile'
    11th Jul 2013
    Pity he won't be handed out a decent sentence with the excuse that he will die in goal if we send him there. So what if you or I were guilty there would be no thought as to how old we were or when we may get out, we would be sent down like any other criminal.
    11th Jul 2013
    I realise that he is a talented man but I wasn't aware that he had replaced Mark Swartzer in the Socceroos...........Sorry! Just realised that you meant GAOL or as the Yanks would have it.....JAIL.
    11th Jul 2013
    ....meanwhile back on the farm in the land of the real world, I wonder how these mega rich people get that way legally?
    11th Jul 2013
    11th Jul 2013
    3 great advances in the past century:
    the rise of democracy;
    the rise of corporate and government power;
    the rise of propaganda to protect corporate and government power against democaracy.
    11th Jul 2013
    love it!! :)
    11th Jul 2013
    Two points's a bit over the top to refer to Murdoch's comments on police efficiency as "slander". Police are open to criticism just like politicians and journalists and they quickly learn to suck it up.
    Point two, the recording of his remarks was clandestine and would probably be inadmissible in any resulting action.
    11th Jul 2013
    According to that Guardian on-line report, Murdoch says he's happy to return to the "Select Committee" and answer their questions. They have decided to write to him requesting his presence in the northern hemisphere Autumn after the trial of Rebekka Brookes. However, as he is an American citizen, he has no obligation to do so. The police and the tape is a different matter. Nothing will probably come of it, those in high places hardly ever come to account.
    11th Jul 2013
    I couldn't feel happier if I had recorded the conversation myself :) I listened to the tape and was disgusted with the arrogance of Mr. Murdoch. Not only does he see himself above the law, but he sees his staff above the law and decency. He also rubbishes the Police!!! Not a smart move :) I'm glad he took American citisenship.

    Can the media be cleansed?? I doubt it. While there is money and accolades to be rewarded for scoop reporting, there will always be a someone willing to sell their soul and decency to get the prize. I mean, what decent person would deliberately hack a dead girl's email and let her parents think she was still alive? I know I am only one in a group of millions, but I really don't wish to support the Murdoch empire.
    11th Jul 2013
    Why should it be inadmissible Paddles anything Rupert or his lackeys recorded is allowed why not the other way around ?
    Tom Tank
    11th Jul 2013
    The problem with Murdoch is not his attitude or his political interference in events but his overwhelming level of media control in this country. He is moving beyond News Ltd as such and is conniving to get control of Channel 10. This is being done by subterfuge as it would be against the law but just keep your eyes and ears open on this one..
    11th Jul 2013
    How does news ltd of which Murdoch is a shareholder control the media in Australia.
    What has news ltd anything to do with channell ten ?
    Tom Tank
    12th Jul 2013
    Lachlan Murdoch is on the board of Channel 10. As well as The Australian News Ltd owns one of the large circulation papers in each Capital City, such as Sydney's Daily Telegraph.
    Murdoch always says that he does not exercise control of his editors however unless they know what Rupert wants they don't get the job in the first place.
    At the recent "Institute of Public Affairs" anniversary dinner Murdoch was the guest of honour and the invited audience included all the Liberal party notables, Cardinal Pell etc. There was not one attendee who could be described a "left of centre".
    In case you don't know the Institute of Public Affairs are they are a right wing think tank that influences Liberal Party thinking and policies.
    12th Jul 2013
    Well I will repeat my question how does news control the media in Australia it does not have a paper in Canberra or Perth it has no radio stations it has no freeto air tv stations . It shares with Fairfax in Sydney and Melbourne and nationally .
    12th Jul 2013
    maybe you should look at this.

    Also there is FOXtel which is 50% owned with Telstra
    12th Jul 2013
    Foxtel is not media but a carrier news has one of the channels a sport one and a news one
    Can you explain how news controls the media in Australia
    Tom Tank
    12th Jul 2013
    Murdoch controls 75% of all daily newspapers in Australia plus suburban newspapers, magazines etc. That represents serious power in the community.
    A couple of elections ago he offered his media empires support to whichever party paid him $500,000.
    That domination of the media, especially since his daily papers are tabloids with mass circulation. This gives such domination of the news that he effectively controls it. It used to be said here Melbourne that the Herald was for those who cannot read and the Sun for those who cannot think. They are now amalgamated as the Herald-Sun owned by you know who.
    12th Jul 2013
    I see that you no longer state that Murdoch controls the media in Australia which is obviously not true to stating that Murdoch controls 75per of the daily news papers
    Plus magazines plus suburban newspapers .
    Sydney news telegraph Fairfax SMH
    Melbourne news one herald ? Fairfax. Age
    National news Australian Fairfax fin review
    Canberra can. Times Fairfax
    Perth Wa news
    Adelaide advertiser news
    Brisbane news
    Fairfax purchase rural press which gave them a lot of country and suburban newspapers
    I think news bought Cumberland press which gave them some suburban
    Radio Fairfax has stations news does not
    Abc has four tv free to air channels radio stations shops magazines
    I am not aware of any news ltd magazines
    Given the above how does news ltd control 75 per cent of all daily papers in Australia
    11th Jul 2013
    Young Simmo
    11th Jul 2013
    Yeh LENYJAC, I really worry about Rupert, he is so busy he probably hasn't had time, or maybe forgot to organise a retirement plan. Still if he can change his status and get an Aussie pension he won't have a worry. I just wonder what he will do with all his spare cash left over from his Aussie pension.
    12th Jul 2013
    It breaks my heart to think of poor old Rupert in his old age with no pension too look forward to but he may find that when he gets to the stage that he is entitled to a pension it is too late cause the he has helped Abbot get into the top job.

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