Tuesday 26 July 2011

The real Murdoch scandal

I'm beginning to think we need to get the hacking scandal into some perspective.

I certainly don't want to diminish the seriousness of hacking into people's private phones and messages, especially when they have been bereaved in the most tragic circumstances.  These are clearly against the law, which is perhaps why they are getting the attention worldwide they are currently getting.

But in the whole gamut of journalistic excess - taking photos of ailing stars on their deathbeds, or a dying Princess Diana - they are not unique.  They also seem to be overshadowing some very serious allegations indeed and I don't quite understand why this is.

The Observer reported on Sunday that some very explicit threats were made to individuals in the government, or connected to it, about what the Murdoch papers would do to them if their bid for the BSkyB bid was not supported.  That is a corruption scandal that really justifies the current humbling of the Murdoch empire, if it is true.

But is it?  Who are the executives, still unnamed, who made the threats?  Why is this not being pursued?  Is it because of fears that it would lead to the destruction of the remaining Murdoch newspapers in the UK?  If so, are we not still in thrall to Murdoch, but in a different way?

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