Here in the States, the scandal over News of the World was little-noticed until recently. British tabloids (that’s what their media is over there – think every newspaper looking like the National Enquirer) have gone back and forth with the story until last month, when it was revealed that the little phone-hacking problem was actually a big phone-hacking problem. News of the World issued its last paper on July 10, this past Sunday. The hysteria as spread across the pond to liberals right here in the US.
What’s the big to-do? Well, News of the World was owned by News Corp. That’s the company run by media magnate Rupert Murdoch. It includes Fox News, well-known to be like garlic crosses dipped in holy water to liberals.
British tabloids have gone for blood this time. The Mirror, which lambasted Americans after the 2004 elections, described Murdoch’s company as “crumbling”, going on to accuse reporters involved in the scandal of targeting British victims of 9/11. This is the portion of the article that all of the US politicians are getting upset about:
“But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters. And there was more bad news when it was revealed nine reporters allegedly at the centre of the phone scandal and claims of police corruption could face jail, along with three officers.
After he spent time at News International’s Wapping HQ in East London, 80-year-old Mr Murdoch held crisis talks with Mrs Brooks, 43 – who denies any knowledge of the Milly phone tapping – at his home in Mayfair.
The pair chatted behind closed doors as a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.
Now working as a private investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.
A source said: ‘This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their relatives.
‘His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.'”
When even a normally liberal blogger at TIME Magazine calls this stupidity out, you know something’s wrong. The blogger pointed out something that I thought of as I read the article, too – namely that the source is unidentified, that source purports to be an acquaintance of the person he claims made the allegation, and the investigator supposedly said that he decided against taking the job because he feared they wanted to hack emails as they had done in the UK. The problem with that last part? Nobody could have known that was going on back when the incident is supposed to have occurred.
Democrats Barbara Boxer (CA), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Jay Rockefeller (WV), and Louise Slaughter (NY), along with idiotic Republican Peter King (NY) have all called for SEC and FBI inquiries into the claim that NOTW tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims. This whole episode is beginning to stink. In fact, I daresay I’ve met decaying human bodies that were less offensive.
Having a criminal charge to bring against the CEO of News Corp, and ultimately a way to topple Fox News, is every Democrat’s wet dream. We might wanna get these guys a few drool buckets. They are salivating over the idea that they might well have a reason to shutter the only news organization that openly questions their motives and policies.
The problem is that there is no hard evidence to begin an investigation with. Not a shred. The only thing everyone is going on is some nameless, faceless cad claiming to know a guy who was supposedly contacted by a guy at the very newspaper that just went down in flames over the illegal activities of a handful of people.
Look at the facts of the original case. In a newsroom of 150-200 people, only seven were believed to have been involved at all, and two may not have actually known what was going on. One person was hired as a private investigator, and HE was the person who bribed three British police officers for information that he could hack crime victims’ voice mails with. Those involved deserve to go to prison for what they did. But does evidence that a handful of reporters, one private investigator and three crooked cops in another country committed crimes against victims mean that it’s happening here?
You’d think that if these people really wanted to bring down Fox, they’d be a little wiser about it. By doing it this way they are telegraphing their motives to everybody. It is perfectly clear exactly what they’re doing, and it’s absolutely nauseating. They’re digging graves and dancing at the proverbial wakes of people who are still alive. I sincerely doubt we’ll hear anything from the Big O. They’re all hoping this comes out the way they want it to.