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Posts Tagged ‘James Murdoch’

I don’t know if it strikes you this way, but it seems to me there’s an awful lot of high-level lyin’ going on these days.

Some of the stuff I’ve been reading in the papers and online seems blatantly false.

Consider these examples:

Jon S. Corzine, former MF Global chief executive, on whether he authorized the use of customer funds to beef up finances in another division of the company, a major global financial derivatives broker before going bankrupt.

“I never gave any instructions to misuse customer money, never intended to give any instructions or authority to misuse customer funds, and I find it very hard to understand how anyone could misconstrue what I’ve said as a way to misuse customer money.”

***

Joseph Amendola, former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s attorney, describing his client’s waiver of a preliminary hearing as a tactical measure, not an indicator that his client might enter into a plea agreement.

“We’re ready to defend, we’ve always been ready to defend…Today’s waiver has nothing to do with conceding anything. There have been no plea negotiations. There will be no plea negotiations. This is a fight to the death.”

***

James Murdoch, News Corp. executive, on whether he knew about widespread cell-phone hacking at his company’s former News of the World newspaper.

“Any suspicion of wider spread wrongdoing, none of that was mentioned to me.”

…And after being asked about an e-mail, which he responded to, that referenced widespread phone hacking at the paper.

“I did not read the full e-mail chain.”

***

Attorney General Eric Holder on whether he or other higher-ups at the Justice Department knew about the government’s “Fast and Furious” investigation into an Arizona-based gun-trafficking network. (Investigators ended up losing track of hundreds of weapons. Many probably reached Mexico, and two were found near the scene where a Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed last December.)

“The notion that somehow or other this thing reaches into the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that. … I don’t think is supported by the facts…It’s kind of something I think certain members of Congress would like to see, the notion that somehow or other high-level people in the department were involved. As I said, I don’t think that is going to be shown to be the case — which doesn’t mean that the mistakes were not serious.”

***

Here’s a late addition to our Parade of Prevaricators…

Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, who recently became the 296th Marine to earn the Medal of Honor for bravery in action in Afghanistan. In a big battle, Meyer claimed to have saved the lives of 13 U.S. service members, leave his vehicle to rescue 24 Afghans and lead a final push to retrieve four dead Americans.

McClatchy correspondent Jonathan S. Landay, who was embedded with Meyer’s unit, set the record straight in a story that ran on the front page of today’s Kansas City Star. According to Landay, Meyer was, indeed, deserving of the Medal of Honor, but he greatly embellished his heroism.

***

I’m not sure any of these guys deserve to be wished a Merry Christmas.

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What a scandal in Britain.

Here’s the gist of it, in case you haven’t been following it closely. (And there’s a good reason that Kansas City area residents might not be following it closely. More on that in a minute.)

The revelations of cellphone hacking and police payoffs by reporters and editors at The News of the World, Britain’s top-selling newspaper, are probably going to bring down Prime Minister David Cameron.

Murdoch

Cameron is chummy with media baron Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. holdings provide a significant portion of the world’s flow of information, print and electronic.

Today, Andy Coulson, former editor of The News of the World (which is printed only on Sunday), was arrested in connection with allegations of phone hacking and paying police for sensitive information when he was editor of the paper.

The problem for the government’s Conservative Party, which is in power now, is that Coulson had most recently worked as chief spokesman for Cameron, the prime minister.

Anticipating Coulson’s arrest, a front-page New York Times story today said: “His arrest…would be a huge blow not just to Mr. Murdoch, but to the government and to Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party. The prime minister has always vouched for Mr. Coulson’s  integrity and said he believed Mr. Coulson’s assurances that he had cone nothing wrong (at The News of the World).”

This story is one that cries out for wall-to-wall coverage, and The Times is delivering. Today, it had five stories that covered more than two full pages.

The story has it all: corruption, outrage, political entanglement and, yes, an attractive and bodacious woman.

Brooks

The bodacity comes in with Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, the British subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corp. Yesterday, rather than heed calls to fire Brooks, who was editor at The News of the World when a lot of the phone hacking was taking place, Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, opted to close The News of the World.

(Sunday will be its final edition; its 200 employees have been cut loose to try to find jobs at other Murdoch papers or elsewhere.)

The Times’ coverage today of the scandal included a 48-column-inch story on Page A8 about Brooks. The story says, in part:

“Her closeness to Mr. Murdoch, who is said to regard her as a kind of favorite daughter (although he has four actual daughters), has protected her during the recent scandal engulfing the company, even as legislators called on her to resign.”

The story quoted an unnamed source as saying, “Rupert Murdoch adores her — he’s just very, very attached to her. To be frank, the most sensible thing that News Corp. could do would be to dump Rebekah Brooks, but he won’t.”

So, yesterday, when Brooks called a staff meeting in offices of The News of the World, many staff members assumed Brooks would be announcing her resignation.

“Instead,” the front-page Times story said, “she announced that she was to stay and they were to go.”

***

I mentioned at the top that there was a good reason that many Kansas City area residents might not be following this explosive story closely.

Today’s Kansas City Star devoted exactly one paragraph to the story, on Page A3. Here it is:

“Paper Folds: The Murdoch media empire abruptly killed off the muckraking News of the World tabloid Thursday after a public backlash over the illegal tactics used by Britain’s best-selling weekly newspaper to expose celebrities.”

Oh, my. Oh, my. I am ashamed for my former paper, which I still love in spite of its downhill spiral.

Is it any wonder people have been dropping the paper by the thousands for several years?

As a side note, I couldn’t tell what kind of coverage Thursday’s print edition gave the story because my paper was absolutely soaked from the morning rain, even though the paper was in a thin plastic bag.

Yesterday morning I went online to report a wet paper and was informed that I would get a replacement today, along with today’s paper.

Well, I got today’s paper, but yesterday’s was nowhere to be found…Patiently, I wait.

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