As predicted, the lengthy investigation into the phone hacking and other scandals surrounding News Corporation's British tabloids released its report this week. Let's just say that Rupert Murdoch and his son James do not come out of it looking good.
As The Guardian notes:
Lord Justice Leveson expressed concern in his report on the culture, practices and ethics of the press about aspects of James Murdoch's evidence to his inquiry on how much he was told about phone hacking at the News of the World.
Leveson said he found it "surprising" that Murdoch was unaware of damning legal advice by a senior barrister about a culture of illegal information access at the paper, and concluded: "Whatever the truth of what was discussed on 10 June 2008, the evidence outlined points to a serious failure of governance within the NoW, NI and News Corporation."
But the findings may have consequences for the Murdoch family that go beyond just looking bad. The FCC is considering loosening its media ownership regulations just as News Corp. is looking to buy up more U.S. media properties.
NBC News reports:
Dig down into Thursday’s inquiry report and it is the possibility of a cover-up that is the focus. From page 348, the report, overseen by Lord Justice Brian Leveson, accuses Rupert Murdoch, his son James and News Corporation of either failing to address allegations of "widespread criminality within the organization” or — if they didn’t know about it — being guilty of a "significant failure in corporate governance."
These are words that will concern lawmakers in the United States, where News Corporation has many media arms, including Fox News and 20th Century Fox, and recently announced that it is buying a 49 percent stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.
..."If the explanation of James and Rupert Murdoch is correct," the report concludes, then "One or more parts of the management… was engaged in a determined cover-up to keep relevant information about potential criminality within the organization from senior management."
Whether it was incompetence or cover up, this underscores how important it is not to allow News Corporation to gobble up any more U.S. major media.