Correlation by itself does not imply causation. But still:

It’s rather interesting that just before Scotland Yard (many of whose members were and likely are in NewsCorp’s pay, and thus would be positioned to leak the news to their fellow NewsCorp employees) publicly released to the press things like this:

The News of the World phone-hacking crisis is intensifying, and today may well turn out to be a crucial day for the paper – and perhaps even for the future of the British newspaper industry. New revelations about the behaviour of the paper are coming thick and fast.

The Guardian leads on the news that relatives of victims of the 7 July 2005 attacks were targeted by the paper, the BBC says that News International has uncovered emails showing that payments were made to the police by the paper when Andy Coulson was editor, apparently with Coulson’s approval, and the Independent says that Rebekah Brooks personally commissioned a search for information by one of the investigators subsequently used to trace the family of Milly Dowler.

And in the Commons today we’ve got PMQs, followed by a three-hour emergency debate on the phone hacking affair. By the end of the day we will have a much better idea as to if – or, rather, when (because it seems inevitable) – there will be an inquiry into the phone-hacking affair. It’s possible, too, that we may see Rebekah Brooks resigning – the pressure on her is enormous – but as I write this morning she seems determined to cling on.

That FOX News, Rupert Murdoch’s chief American property, started doing stunts like this cited in Politico:

In the past ten days, the news channel has run more than 30 segments calling for the nonprofit group to be stripped of its tax-exempt status. Its Fox Nation website has even provided a link to pre-completed complaint forms against Media Matters to send to the Internal Revenue Service.

While Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have long grumbled about Media Matters, this attack on the group has been carried out across the channel’s news and opinion programs. It has included shows like “The O’Reilly Factor,” news coverage of the complaints to the IRS, and even a psychological profile of Brock, a
former conservative journalist who went over to the liberal side, on “Fox and Friends” that suggested he might be “full of self-hatred” because he was adopted.

As the Politico piece went on to show, the entire right-wing media firmament has rallied behind Murdoch and FOX News, with FOX friends from C. Boyden Gray to Charles Krauthammer to the Washington Times all lining up to lob attacks at Media Matters.

Except that these attacks are baseless:

Ari Rabin-Havt, the executive vice president of Media Matters, denies both allegations, pointing to the organization’s research on how Fox News, its employees and its parent companies “engaged in an unprecedented campaign in support of the Republican Party” during the 2010 election cycle.

“Our contention about Fox News’s political operations are supported by the facts and their own actions, especially during the previous few years,” he said.

Regarding the questions raised about the media training boot camp, profiled in a March 22 Washington Post story, Rabin-Havt said the training institute explicitly asks its potential students if they plan to run for office or go work for a political campaign, and declines to train them if they do.

“Our training institute trains progressive voices, but not political ones,” he said. “We are not training candidates. We are not training political campaign employees.”

Meanwhile, in a desperate move to keep the BSkyB deal from falling through, Murdoch’s decided to shut down the News of the World tabloid. Nice try, Rupert. But we know you too well. (And of course word’s just come that the Sun — which has itself been the subject of a phone-hacking scandal — is being expanded to cover the weekend slot so that NoTW won’t actually be shuttered, just “rebranded” as the Sun’s new weekend edition. So even that gesture of Murdoch’s is an empty one.)

Rupert, now that Scotland Yard’s finally decided to go after its stitched-up officers, your empire is teetering. You may well outlive it.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman

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