With the latest hearings in the Lord Justice Leveson Inquiry concluding yesterday, and new hearings scheduled shortly which will include a re-appearance of Rebecca Brooks, the wheels continue to turn. As of today a new arrest was reported in connection with the "for Neville" e-mails and a reporter for The Guardian has been questioned in connection with leaks from Scotland Yard. Although not arrested, reporter Amelia Hill was questioned "under caution" in what has become an industry wide concern that may have serious consequences down the road.
And as was reported yesterday, there are grumblings from this side of the pond with revelations that our own Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) may have been given information regarding phone hacking by News Corp's operations in the U.S. and that staffers for Senator Grassley failed to follow up on the tip from the whistle-blower. Sen. Grassley, as you may know, was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in 2006 and was handed alleged evidence of phone hacking from Robert Emmel, a former account executive for News Corp's subsidiary News America. For his troubles, News Corp effectively silenced Emmel by suing him into bankruptcy.
The pot may be boiling in the UK, but it has yet to achieve simmer status in the U.S. - but that will undoubtedly change.
As I've said over and over, the phone hacking scandal isn't exclusive to the UK and anyone thinking it is clearly hasn't been paying any attention to the state of our own mainstream media in recent years. The "Murdoch Style", as I call it - that fast and loose with facts and Smear School of journalism, has become Standard Operating Procedure throughout much of our Fourth Estate for a while now. Since News Corp have gotten away with phone-hacking as a method of news gathering for so long, it is viewed as perfectly okay with others to follow suit. And if you've noticed, American mainstream media have been suspiciously silent over this entire scandal, giving scant details only when the ominous glare becomes unavoidable.
But for now it's confined to the UK. In a recap and commentary on yesterdays hearings, BBC Radio 4's weekly program The Media ran a segment earlier today, discussing the latest revelations and their implications for the hearings yet to come.