Things keep going from bad to worse for Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. in the so-called “phone hacking scandal,” that has morphed into a bribery scandal at another Murdoch paper. Today police in London arrested eight people— included five from the tabloid The Sun—on allegations of bribery of police officers and defense officials. The Sun employees are being called “senior journalists” by The Guardian, which names a deputy editor, chief reporter, picture editor and chief foreign correspondent. This comes on the heels of Ellen’s news earlier this week that “Britain’s Metropolitan Police have acknowledged that they failed to properly investigate and warn the victims of News Corp. phone hacking when it was originally discovered in 2006.”
The Guardian reports this morning:
Sky News reported that Rupert Murdoch is flying into the UK to reassure Sun staff that he will not close the paper in the wake of the latest arrests.
A Surrey police officer, 39, a Ministry of Defence employee, 39, and a member of the armed forces, 36, were also arrested at their homes on Saturday on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both.
The new arrests at Britain's bestselling newspaper will further rock News International, which is still reeling from the closure of the Sun's sister title, the News of the World last year, after it emerged that journalists had hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
News Corp. has issued a statement. According to The Washington Post:
News Corp. confirmed it had supplied the police with information, but insisted it would “continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege.”
“News Corporation maintains its total support to the ongoing work of the management standards committee and is committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law,” it said.
All eight people arrested Saturday are being questioned by police in London and at stations in the southern England counties of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Wiltshire. The five journalists from The Sun — aged between 45 and 68 — are being quizzed on suspicion of offenses of corruption and aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office. Police said the three public servants were being questioned on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and corruption offenses.
Washpo also reports: “I’m as shocked as anyone by today’s arrests but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times,” [Editor] Dominic Mohan said in a statement. “I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday’s newspaper.”
Good luck with that.
Ruthless’ nightmare is far from over. His biggest scandal will unfold this year, forcing the old kook to an early retirement.
Coming down the pipe.
1. News Corporation’s scandals taint Fox “News” Channel.
2. GOP presidential candidates start to distance themselves from Fox “News” Channel.
3. A Fox “News” mouthpiece is exposed as a fraud.
4. U.S. News Corporation executives will need lawyers soon. We predict a few arrests.
NOTE TO RUPY
Old fool, the tables have turned on you. Now you are the center of a scandal. What goes around, comes around.