Murdoch Says He’s Sorry; Rebekah Brooks Resigns

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CNN: Rupert Murdoch plans to apologize Saturday amid a burgeoning phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom that led to the resignation Friday of Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s News International. “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred,” Murdoch will say in an ad that is to appear in newspapers on Saturday. “We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.” Police in the United Kingdom have identified almost 4,000 potential targets of phone hacking. There were also allegations that reporters may have bribed law enforcement officers. MORERUPERT_MURDOCH.jpg

REBEKAH BROOKS: At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news or the wrong ones. The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk. As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place. [Email to News International Employees]

THE NEW YORKER:  With Murdoch, business comes first. The question becomes: Who will be next to get thrown overboard to try and right the ship? The most obvious candidate is Les Hinton, publisher of the Wall Street Journal and the C.E.O. of its parent, Dow Jones. Hinton was the executive who oversaw the four London newspapers until 2007. There is simply no way reporters or editors could have commissioned the expenditure of many tens of thousands of dollars to the police and private investigators without a sign-off from people on the business side of the enterprise and who reported up through Hinton. And Hinton did offer testimony to Parliament that was misleading. Others will get thrown overboard in what has become, for Rupert Murdoch, a crisis at least as severe as the near bankruptcy of his company in the early nineties. MORE

UPDATE:Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton has resigned. MORE

THE GUARDIAN: The departure of Hinton suggests that News Corporation has finally got to grips with the global significance of this story, but the worst is yet to come. The FBI has launched an investigation into accusations that News of the World journalists asked a former New York police officer for the phone records of relatives of 9/11 victims. If that toxic allegation is shown to have been true, one thing is certain: Fox News is finished, along with the rest of News Corporation as we know it. MORE

RELATED: To judge from the manner in which various columnists have been dealing with Rupert Murdoch and his chief executive Rebekah Brooks, they apparently think that News International will emerge battered RUPERT_MURDOCH.jpgbut unbroken from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. And what journalist wants to be excluded forever from the possibility of employment by Sky News, The Sunday Times, The Times, The Sun, The Sun on Sunday — or whatever confection replaces The News of the World? Such exclusion would be a particularly unappealing prospect for these poor hacks as they toil within the galleys of a globally declining newspaper market. Moreover, there’s been a sisters-together rallying behind News International’s CEO, Rebekah Brooks, who was famously arrested on suspicion of assaulting her then husband, Ross Kemp. Fellow media haquette Janet Street-Porter told a sympathetic BBC Women’s Hour that her friend Rebekah was made of strong stuff and would come through this trying time a finer and better person. Quite so. Perhaps it was a combination of self-interest and sisters together which explains the astonishingly toxic bilge that appeared in the Daily Mail on Monday. Both Beth Hale and Melanie Philips attacked the comedian Steve Coogan, the actor Hugh Grant and the Formula One impresario Max Mosley, who have recently all been loud in their loathing of The News of the World. Hale disparagingly referred to Coogan and Grant as “middle-aged” — a term which also applies to Rebekah Brooks. Mosley was denounced by both Philips and Hale for his taste in sado-masochistic sex. Coogan’s crime was — according to Philips — “sexual excess”, something Philips is unlikely ever to have encountered. And Grant’s episode with a prostitute was, of course, sanctimoniously recycled. Philips puffed: “The notion that people who use prostitutes, indulge in sado-masochistic orgies, or engage in serial lewd behaviour should become the moral arbiters of the nation is clearly ridiculous.” MORE

RELATED: Responding to allegations from several Washington lawmakers, the FBI has opened an investigation into whether Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. attempted to hack into the telephones of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the families of those who died. According to federal law enforcement sources, the decision by the FBI’s field office in New York to launch the criminal probe came after several members of Congress raised concerns in letters to FBI headquarters, questioning whether reporters for the media empire RUPERT_MURDOCH.jpgmay have tried to compromise Sept. 11 victims just as they reportedly hacked into the phones of numerous individuals in England. MORE

RELATED: The Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking scandal has thus far mostly stayed a British phenomenon (though today’s suggests it’s slowly creeping into the American consciousness). That may however if CNN’s Piers Morgan gets dragged into the mix. Americans only familiar with Morgan’s role as CNN’s prime time talk show host may not be aware that the native Brit began his media career in the tabloid Specifically the Rupert Murdoch.Morgan started out at the Murdoch-owned Sun and then in 1994, at the age of 28, took over as editor of News of the World.  Two years later he left to take the helm of the not Murdoch-owned Daily Mirror. MORE

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