Rupert Murdoch’s New York media empire is in jeopardy as allegations fly that his journalists routinely hacked their way into the private information of citizens and high-ranking elected officials alike across the pond.
The hacking scandal has now slammed onto American shores. Stock market shares for Murdoch’s News Corp. are off almost 15 percent since last week.
And just yesterday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked Congress to investigate whether Murdoch’s minions hacked the voice mails of any Americans.
“It is becoming increasingly clear this scandal was not perpetrated by a few rogue reporters, but was systematically orchestrated at the highest levels,” said CREW director Melanie Sloan. “If Mr. Murdoch’s employees can be so brazen as to target the British prime minister, then it is not unreasonable to believe they also might hack into the voice mails of American politicians and citizens.”
Here in the States, Murdoch owns The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and Fox News, among other media giants.
The investigation is also tightening on Les Hinton, The Wall Street
Journal publisher who also served as the head of Murdoch’s News
International from 1995 to 2007, when some of the hacking is alleged to
Hinton was supposed to have investigated how pervasive the phone hacking
had become in 2005 and 2006, and assured the U.K. Parliament that the
practice had been abolished at the time.
Allegations of coverups and criminal violations of privacy could cause
American law enforcement organizations to look into Murdoch’s affairs.
The United States Department of Justice may use the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act to launch an investigation of allegations that News Corp.
routinely paid police officers bribes for information, according to The
Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s nothing Murdoch could do to make me trust him again,” said Russel Mercer, 64, of Flushing.
Nine journalists and three police officers are facing jail over corruption charges so far. Four of the highest-profile alleged offenders:
Andy Coulson, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s former communications manager was arrested last week for questioning by police over his knowledge of the hacking practice during his time as editor at News of the World.
Rebekah Brooks, head of News International, was editor of the News of the World at the time that employees of the paper allegedly hacked the phone of 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who was missing and later found murdered.
Jamie Murdoch, heir apparent of the Murdoch empire, could also be “ensnared” by the scandal
Les Hinton, then head of News International, may have botched a phone hacking coverup in 2005 and 2006.