Powerful US Senator wants to know more about the Murdoch empire's UK crimes

In the wake of a UK Parliamentary committee report that described Rupert Murdoch as "not fit" to run a major corporation, a powerful US senator has reached out to the judge presiding over an inquiry into the British "phone hacking" scandal to discover whether Murdoch and his empire violated US law, too. Jay Rockefeller, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, has asked Lord Justice Levenson "whether any of the evidence you are reviewing suggests that these unethical and sometimes illegal business practices occurred in the United States or involved US citizens." Rockefeller's committee oversees the FCC, which regulates broadcast licenses in the USA. The Guardian's Ed Pilkington and Lisa O'Carroll report:

In a scathing attack on the Murdoch company, Rockefeller writes: "In a democratic society, members of the media have the freedom to aggressively probe their government's activities and expose wrongdoing. But, like all other citizens, they also have a duty to obey the law.

"Evidence that is already in the public record clearly shows that for many years, News International had a widespread, institutional disregard for these laws."

Rockefeller also asks for details emerging from the Leveson inquiry that indicated whether any News Corp executives based in New York were aware of illegal payments made by News of the World to British police and other public officials. "I would be very concerned if evidence emerged suggesting that News Corporation officials in New York were also aware of these illegal payments and did not act to stop them."

Murdoch facing new challenge as US senator contacts Leveson over hacking


  1. I can’t help being cynical about a politician looking to see if there are ways to reign in the media. 

        1. Cheers to the pedants for pointing out my error. Twas too early in the morning to be posting coherently.

        1. “Slippery Slope” amirite?

          “First they decided to look into the wrongdoings and undue influence of a propaganda media monopoly…….”

  2. Eli Wiesel once said:  “Any man who has committed crimes against humanity does not deserve to die in freedom”.

    In the deep autumn of his years, at the very least, Rupert Murdoch deserves to die knowing that his legacy is tarnished, in a firestorm of vitriol and stress.  No repose nor solace for that cynical semi-fossilized sleazeball, to the grave and beyond.

  3. That’s “Jello” Jay Rockefeller, for his role in allowing warrantless wiretapping of US citizens by the NSA. A bought-and-sold corporatist skid-greaser, he’s probably just angling for trade secrets to give to the NYTimes. Vote this guy out before he can do any more damage.

    But, like all other citizens, they also have a duty to obey the law.

    Insert your own joke here.

  4. Is it election time for him already?
    I vaguely recall people talking about there was an effort to hack the phones of 9-11 victims and survivors, and then nothing more after that…  I thought of any group they would be the most vocal in demanding investigation and transparency.

  5. But, like all other citizens, they also have a duty to obey the law.

    The elephant in the room is the extent to which the state security services were in collusion with News International.  How is it that they were able to get up to the minute info about cell phone locations of arbitrary people?  The most likely explanation (and one which witnesses in NI corroborate) is connections with the security services.

  6. Based on his pro-corporation and anti-privacy record, this is baffling. He’s not up for re-election for another two years, and this is a relatively old scandal (in terms of how news cycles work nowadays) in the UK. The timing of this is weird if it’s for direct personal gain.

    Perhaps his endgame is to give Fox News a bloody nose during the 2012 general election cycle, as an Obama surrogate, hoping for goodwill in other areas.

    1. Up for reelection, or not, this is an opening the Democrats as a party can’t afford to ignore.  The Levenson report may provide the evidence necessary to revoke broadcast licenses for News Corp owned TV and radio stations.

      1. That would be great, aside from all the free time the FOXNEWS viewers would suddenly have.

        1. There’s undoubtedly a subset that will simply fill the vitriol vaccuum with other hateful tripe, but at least the echo chamber will not be as deep.

          1. @mdhatter03:disqus  We have our trusty moderators and surly regulars to chase off the trolls.  Still, your concern is valid.  I was going for a more positive angle.  Such as, maybe a few of these former viewers will volunteer some of their now ample free time, or take up a hobby that isn’t trolling on the internet, possibly getting off their butts and experiencing some quality meat-space interactions, etc.

            I’m probably getting unduly optimistic in my middle age.

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