Will the Murdoch Scandal Spread to Fox News?

Will the scandal that has engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s British media holdings spread to the U.S. and, in particular, Fox News?

At the start of May, Senator Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate committee on commerce, science and transportation, wrote to Lord Justice Leveson, who has been heading a British judicial investigation into media ethics in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that broke out last summer following the revelation that reporters from News of the World had hacked into the voice mail of murdered the 13-year-old Milly Dowler, prior to her body being found. Rockefeller is inquiring if, in the course of his investigations, Lord Leveson has uncovered any evidence suggesting that “unethical and sometimes illegal business practices occurred in theUnited States or involved US citizens.” More from the senator’s letter:

“Evidence that is already in the public record clearly shows that for many years,News International had a widespread, institutional disregard for these laws.”

“I would be very concerned if evidence emerged suggesting that News Corporation officials in New York were also aware of these illegal payments and did not act to stop them.”

The catalyst for Rockefeller’s letter was the final report from British parliament’s culture, media and sport select committee, which stated that Murdoch was “not fit” to run a major international media company.

As the Guardian notes, Rockefeller’s letter marks the first time that a member of the U.S. Senate has taken a more focused interest in the hacking scandal. The Senate could hold public hearings about the hacking scandal and subpoena witnesses and documents from News Corp.

There is yet no discussion of such but much is at stake. The commerce committee oversees the Federal Communications Commission, which has the final say about issuing broadcast licenses including the 27 issued to what theGuardian calls the “jewel in Murdoch’s crown, Fox News.

News Corp. also faces a possible inquiry related to the charges of corruption levied at the company in the U.K. On the same day as Rockefeller’s letter was sent, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg called for a “robust inquiry” about whether New York-based News Corp. could be charged under anti-bribery and corruption laws, in the wake of reports about voice-mail and email hacking and also of corruption, including bribes to police. News Corp. could be charged under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for American citizens and companies to pay bribes to government officials abroad.

Indeed, two weeks ago, lawyer Mark Lewis, who has represented a number of hacking victims in the U.K. including the family of Milly Dowler, started investigations into four allegations of phone hacking that had occurred in the U.S. Lewis has said that there are “so many American aspects” to the hacking scandal, including potential American victims of hacking and the possibility that News Corp. executives have withheld “material information” from shareholders and potential investors.

Media Empire Endures But Murdoch More and More Isolated

Writing in theAssociated Press, Raphael Satter describes how what he calls not the hacking scandal, but the Murdoch scandal, is following a “classic script” for the rise and fall of a media baron:

“Scrappy outsider turns modest newspaper business into international media conglomerate. Ambition turns to hubris. Mogul dramatically falls from grace.”

Murdoch’s star has surely been tarnished — blackened — in the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who made a special trip to Murdoch’s yacht in 2008 to “receive his blessing” said last week that “we all did too much cozying up to Rupert Murdoch.” Just on Tuesday, the Guardian reported that Cameron texted Rebekah Brooks to “keep her head up” in the week before she resigned as CEO of News International and prior to what has turned out to be the first of two arrests for her.

Murdoch still possesses the vast share of his media holdings, and is the head of a “fabulously successful media company.”News Corp.’s share price has remained high despite months of reports about the scandal and the company just reported a big gain in its quarterly profits on Wednesday:For the three months up to March, the company’s net profit rose to $1 billion, as compared to $682 million in the same period last year.In the U.S., the Fox News network, whose decidedly unfair and unbalanced version of the news is what New York Times columnist Bill Keller calls Murdoch’s ”most toxic legacy,” continues to attract legions of viewers while annoying and outraging many of us.

Increasingly isolated in Britain, and certainly despised in the U.S., Murdoch has, writes Satter, become like a figure in the closing scene ofCitizen Kane, “successful, wealthy, but unloved.”

Related Care2 Coverage

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Photo by James Mitchell

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

Probably in all likelihood...

Don H.
Don H.3 years ago

Julie T, don't forget the filthy Roger Ailes.

Julie T.
Julie Thacker3 years ago

(continued) Why does that Rupert Murdoch person hate everyone? What turned him into a conscienceless hateful old man? Why does he amplify the lies of the corrupt ones? One reason is his love affair with $$.

That shriveled up old prune, and ALL his loyal minions should be sent to prison for the rest of their corrupted lives.

Julie T.
Julie Thacker3 years ago

(continued) Thanks to Mr. Murdoch and his FibbersOgresXenophobe club, and their weapons of mass destruction lie, THOUSANDS of Americans died in an illegal war. How come not a word ever said about THAT on the SO-CALLED news of the FibbersOgresXenophobe club??

Want PROOF that FOX so-called news is guilty of promoting hate crimes? The so-called news of the FibbersOgresXenophobes is responsible for the death of Dr. Tiller. They put Bill O'Reilly on there repeating "Tiller the baby killer" over and over, and of course, a crazy psycho was inspired to commit murder. This is incitement of a hate crime. There was not a word of apology of any kind ever said about that. I'm sure old prune-face Rupert cheered that horror on.

I guess we will never REALLY know how many people have been murdered because of FOX inciting of hate crimes. The murderers may get written of as crazy psychos who just thought up their hate crimes all by themselves, and of course FOX and their fancy lawyers would deny, deny, deny that they had anything at all to do with them, but everyone knows FOX loves it when hate crimes happen.

Wasn't it the FOX so-called news (the FibbersOgresXenophobes) who kept showing that one crazy Senator saying that we should not be so hard on poor Tony Hayward? I wonder if that corrupt lying CEO ever "got his life back". I don't think the people and animals who suffered the Gulf Oil Spill ever got THEIR lives or livelihoods back.

Why does that Rupert Murdoch person ha

Julie T.
Julie Thacker3 years ago

I have been thinking about reincarnation a lot lately. I think it must be real. I think that Rupert Murdoch could possibly be a reincarnation of Joseph Goebbels.

Well to you people of FOX (FibbersOgresXenophobes) of the so-called news network: I guess you know that Joseph Goebbels [Hitler's minister of propaganda] is very proud of you. I am sure he is dancing a jig in the other dimension. You FibbersOgresXenophobes on the so-called FOX news are responsible for the lives of over 4000 Americans in your illegal war you helped to manufacture. You are also responsible for millions of innocents, which in your psycho talk you call them "collateral damage". Rupert Murdoch is just as responsible for all the deaths in the Iraqi war, as the soldiers who shot and dropped bombs them. He is just as responsible as if he, himself pulled the trigger. That war was illegal and manufactured. Rupert Murdoch's propaganda industrial complex kept repeating that WMD lie. [ABC, NBC, CBS were lazy, and did not fact-check those lies, and helped to amplify the WMD lie. Those mainstream so-called news networks are not very trustable anymore, either.]

Is he going to get away with hacking the phones of the 9/11 victims too? He seems to be getting away with many other crimes through his his SO-CALLED news propaganda industrial network. How low can that evil person go?

Thanks to Mr. Murdoch and his FibbersOgresXenophobe club, and their weapons of mass destruction lie, THOUSANDS of Americans

Frank Mugford
Frank Mugford3 years ago

And the good news is that we shall know tomorrow (Wednesday) if rebecca brooks is to be charged by the police for 'Perverting the course of Justice'. Maybe she'll then spill the beans on what the murdochs really did in this sordid and sad affair.

Jack Everett
Jack Everett3 years ago

Murdock should be locked up along with all his staff that did the hacking and created phony headlines.

Frank Mugford
Frank Mugford3 years ago

The time surely must be nigh, and how I hope it is, that this old turd gets the sucker punch and leaves the stage for good; perhaps it'll smack his catalogue 'Thai' bride at the same time. She's bought and paid for so she's got to do what she's told; trouble is old turd face thinks he can buy absolutely anything he likes in the same way, so many rich people do.
I'd give up every Xmas and birthday present from now on if there were the slightest chance that this old shit were sent to prison, along with all of Fox NoNews, Brooks, (who, by the way, is also a lying red headed turd), Coulson and why not Hunt and Cameron? They are all in it up to their necks.
Why should we, indeed why would we, ever again believe any politicians or the usual 'news' outlets? They seem to think that the rest of us, the 'prols', the citizenry of countries are there as a back drop or as pawns to their machinations and skulduggery.
Take a look at the www.medialens.org/ In my opinion these guys say it like it really is. Added to which Chomsky approves of them.

Maria D'Oporto
Past Member 3 years ago


Howard C.
.3 years ago

As the Leveson inquiry develops the breath of the lies and deceit simply seems to grow - Rebekah Brooks is giving evidence today ......