Journalism in the Public Interest

Read the Embarrassing Hacking Allegations That News Corp. Redacted

New documents published today cast doubt on News Corporation’s claims that top executives and editors at the now-defunct News of the World were unaware of widespread phone hacking at the paper. One of the documents had also been aggressively redacted by News Corp., which removed references that referred to top editors knowing about the hacking. We've posted the document, with News Corp.'s redaction revealed.  

The document, a four-year-old letter from former News of the World correspondent Clive Goodman, asserted that other members of the staff were also using phone hacking and that the practice “was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference.” The letter also alleged that News of the World had promised Goodman, who was fired for phone hacking, that he could have his job back if he “did not implicate the paper or any of its staff.” Goodman, along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, both served jail time in 2007 for phone hacking, and the scandal died down after a limited investigation by Scotland Yard found no evidence of widespread hacking.

When News Corp. recently sent a copy of the letter to the parliamentary committee investigating the scandal, it removed or redacted the embarrassing allegations. But we know what the references said because Harbottle & Lewis, a law firm that conducted an internal review of News Corp., sent the committee another copy of the letter that left in those key details.   

One committee member, Labor MP Tom Watson, told the Guardian that the letter from Goodman is "the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far." In a statement, News International told the Guardian: "We recognize the seriousness of materials disclosed to the police and parliament and are committed to working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities."

Check out the redactions that News Corp. tried to make. The Guardian also has an annotated version of the letter and a live blog tracking the latest on the scandal. 

I was in London a few weeks ago when this story was beginning to break.  Knowing Murdoch’s reputation, I don’t put it past him to exploit everything he gets his hands on. I saw some of the testimony atthe Parliamentary hearing and he blamed everything on someone else.  He still signed the checks though!

The link from “annotated version of the letter” above is recursive.

Kind of a “gimme” if you ask me.  The simple truth is the moral and ethical standards maintained by the leadership of any entity are typically revealed by the moral and ethical standards exhibited by the component parts of that entity.  If those standards are routinely on public display as was the case with News of the World and remains the case with Fox News, then you can rest assured that the displayed moral and ethical standards are not just approved by but driven from the top down.

It is a simple fact that no entity - corporation, government, religious, or what have you all the way down to the family unit - will tolerate a component part of itself that routinely and publicly exhibits behavior that the parent entity does not condone.

News of the World is Fox News is News Corp is all things Murdoch…and demonstrably flat-out untrustworthy at best.

Martinshushu Blog Post:

The News Corp Blues & The Fox Plumbers

There’s an old secret story of perversion around Hollywood in the 1950s. It’s about the iconic 20th Century Fox studios. It’s a story of creepy, childish behavior by big time guys who had too much money and too much power. Their moral and ethical corruption inevitably led to criminal doings. Those guys at Fox were deviants, but they knew well that a good movie story has a beginning, a middle and an ending.

Now for us, let’s begin our story with an ending.
Today James Murdoch, the son of Rupert announced the demise of the News of the World in London. The most prominent scandal sheet in the UK is closing it’s doors forever. Public and private outrage over illegal spying on both celebrities and regular people led to a speedy stock decline by the parent company News Corporation in the New York markets. So Rupert was forced to close up shop at News of the World.
Over here in the USA another News Corporation division seems to be doing quite well. Fox News is a major mover in American cable television. More importantly Fox News division is a big-box outlet store for anything “conservative.” In News Corporation jargon “conservative” means any slanted story or any contrived falsehood with the purpose of coaxing the viewer to believe the lie. Journalistic ethics be damned. The only goal was to get more viewers and make more money the any other News Corporation media division.
If Fox News lies were proved true, our United States would devolve into some mediaeval oppressive Handmaid’s Tale. Women would be reduced to chattel by anti-abortion madmen inquisitors. Every citizen would be bound by slave labor wages to pay off debt arranged by a conspiracy of the US Congress and International Banking Cartels.
This is not science fiction. This is happening now in the soggy dreams and vile works of the chiefs of News Corporation and Fox News. The guy who runs Fox News is Roger Ailes. You must have heard about old Roger. Roger worked for Richard Nixon, and then for Ronald Reagan, and then for both Bushes, and then other big-time republicans. For the right wing, Roger’s resumé grants him special national treasure status. A latter day hero of the constitution.
Wait a minute! Go back to Nixon.
Good old boy Roger Ailes began his career in the Nixon White House. Recall that Richard Nixon was forced to resign from office in his second term. Nixon did not resign for the good of the nation. The leaders of the republican party and the US Congress told him to resign or he was to be impeached, tried and removed from office. Had he not resigned Nixon most likely would have been tried and convicted for obstruction of justice and treason. So Nixon plea bargained the resignation deal to keep out of jail.
Here’s the time line: In spring of 1972 the republican national committee created the committee to reelect the president. In a mysterious and pungent twist of acronym the RNC called it CREEP. Bags of cash were given to CREEP. Does that sound familiar? Some of the CREEP cash went to a gang of criminal types called the plumbers who burglarized the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington. They snatched inside information on the Democrat’s plans for the election. The gang was founded by White House counsel John Ehrlichman who eventually served prison time for his efforts. Nixon denied any knowledge of the plumbers. Nixon’s secretary fumbled the oval office tapes into erasing a talk Nixon had about the plumbers. Remember the seventeen minutes?
Clearly the Nixon resignation was a Machiavellian case in absolute corruption of power.
Good old boys sometime think that regular people are too stupid to see the truth.

Now, here’s the secret story about 1950s Fox. The good old boys who ran Fox studios installed a hidden two-way mirror in a concealed office. Through the mirror they could ogle young women dressing and undressing for screen tests. At some time in the 1960s or 1970s they closed the mirror room. Spying on starlets was illegal then and now. But in the 1950s it was a good old boy offense. Laughable and trivial.
Maybe not so inconsequential any more. The present day perversion at Fox is given to us by the good old boys at News Corporation and Fox News. And it does not involve two-way mirrors. Their technology is state of the art and direly invasive of regular people’s lives and right to privacy. How can regular people support unethical networks like Fox anything, or Sky TV anything. Or papers like The NY Post or the Wall Street Journal or the Australian or the Times of London and on and on. The list is long.

News Corporation chief good old boy Rupert Murdoch is a board member of the libertarian and fascista Cato Institute along with his peers the carious Koch Brothers. It’s psychopathic how such minions of small government and no taxes pay A-list hackers big money to eavesdrop on regular people and celebrities. How often does Fox News hack into Voice Mails and cell phone calls over here in the USA? Their sister operation over in the UK made a normal practice of such spying. It may be that the entire UK investigation was a “Modified Limited Hang Out”* arranged by Murdoch and his spin weenies.

For the term “Modified Limited Hang Out” here is a transcript of the March 22, 1973 meeting between President Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman, John Dean, and H. R. Haldeman:

President Nixon: “You think, you think we want to, want to go this route now? And the ... let it hang out, so to speak?”
John Dean: “Well, it’s, it isn’t really that ...”
H. R. Haldeman: “It’s a limited hang out.”
John Dean: “It’s a limited hang out.”
John Ehrlichman: “It’s a modified limited hang out.”
President Nixon: “Well, it’s only the questions of the thing hanging out publicly or privately.”

So “Modified Limited Hang Out” means to conceal the worst by revealing some lesser part. A gestalt with carefully selected blinders if you will. Fox News Il Duce Roger Ailes learned these crafts of espionage on regular people and Modified Limited Hang Outs when he was so close to the plumbers and spin weenies of Watergate fame. Note that just before all the row broke out in the UK over News Corp, Fox News let loose a modified limited hang out story of someone who supposedly hacked into Fox News Twitter accounts.

The time has come for Rupert Murdoch to shut down another one of News Corporation’s far flung tainted branches of empire: Fox News.
Do it now Rupert, before the stock price takes another dive.
Quick Rupert, slam the door and turn off the lights on the festering Fox News before it’s too late.
* A Note of thanks to our friend Victor Muh for identifying the “Modified Limited Hang Out” history and its modern day application.



Really, I don’t think a person in the Country should really give a darn as persons are scrapping any source trying to make a meal. Family, vet, or not?
Did anyone listen to the hour long special with Warren Buffet and Charlie Rose…I did, found by mistake, I never tuned out the whole hour.
( he “charlie"actually kept from asking a question and interrupting with another question and interjecting his own thoughts}
Once again p.b.s and charlie..Great job!..Beliver or not…
sorry, we just have to many unsovled problems of our own.
thanks for reading.

Thanks for catching that, Jim. Fixed.

Edmund Singleton

Aug. 17, 2011, 3:34 a.m.

When bribe money is paid, it had to have been approved by someone and out of some audit account, one would think…

Have the civil disturbances in the UK taken attention away from the case & the current PM?

It always seems a little suspicious to me of major media outlets reporting on each other’s sins.  If it broke interesting news, any journalist would do it and any editor would approve it to get the story.

I’m not saying they should go free, by any means, but…if you’re not willing to break the law to get information out to the public, what’s the point of being a journalist?  In fact, why is it not a scandal that most “reporters” (including the rest of Murdock’s flock) merely repeat press releases?  The reason traditional media is failing is exactly because of this behavior:  There’s no reason to read the New York Times or watch CNN if they’re going to waste time telling me about the upcoming iPhone, the latest American Idol star, and blindly repeat White House numbers on some topic or other.

I can’t help suspecting that, if News of the World wasn’t a tabloid and/or wasn’t owned by a creep, this series of articles would be about the heroic muckrakers of the past and how this behavior should be protected, rather than how horrible it is that an organization would condone unlawful investigation.  Instead, you’re piling on to see who can gut your industry’s lifeblood the fastest.

The only way the field can work is that you do what you think is right, then stand and face the consequences of your actions.

@john - re:  “if you’re not willing to break the law to get information out to the public, what’s the point of being a journalist?”

I’m always a little suspicious of those who attempt to portray wiretapping used as a means to generate and extend - even down to manipulating the families of murder victims - a story as “journalism”.

Now if that media entity has a history of breaking the law to bring the truth to the peoples of the world, that might earn them a “Well, they went too far, but with their long history of honest journalism…” kind of huss. 

But when that media entity has earned a reputation for manipulating the truth even when that truth conforms to the political ideology it espouses…well, then, you must perforce consider the fact that manipulating the truth is not journalism.

I believe even Fox says such activities are only “editorializing”.

Oh, and John - to give you the the Fox News - a core part of News Corp. - position on breaking the law to bring information to the people, I give you these:


Christian Whiton, Fox News contributor:  “Rather, this is an act of political warfare against the United States.”


Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor: “The WikiLeaks guys should be in jail for the rest of his life. He is an enemy of the United States, actively endangering people, and he’s going to get a lot of folks killed.”

Glenn Beck, Fox News (at the time): “He probably should go to jail, and probably tried for treason.”

From (quotes derived from linked video tape):

Mike Huckabee, Fox News contribution, said, “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News said leakers are traitors who “should be executed or put in prison for life.”

Eric Bolling, Fox News:  “[Assange] should be put in jail or hanged in a public forum.”

Wayne Simmons of Fox News calls Wikileaks a terrorist organization.

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters of Fox News: “I would execute leakers.”

I of course get suspicious when somebody tries to gift News Corp with “the right” to break the law…for they are quick to seek the death of any and all who would break the law to bring forth information that might damage anyone whose political ideology is in alignment with theirs.

Steve, did I say they should be let off the hook?  I’m fairly sure I said exactly the opposite.

My objection, here, is to the fake shock and horror that, oh, some reporter crossed the line and didn’t wait until a story was placed neatly in their laps by the authorities.

Note that the asinine Fox pundits are agreeing with you, not me, on the principle that secrecy or sanctity is more important than truth.  I support Wikileaks (socially and economically, though I find Assange himself distasteful) and am standing against convicting News of the World on a principle of “you shouldn’t do that” in public opinion rather than the facts of the case in a courtroom.

Because if we take the wrong stand here, then we’re stating categorically that the nightly news should just read their press releases like good puppies, whistleblowers should keep their damned mouths shut, and you and I have no right to any information not intentionally and explicitly published for our consumption.

(On the topic of silencing whistleblowers, it’s noteworthy that the Wall Street Journal has a whistleblower site to compete with Wikileaks, where they make you sign an agreement asserting that you own copyright over all materials you submit to them, and state outright that they’ll sell you out in a heartbeat to government or private institutions if they see any benefit in doing so.  I’d rather defend News of the World than these bozos, personally.)

What the reporters and editors did was illegal, and they should go on trial for those specific actions, not for how sympathetic their targets were, the quality of their stories, or how any of us feels about its parent company or its other employees.

John, I’m glad you brought up the fact that the “Wall Street Journal has a whistleblower site”.

I think they call that “entrapment”,  in the real world.  Anything owned by Murdochs or touched by Ailes is in no way associated with journalism.  You have but to peruse all things News Corp. to realize that the kind of people they’re trying to entrap are the people who know $100 large or better…

lolllll…that is, the people who might betray those who are paying Fox to pursue the destruction of democracy.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories