Comments on: The case against the bribery case against Murdoch Where media and technology meet Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:48:25 +0000 hourly 1 By: BajaArizona Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:27:37 +0000 To jledbet,

“I agree, though, that if payments to police were used to thwart an investigation at any time, that would come closer to the definition of bribes that are covered by the FCPA.”

Thank you.

By: jledbet Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:42:31 +0000 Also to BajaArizona: If you click on the first link in my column, you’ll get to the original Guardian story, which said that all of the bribes they were reporting on took place in 2003. So they could not be part of any effort to suppress an investigation of things that took place after 2006. I agree, though, that if payments to police were used to thwart an investigation at any time, that would come closer to the definition of bribes that are covered by the FCPA.

By: jledbet Mon, 25 Jul 2011 13:37:09 +0000 To BajaArizona: You misread this column if you think it attempts to reduce the entire News of the World scandal to checkbook journalism. Obviously the widespread hacking of phones is reprehensible, and will be dealt with using whatever laws apply. This column refers only to the *bribery* allegations of the scandal, those to which the FCPA arguably does or does not apply.

By: robert1234 Mon, 25 Jul 2011 08:23:09 +0000 Murdoch is rich. ‘Nuff said. There is no a chance in hell he’ll ever be charged with a crime, let alone to time. The same applies to his son. In the U.S., MONEY and Power is the key to everything and the Murdochs have both. The U.S. is now number 10 on the corrupt government list, so don’t expect anything but lots of hot air.

By: BajaArizona Mon, 25 Jul 2011 05:37:58 +0000 Murdoch’s mouthpiece, The Wall Street Journal, had a nice big feature piece about how federal law prosecutions have gotten way out of hand. I wonder what the motivation for that article is?

By: BajaArizona Sun, 24 Jul 2011 09:03:53 +0000 My post is pending approval, yet a later post on another article has already been approved.

I made what I thought were sharp yet cogent criticisms of the article. My main point was that calling the actions of Murdoch’s organization “checkbook journalism” in pursuit of scoops ignores the evidence that Murdoch’s employees actively suborned Scotland Yard to halt an investigation into their illegal hacking. This is far worse than paying for juicy information. This is corruption of the premier law enforcement of America’s #1 ally, and a much more serious crime which is indeed worth prosecuting. I found the writer’s ignorance of the facts to be deeply troubling, and I didn’t hold my rhetorical fire. Yet I was honest and my attack on his integrity although severe was backed by quoted research and was not at all ad hominem.

Withholding my post because I raise very real questions about the writer’s motives is not in keeping with a fair discussion. I hope to see it appear soon.

By: BajaArizona Sun, 24 Jul 2011 05:47:20 +0000 Mr. Ledbetter,

You state that the bribery of the police in England is merely a case of “checkbook journalism” used in the pursuit of good stories. I find it incredible that you are unaware of the extent to which Scotland Yard was corrupted by these bribes.

I am not a journalist. I’m an average shmoe who spent all day moving boxes and cleaning my house. I read your article, and then turned to a vastly technical research tool known to only a select few as “Google” and performed a “search” and within seconds was able to find a report in an obscure publication named “The New York Times” which provided me with a rather more thorough and insidious description of what occurred than even your worst-“for the sake of argument”-case scenario.

According to the Times, a “treasure-trove of evidence”, including “11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World” lay undisturbed and peaceful in six large plastic bags.

“According to former and current police officials”, “… from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material…”

“For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else.”

“During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was NO EVIDENCE OF WIDESPREAD HACKING BY THE TABLOID.” (emphasis added) They steadfastly maintained that their original inquiry, which led to the conviction of ONE reporter and ONE private investigator, had put an end to what they called an isolated incident.”

“At best, former Scotland Yard senior officers acknowledged in interviews, the police have been lazy, incompetent and too cozy with the people they should have regarded as suspects. At worst, they said, some officers might be guilty of crimes themselves.”

Even on the surface it looks very bad…

“Neil Wallis..a former top editor at The News of the World at the time of the hacking ..went on to work as a media strategist for Scotland Yard…[and] was reporting back to News International while he was working for the police on the hacking case…” It goes on and on, “…the police commissioner met for meals 18 times with company executives and editors during the investigation.”

“It’s one thing to decide not to investigate,” said Jeremy Reed, one of the lawyers who represents numerous phone-hacking victims. “But it’s quite another thing not to tell the victims. That’s just mind-blowing.”

Apparently, Mr. Ledbetter, your mind is safely un-blown as you somehow are still characterizing the scandal as mere checkbook journalism.

Here’s why we should prosecute Murdoch and his News Corp: This American citizen led an organization which embarked upon a massive and successful effort to suborn the premier law enforcement agency of America’s single most important ally. This American citizen has done incalculable harm to the government of Great Britain. Don’t think so? Maybe my opinion and the opinion of the New York Times isn’t good enough for you. That’s fine.

Why not ask a man whose life’s work was the pursuit of justice while employed at the Metropolitan Police Service:

“It’s embarrassing, and it’s tragic,” said a retired Scotland Yard veteran. “This has badly damaged the reputation of a really good investigative organization. And there is a major crisis now in the leadership of the Yard.”

Seems fairly more serious than your breezy characterization now, doesn’t it, Mr. Ledbetter? And we haven’t even begun to discuss the involvement of the sitting Prime Minister of America’s leading ally, which would take up far more space.

Mr. Ledbetter, what I would like to know is, were you just unaware of all these facts, or are you also on Mr. Murdoch’s payroll? How else could you, a journalist, possibly miss the significance of this scandal when the information is so very blatantly available and obvious that even an ignorant average shmoe such as myself can easily find it? Tell me what am I missing here? I didn’t want to write this post. I take no pleasure in attacking you. I’m not trying to be a troll. I just can’t escape the implication of your article. I’m afraid the options are that you are either blindly incompetent, or insidiously corrupt.

Prove me wrong. Please.

By: schmetterling Sat, 23 Jul 2011 03:40:01 +0000 We pride ourselves on laws. We don’t have the world’s largest prison population for nothing. If the Government looks hard enough, certainly they have a cell for Mr.Murdoch somewhere. It’s sad, but true! As a citizen you must know every single law too. All ten gazillion of them. Ignorance is no excuse and you will go to jail without passing go.

By: borisjimbo Sat, 23 Jul 2011 01:24:13 +0000 Rupert doesn’t employ journalists, he employs paparazzi.

By: seattlesh Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:08:29 +0000 Just take away their public broadcasting air rights. The US people own the airwaves not Murdoch. Shut him down and shut him up.