Friday, July 15, 2011

Rupert Murdoch Scandal & His Undue Influence In The Political Sphere in Britain, Australia and the U.S. & US Investigate Bush ET AL for Torture | Human Rights Watch

                                   -----UPDATE: 5:04 ,July 15, 2011--------

                                             He's Not Above the Law. 
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Congress: Investigate Rupert Murdoch


He's Not Above the Law.
Tell Congress to Investigate.
Rupert Murdoch and other News Corporation executives are at the center of a shocking British media scandal that involves spying, bribery, corruption, a corporate cover-up and even murder. 
And now there are reports that his company’s alleged criminal behavior – including the hacking of the phones of September 11 victims – has crossed the Atlantic. 
For too long, Murdoch has used his enormous media power to get what he wants from Washington and insulate himself and his company from official scrutiny. If he has broken the law, Murdoch needs to be held accountable.

Already, Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Frank Lautenberg have called for an investigation of News Corp. Take action right now to urge your members of Congress to join them and demand an investigation.  

As a result of the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal the British government called on Murdoch to withdraw his 12 billion dollar bid of taking full control of Skynews.
Thom Hartmann points out the Murdoch scandal is big news in Britain and the british public is outraged over the unethical if not illegal goings on at Murdoch's media outlets.
Sunday Times and tabloid News World used dubious practices violating Journalistic honesty and integrity.
Murdoch's political power is such that the Prime Ministers in Britain needed Murdoch's personal approval and blessing before running for the office ie Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron.
Thom Hartmann raises the question about Murdoch 's influence in the political sphere in the USA.
In the USA the mainstream media has downplayed or just ignored the Murdoch scandal.
Hartmann and Adele Stan point out that the Mainstream Media in America is reluctant to go after Murdoch, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal because there would be the accusation that they were behaving as partisan with their own idiological slant.
But being impartial and trying to be fair and balanced does not preclude pointing out illegal or unethical behaviour as in the case of Rupert Murdoch 's influence over his Media Empire and his influence in the political sphere especially when it is somewhat hidden from view.

Corporate profits v journalistic integrity

Wallstreet Journal's editorial board attacks on President Obama and Democrats and Progressives connected to Rupert Murdoch and the Americans For Prosperiety Foundation & David Koch

Rupert Murdoch uses Fox News to attack progressives including its attack on MediaMatters. Media Matters has over the years pointed out the lies, distortions and its uberconservative ideological slant while claiming to be "Fair and Balanced".

More Thom Hartmann on Murdoch, With AlterNet's Adele Stan
Adele Stan, AlterNet's Washington bureau chief, appeared on last night's edition of "The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann," to discuss her article, "4 Ways the Murdoch Scandal Points To Rot at the Top."

US attorney General confirms investigation into Murdoch's media's unethical and illegal actions.
Too bad Holder wouldn't take on Murdoch's Fox News and its lies, distortions and right wing propaganda machine pretending to be "Fair and Balanced'- Holder should contact Media Matters and others who have spent a few years investigatin Fox's faux journalism. For instance Fox has attacked President Obama from the moment he started campaigning right up to the present -they have alleged that Obama is some sort of Manchurian candidate , a secret Muslim, a secret communists that Obamacare will encourage euthanasia or that he has set up Fema Camps as internment camps for those who oppose or criticize Obama -

Fox News , the New York Post and Wall Street Journal if anything have had a negative affect on the Media's reputation and on politics in America.
Citizen Murdoch has attacked and destoyed the reputations of various people whom he saw as an enemy to his own Ideological Agenda.

Fox News has gone after organizations such as ACORN and Planned Parenthood the ACLU, The Southern Poverty Law Center and so on.
In each case they have made up their own facts about these organizations.
And more seriously Fox Also allowed its anchors commentators to go after individuals such as Dr. Tiller who performed late term abortions - O'Reilly and others referred to Dr. Tiller as "The Baby Killer" and in the end Dr. Tiller was assassinated by a Pro-life fanatic.

But in America the land of the rich and prosperous Rupert Murdoch is seen as a winner and beyond the reach of any regulatory body or the law itself.
For more see or on YouTube "The Liberal Viewer"'s critique of Fox News.

" Eric Holder Confirms Investigation Into News Corp Over 9/11 Hacking" The Huffington Post Jack Mirkinson July 15, 2011

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the Justice Department is investigating allegations that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp hacked, or tried to hack, into the phones of 9/11 victims. His comments underlined the seriousness of Murdoch's trouble on both sides of the Atlantic, and came on the same day that his top deputy in Britain resigned her office.

Speaking at a press conference in Australia on Friday, Holder said that "serious allegations" had been made about the conduct of Murdoch's British newspapers. Last week, the Daily Mirror reported that News of the World investigators tried to bribe New York police officers and hack into the voicemails of 9/11 victims and their families. In response, at least four U.S. Senators have called for an investigation into News Corp. On Thursday, the FBI launched a probe into the company.

"There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations," Holder said on Friday. "And we are progressing in the regard using the appropriate federal agencies in the United Sates. "

Holder's statement confirms that, even as Murdoch moves to respond to public and political outrage over the scandal at News Corp, it shows no signs of abating. On Friday, News International chief Rebekah Brooks resigned—no great surprise, but still a major blow to the Murdoch empire. It seems Brooks' departure will do little to stem the scandal's tide, however, and she is still scheduled to appear before Parliament on Tuesday to give evidence about phone hacking. (Murdoch himself, along with his son James, are also set to testify.)
Murdoch's obedient Echo Chamber Fox News alleges media and public making too much out of the Murdoch scandal.
After all Fox News of course just wants to be "Fair and Balanced" and claim they and Murdoch are the real victims in all this.
Fox News attempts to turn the scandal into a story about computer hacking even though in this case Murdoch's employees were doing the hacking.
So News Corp and Fox News and Murdoch are not the victim in this case but rather the perpetrators .

'Fox And Friends' Defends News Corp. In Phone Hacking Scandal " Huffington Post ,July 15, 2011

The phone hacking scandal surrounding News Corp is a huge, huge story—except to "Fox and Friends" co-host Steve Doocy.

Doocy and his guest, the colorfully-named Bob Dilenschneider dismissed the hubbub on Friday's show. Doocy said that the media was "piling on" and was ignoring more important issues.

"We've got some serious problems in this country ... and what do they do?" he said. "They talk about this."

Dilenschneider agreed, saying that there has been "too much" coverage of the scandal, and that people should "move on." Doocy said, "I think you're right."

Dilenschneider also said that News Corp has done "all the right things" in its response to the scandal. He then likened News Corp. to companies that have been the victims of hacking, such as Citigroup, American Express and Bank of America. It was an odd analogy, given that News Corp is not a hacking victim, but has been found guilty of hacking others

"NOTW reporters tried to access 9/11 phone data-report" from Reuters, July 10, 2011

(Reuters) - Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Monday that News of the World journalists had offered to pay a New York police officer to retrieve the private phone records of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Citing an unidentified source, the newspaper said journalists had wanted the phone numbers of the dead as well as details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading to the attacks.

News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch last week shut down the News of the World, Britain's top-selling Sunday tabloid, as allegations grew that its journalists had illegally accessed the voicemails of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain's war dead.

The police officer, who now works as a private investigator, said at the time that he would turn down the request because of "how bad it would look," the source was quoted as saying

"The Trouble With Rupert" by Timothy Karr Huffington Post, July 11, 2011
.. beneath Murdoch's meltdown lies a bigger problem, and its one that's not confined to the United Kingdom. It plagues all consolidated news organizations that reach a certain size and stature, but especially News Corp: The problem of media that get too cozy with power.

There's a disturbing parallel between Rupert Murdoch's methods in the UK and those he deploys in the US. More than any of the current crop of media moguls, Murdoch accrues political influence through aggressive manipulation of News Corp's many media outlets. It's not just in the ways they cover the news but how they use this coverage to gain favorable access to elected officials.

Consider the easy rapport struck among Murdoch's London executives and conservative candidate David Cameron. After he was elected Prime Minister, Cameron tapped a top News International executive to be his spokesman.

Compare that to the way Fox News Channel has courted GOP presidential candidates, many of whom have served as paid commentators for the network, in expectation that one may succeed in his or her bid for the White House.

In Sunday's New York Times, David Carr wrote: "News Corporation has historically used its four [London] newspapers... to shape and quash public debate, routinely helping to elect prime ministers with timely endorsements while punishing enemies at every turn."

Look at how control of media outlets in another powerful city -- New York, where he owns the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, two television stations, and where both News Corp and Fox News Channel are headquartered -- has placed Murdoch on the A-list among Manhattan's glitterati.

Comforting the Comfortable

Murdoch's relentless pursuit of political power has turned Finley Peter Dunne's famous quote about the role of journalism on its head. News Corp sees its purpose as "comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted."

And Senator David Rockerfeller calls for investigation of the activities of Murdoch News Corp in the US.

Rockefeller Urges Probe Into News Corp. For Phone Hacking
Sarah Lai Stirland at Talking Points Memo, July 12, 2011

A powerful U.S. senator with jurisdiction over privacy and telecommunications issues late Tuesday urged regulators to look into whether News. Corp. had violated any U.S. laws when its British journalists gained unauthorized access to several individuals' voice mails to pursue stories.

"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals--including children--is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics," said Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John D. Rockefeller in a press statement.

"This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated," he added. "I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe."

Rockefeller didn't offer any more details regarding who he thinks should do the investigating, but he issued the statement after a Tuesday Federal Communications Commission meeting, in which its Chairman Julius Genachowski told reporters that he doesn't expect the agency to wade into the issue, but to the extent that it might, its media bureau would investigate the matter.

On Monday, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the leaders of both the House and Senate Commerce Committees calling on them to investigate News Corp.

News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch have come under fire, and the company's stock has taken a major pummeling after The Guardian authored a series that exposed the News of The World's phone hacking practices -- which apparently have included accessing the Royals' phones, a dead teenager's voice mail, among others.

Some of the British press have reported that a New York City Cop claims that he was contacted by News Of The World reporters for access to the old voice mail records of some of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Meanwhile Human Rights Watch calls for investigation into former Bush administrations officials and their involvement ino abuse and torture of detainees.

United States: Investigate Bush, Other Top Officials for Torture | Human Rights Watch

(Washington, DC) - Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.
The 107-page report, "Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees," presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of Bush and senior administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet, for ordering practices such as "waterboarding," the use of secret CIA prisons, and the transfer of detainees to countries where they were tortured.

and so it goes,

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