Brooks, Coulson charged over alleged payments to officials
Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News International, leaves a court hearing in London on September 26, 2012.
November 20th, 2012
06:28 AM ET

Brooks, Coulson charged over alleged payments to officials

Rupert Murdoch's protege Rebekah Brooks will be charged with conspiracy over alleged illegal payments to a Ministry of Defence employee, Britain's Crown Prosecution Service said Tuesday.

In a separate case, Andy Coulson, another former Murdoch editor who went on to work for Prime Minister David Cameron, faces charges of conspiring to make illegal payments to officials for information relating to the royal family, the CPS said.

May 10th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

Ex-spokesman for Cameron testifies at UK hacking inquiry

A former Rupert Murdoch newspaper editor who later became a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron testified Thursday at a government-backed probe into the British press.

Andy Coulson was quizzed over his leadership of the paper and its support for politicians, as questioning at the Leveson Inquiry hearing started.

The inquiry was set up in response to accusations of widespread phone hacking by journalists working for the News of the World, which was edited by Coulson from 2003 until his resignation in 2007.

Critics have questioned Cameron's judgment in hiring Coulson after he quit the paper.

Coulson said discussion of the jailing of two News of the World employees over phone hacking in 2007 did come up in discussions with senior party members before he was offered the job.

He told the inquiry he had told them and Cameron what he has said repeatedly - that he knew nothing about the practice of hacking under his leadership of the paper.

April 26th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Overheard on Readers analyze Rupert Murdoch's admission of 'cover-up'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Rupert Murdoch admitted Thursday there had been a "cover-up" of phone hacking at News of the World and apologized for not paying more attention to the scandal. He said that he had shut down his flagship British tabloid newspaper out of "panic" after a revelation that a murdered teenage girl had been a victim of phone hacking. Readers debated the meaning of this apology. Murdoch's assertion that News Corp. had been a victim of the cover-up, not the perpetrator, was mentioned by several people.

Rupert Murdoch admits phone-hacking 'cover-up,' apologizes

Many of our readers expressed outrage, saying they doubted Murdoch's sincerity in admitting the hacking and making an apology.

Polyglot64: "So he apologized for supposedly "not knowing" about the incident. Culpable deniability, the hallmark of those in power."

gailb59: "I like how people like to play dumb when they get caught. I didn't realize, I didn't know, I should have done this. All bull, people like Murdoch do not become wealthy powerful by not having a clue, please."

But is it possible that Murdoch didn't actually know what was going on?

libsRdisease: "Apology accepted. To all the liberal haters: the leader of a company doesn't always know what his lower-level employees are doing. If a cashier punches a customer at McDonald's is the CEO held responsible? Then why should Rupert Murdoch be held responsible for what his employees do? Liberals are so afraid of Fox News that they are willing to slander a good and honest man just to try to get rid of it. What are you so afraid of? The truth?"

Responsibility is responsibility, this person said. FULL POST

February 28th, 2012
10:10 AM ET

London police lent horse to Murdoch exec Rebekah Brooks

London's Metropolitan Police lent a retired horse to Rebekah Brooks when she was an executive at Rupert Murdoch's News International, her spokesman and the police said Tuesday.

The revelation was met with incredulity and scorn amid investigations into the potentially corrupt relationship between the police and the press in Britain.

The news immediately prompted the creation of a Twitter account, RebekahsHorse, that began churning out puns including: "My PR has set me up a brief twitter question and answer session later this afternoon. Hope I don't stirrup any trouble."

The BBC unintentionally added to the gag by putting a reporter named Fiona Trott on the story, her colleague Chris Mason tweeted.

But along with the guffaws, the news ramped up pressure even further on Murdoch's empire as it is battered by investigations into police bribery, phone hacking and e-mail hacking.


Filed under: Crime • News of the World • Rupert Murdoch • United Kingdom
February 17th, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Murdoch to launch new Sun on Sunday paper amid crisis

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch told staff at his embattled The Sun newspaper in London Friday that the company will launch a Sunday edition, as he seeks to rein in a crisis over alleged misconduct, News International confirmed.

Murdoch's visit to News Corp.'s London subsidiary, News International, follows the Saturday arrests of five Sun journalists as part of an inquiry into alleged illegal payments to police and officials.

Staff at the paper have reacted angrily to the arrests and internal investigations of their journalistic practices, which they have likened to a witch-hunt.

The launch of a Sun on Sunday newspaper to replace the News of the World, a sister paper to The Sun that was shuttered amid a phone-hacking scandal in the summer, had been widely rumored.

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Filed under: Media • Rupert Murdoch • U.S. • United Kingdom
Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy
Rupert Murdoch, seen at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, went to bat for his companies on Twitter in the battle against Internet piracy.
January 16th, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy

Rupert Murdoch didn't waste any time using his newfound popularity on Twitter to make waves and take shots at some other major names.

His targets? President Barack Obama and Google.

The media mogul took aim at the president and the leading Internet search engine after the White House announced over the weekend that it would not support legislation mandating changes to Internet infrastructure to fight online copyright and trademark infringement. The White House statement came in response to two petitions circulating on the Internet as well as widespread comments across the Web about the dangers of the legislation.

A major online backlash has developed regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act, with everyone from lawmakers to Web freedom advocates to some of technology's biggest players calling it a greedy and dangerous overreach that could have a chilling effect on free speech and innovation. Google, Yahoo and Facebook are among the Web heavyweights who have joined the chorus against SOPA, which backers hope to have ready for a vote by the end of the year.

The combination of Google and Obama attacking the bill clearly didn't make Murdoch happy. He began unleashing his frustration on Twitter by attacking Obama's relationship with so-called "Silicon Valley paymasters."


Naturally, Murdoch has a dog in the SOPA fight too - his massive media empire. No doubt he doesn't care for all the websites where users can watch and download episodes of his company's TV shows and movies without ever subscribing or paying.

And clearly he isn't happy that all of this is out there. It means a loss of money for him and his advertisers. And for that, Murdoch squarely blames Google.



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Filed under: Movies • Music • Rupert Murdoch • Showbiz • TV
November 28th, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Charlotte Church calls Murdoch tabloid 'horrific'

Singer Charlotte Church Monday blasted the News of the World tabloid for its decision to publish a lurid story about her father having an affair while her mother was getting treatment for mental illness.

"They knew how vulnerable she was and still printed a story like that, which is just horrific," she said.

The former child star also spoke of her anger at finding out her phone may have been hacked by a private investigator working for the Rupert Murdoch tabloid.

The investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, had details of her phone and those of her parents, friends and former boyfriends, Church said police had told her.


Filed under: Charlotte Church • Media • Rupert Murdoch
Anti-corporate, anti-Murdoch protesters converge at News Corp. meeting
A protester wears a papier-mache likeness of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch outside Twentieth Century Fox studio.
October 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Anti-corporate, anti-Murdoch protesters converge at News Corp. meeting

About 200 protesters gathered outside the annual News Corp. stockholder meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, some objecting to boss Rupert Murdoch’s handling of his news groups, and others - in the vein of Occupy Wall Street protests - decrying what they describe as corporate greed.

Protesters gathered at the entrance to the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot, hoping to catch the attention of the Murdoch family and News Corp. shareholders, who were meeting at the Darryl Zanuck Theater.

The protesters represented various groups - some wanting Murdoch, who is News Corp.’s chief executive and chairman, and the shareholders to "share" some of their wealth. Though they didn’t identify themselves as Occupy Wall Street protesters, their messages were similar to those heard at nationwide Occupy rallies, where people assert that the nation's wealthiest 1% hold inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population.

A 25-year-old protester, identifying herself only as Ashley, said she was there because the company represents money and power, which she believes can be used to help others.

"We want the funds to go back into our community to create good jobs," she said. "When you have a lot of money, you can do what you want with it."


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Filed under: California • Los Angeles • Occupy Wall Street • Rupert Murdoch
On the Radar: New CIA chief, alleged hate crime, UK hacking
New CIA chief David Petraeus was the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan and Iraq.
September 6th, 2011
05:54 AM ET

On the Radar: New CIA chief, alleged hate crime, UK hacking

Three things you need to know today.

Petraeus at CIA: Retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, assumes his new role Tuesday: director of the CIA.

Petraeus succeeds Leon Panetta, who is now the U.S. secretary of defense.

At a ceremony marking his retirement from the military last week, Petraeus said his journey with the military was not coming to an end, even though he and his wife were "about to begin an exciting new journey with another extraordinary organization."

President Barack Obama has cited Petraeus' experience in working with the CIA on counterinsurgency efforts in the field as a reason for his nomination as the agency's director.

Alleged hate crime: The family of James Craig Anderson, a man who was beaten and then run over in a Jackson, Mississippi, motel parking lot, will hold a news conference Tuesday morning.

The family's announcement will come the same day that a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for one of the teens accused in Anderson's death.

Prosecutors have said the killing of Anderson, who was a black man, was racially motivated.

The killing - which sparked national attention after CNN obtained and aired exclusive surveillance video that shows the attack as it took place - is also being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.

Anderson, 49, was first beaten by the group of teens as he stood in a motel parking lot early on the morning of June 26, according to some of the teens who were interviewed by police.

After the beating, a group of teens drove a large Ford pickup truck over Anderson, according to witnesses and officials. Anderson died from his injuries later the same day.

UK phone hacking: British lawmakers will grill former newspaper executives Tuesday as they try to determine whether top News Corp. executive James Murdoch misled them about the scale of illegal eavesdropping at News of the World.

Murdoch, the son of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, has repeatedly told lawmakers that an investigation showed no evidence of widespread phone hacking at News of the World.

But the former editor of the paper has disputed James Murdoch's account, and will testify before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Colin Myler will be joined by Tom Crone, a former top lawyer for the paper.

Former top human resources officer Daniel Cloke and ex-legal affairs director Jonathan Chapman are also due to testify.

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Filed under: CIA • Crime • Hate crime • Justice • Military • On the Radar • Politics • Rupert Murdoch
August 16th, 2011
11:14 AM ET

Murdoch pie thrower reportedly blogging from prison

The British man who shoved a pie into media mogul Rupert Murdoch's face has apparently been blogging from prison.

Jonathan May-Bowles, who is serving a six-week sentence at Wandsworth Prison in London, appears to have not let a little confinement prevent him from updating his blog "Anarch*ish*."

Using his nickname, "Jonnie Marbles," he seems to have posted twice recently. Written in a lively voice, the blog describes prison life.

The Village Voice highlighted a passage in which the poster says he's been graciously received by fellow inmates.

" 'Oi, Pie man!' shouted one of my fellow lags. A few cons come over to alternately shake my hand and take the piss. We have some of what I believe is known colloquially as 'banter', something I have not enjoyed since university. It is not like riding a bike."

At one point, Jonnie Marbles posts an apology to "Minimarbles."

"Minimarbles, if you are reading this, whenever that is, I am deeply sorry from the depths of my heart. I love you and miss you. Not seeing you is my real punishment here; the only one I care about, anyway."

May-Bowles smashed a pie in Murdoch's face during the mogul's testimony before Parliament in July about accusations of phone hacking at his British tabloid, News of the World. Murdoch's wife, Wendi, jumped up and slapped May-Bowles to help her husband.

News of the World and its staffers are accused of hacking dozens of phones, including one of a murdered girl and those of the girl's family. The scandal prompted the newspaper's closure. The Murdoch media empire remains under fire as investigators continue to probe reports of other phone hacking.