FBI's inquiry over Rupertgate's alleged hack attacks of 9/11 victims is timely, necessary, and important
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(Here's FOX News finally covering Rupertgate)
I've been calling for News Corp. to be investigated in America and so have many other bloggers and that seems to taking hold across the political landscape. Finally, it's happening, thanks to Rupertgate.
Not that I trust Rep. Peter King, but I'll take his words at face value:
New York Rep. Peter King (R) has called on the FBI to investigate allegations that journalists working for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. hacked into the phones of victims of the September 11th attacks.
"It is revolting to imagine that members of the media would seek to compromise the integrity of a public official for financial gain in the pursuit of yellow journalism," King said in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller. "The 9/11 families have suffered egregiously, but unfortunately they remain vulnerable against such unjustifiable parasitic strains."
According to the U.K.'s Daily Mirror, a former New York City police officer who now works as a private investigator claims that News Of The World reporters asked him to get the phone records of dead victims of 9/11, from the days leading up to the attacks. "[The investigator's] presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the U.K.," a Mirror source said.
The FBI has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations that News Corp. employees sought to hack into the phones of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and tried to bribe law enforcement officers for information, U.S. officials said Thursday.
FBI agents are reviewing information on the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s British media operations and trying to determine if U.S. laws were broken, the officials said. Murdoch is chairman and chief executive of News Corp., which is based in New York and has extensive U.S. operations.
While it is unclear if the review will expand into a full investigation, the FBI’s involvement heightens the scrutiny faced by the media giant, which is under intense fire in Britain over allegations that its journalists hacked into the phones of thousands of people.
The FBI probe also raises the politically delicate possibility that the Obama administration— which has questioned the objectivity of News Corp.’s Fox News — could bring criminal charges against employees of the network’s parent company. Murdoch is a political conservative, and last year he directed a $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association on behalf of News Corp.
Murdoch's UK rags have had a disastrous effect on England's political landscape as they've boasted that they won many an election for their favorites.
The scandal that has collapsed the British tabloid News of the World and rocked the News Corp. empire, brings into question the pervasive influence of Rupert Murdoch's media holdings on British media and politics. The past five prime ministers have courted Murdoch assiduously in gaining and holding onto office — none more so than Labour's Tony Blair. In plotting his path to 10 Downing St. in the mid-1990s, Blair once flew to an island off the coast of Murdoch's native Australia to address an annual meeting of News Corp. That impressed Murdoch, who threw his support behind Blair's New Labour movement.
I think they should have been investigated when Roger Ailes unleashed the NY Post's Page Six tabloid trash to attack Keith Olbermann when he was feuding with Bill O'Reilly:
Rupert Murdoch's handmaidens over at the New York Post this morning jumped into a feud between their Fox News shouting head Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC ranter Keith Olbermann. The tabloid's gossip page ran an item dredging up various minor controversies involving Olbermann dating back to his ESPN days, up through an alleged spat between Olbermann and fellow MSNBC personality David Gregory last Tuesday over camera time.
They did the same thing to Andrea Mackris when she sued Bill O'Reilly too.
Mackris has also drawn her share of negative coverage. The New York Post, which is owned by the same parent company as Fox, ran the headline " 'Lunatic' O'Reilly Gal Went Nuts in Bar." But she kept up the public pressure, telling the New York Daily News that her father wanted to challenge O'Reilly to a duel.
Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News star, is mounting an extraordinary televised assault on the chief executive of General Electric, calling him a "pinhead" and a "despicable human being" who bears responsibility for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq.
On the surface, O'Reilly's charges revolve around GE's history of doing business with Iran. But the attacks grow out of an increasingly bitter feud between O'Reilly and the company's high-profile subsidiary, NBC, one that has triggered back-channel discussions involving News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker and General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt.
Ailes called Zucker on his cellphone last summer, clearly agitated over a slam against him by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. According to sources familiar with the conversation, Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn't stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O'Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.
Both Fox and the Post are owned by Murdoch, who complained about Olbermann's conduct in separate calls to Zucker and Immelt.
The high-level appeals failed, and O'Reilly has escalated his criticism of GE in recent weeks, declaring, "If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt."
How many other times did News Corp unleash the dogs or threaten to against their rivals that we don't know about? That is: How many times did the threats succeed? A lot, I'll bet.