The Financial Times has just published a review of four different Murdochgate books. An excerpt:
The world in which he moved so freely is closing in on Rupert Murdoch. A committee of British MPs has judged him “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company”. He faces regulatory and legal challenges in the three Anglophone countries in which he has been most powerful – Australia, the UK and the US. The British tabloids that once fuelled his expansion are faltering, the aggression and distortions of their journalism held up to ridicule and contempt.(bolding by diarist)
Tom Watson, the Labour MP who levered himself up from lonely railer against a scornful empire into one of its most doughty enemies, writes at the end of Dial M for Murdoch, co-authored with Martin Hickman of the Independent, that Murdoch’s company, News Corporation, “may not be strong enough to withstand” all that is still to be thrown against it. He quotes Michael Wolff, Murdoch’s most obsessive (and most bet-hedging) chronicler, as writing that “what’s happening in Britain is eating News Corp up ... an extraordinary corporate death is taking place”.
In other Murdoch scandal news, UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a hurried request today to be named a "core participant" in the Leveson Inquiry. It was granted, which means he'll be able to get an advance look at Andy Coulson's and Rebekah Brooks' testimony scheduled for next week.
Ms. Brooks is reported to be planning to release text messages between herself and the Prime Minister, at times more than a dozen a day -- WHILE News Corp was trying to acquire all of BskyB, the UK satellite TV provider.
It appears PM Cameron is bending the rules in an attempt to save his own arse. From The Telegraph:
Legal experts described the move as “controversial” because a deadline for witnesses to apply for core participant status for the next part of the inquiry expired more than a month ago.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...
One media law specialist suggested the eleventh-hour application had been prompted by “anxiety and nervousness” following damaging disclosures by Rupert and James Murdoch last week about their relationships with ministers, in particular Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary.
A tiny bit more from the Financial Times book review:
How much of News Corporation will crumble? The lawyer Mark Lewis, who represented many of the News of the World’s victims, is preparing to test how far US law will support action against News Corporation in its homeland – where the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act may define as a crime any proven bribery by News Corporation employees in the UK or elsewhere. The so-far supine shareholders of News Corp, of which Murdoch owns 30 per cent, may yet force at least the sale of the British papers and perhaps – after the release last week of the Commons Culture Committee report branding Murdoch as unfit to lead his company (a majority finding from which the four Conservative members dissented) – his BSkyB stake as well.UPDATE 1:
Holy cow! Maybe the reason why the GOP is more disgusting than ever is because News Corp. wants a hyper-partisan environment when USA charges are brought against them!
Just as they already did with the Parliamentary "unfit" ruling in the UK - they'll whine that it was voted on along party lines. "It's a witch hunt!" they'll scream.
Doesn't it suddenly make sense why the Republisaurs have seemed so unusually hateful, irrational, deceptive, etc? I don't think it's CT to speculate that it could largely be Rupert's doing. He certainly has the machine for it.
Perhaps he and Karl Rove have decided that it's the only strategy that will keep them out of prison.
They are aren't afraid to use the destruction of their party as a firewall. Maybe ;P
Please support the book by Peter Jukes, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF MURDOCH, due out this summer:
It's not too late to get your name printed in the book as a co-publisher!
UPDATE 2: Brit and Soledad O'Brien hash it out yesterday on CNN: