Posts Tagged ‘Rebekah Brooks’

David Cameron was “played” by News International

August 23, 2011

David Cameron’s judgement in employing Andy Coulson has already been brought into question. Apparently Coulson was also privy to confidential documents and meetings beyond his security clearance and that he was spared – or protected from – the highest level of security vetting. It has been suggested that his appointment may have been at the behest of Rupert Murdoch or Rebekah Brooks.

It now appears that Andy Coulson was working for two paymasters strengthening the impression that David Cameron was not just a “dupe” but that he was being “played” by News International. Presumably the real objective for News International was the acquisition of BSkyB.

The BBC breaks this story:

Coulson got hundreds of thousands of pounds from News Int

Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World who has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in phone hacking and bribing the police, received several hundred thousand pounds from News International after starting work as the Conservative Party’s Director of Communications in July 2007.

These payments were part of his severance package, under what is known as a “compromise agreement”.

According to sources, Mr Coulson’s contractual leaving pay was given to him in instalments until the end of 2007 – which means he continued to be financially linked to News International for several months of his tenure as David Cameron’s main media adviser. ….. Mr Coulson also continued to receive his News International work benefits, such as healthcare, for three years, and he kept his company car. ………

Related: Phone hacking: PM’s defence of Coulson over the years

Guradian to hold Masterclass in hacking?

August 9, 2011

I just noticed that the Guardian is holding – for a £500 per person feea two-day course in September ostensibly on “investigative journalism”.

In this intensive, weekend course, two of the UK’s leading investigative journalists will give students the skills needed to reach the next step. Paul Lewis and Heather Brooke will teach the secrets of their trade in a series of interactive workshops and skill-based sessions.

The course will cover among other things “convincing people to talk” and “advice on data journalism” and “the course will reveal how new technology and recent innovations have revolutionised investigative journalism”.

I note – but without much surprise – that there is no mention of ethics anywhere in the course description.

Presumably David Leigh will be the guest lecturer and will explain the techniques of phone hacking  and the importance of always having noble objectives. He could also explain the finer points of utilising the public interest defence under the Data Protection Act to justify non-compliance with the Act. To cover ethics they could invite Rebekah Brooks who is probably available except that she is apparently still on the payroll of News International.

Rebekah Brooks and NoW – another new low

July 28, 2011

The Telegraph: 

Sarah Payne and Rebekah Brooks

NoW ‘targeted Sarah Payne mother’s phone’, a gift from Rebekah Brooks

Sara Payne, the mother of the murdered 8-year-old Sarah, has been reportedly told by Scotland Yard that her phone may have been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the News of the World.

The phone is believed to have been given to Mrs Payne by Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor who was forced to resign as chief executive of News International in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

The allegations are particularly damaging because Mrs Brooks championed the cause of the Payne family and campaigned for ‘Sarah’s law’, a proposal to allow parents to know if sex offenders live in the area.

Friends of Mrs Payne told the Guardian she was “absolutely devastated and deeply disappointed” by the news.

Tom Watson MP – “The hacking scandal is about to nosedive to a whole new low. How could these people do what they did?”  

In the meantime The Guardian reports on the generosity of News International

“Former staff at the News of the World are understood to be underwhelmed by efforts by News International to find them work after they were handed a list of potential jobs which included posts in Siberia, Russia and Dubai”.

Rebekah in Murdoch’s wonderland: Hackers, blaggers, Clouseaus and dodgy geezers

July 13, 2011

For the last 10 days the Rupert Murdoch / Rebekah Brookes/ NoTW scandal (broken by The Guardian and their  intrepid reporter Nick Davies) has been raging in the UK. It is now a  full grown 3-ring circus.

The story has all the ingredients of a new TV mini-series – a media tycoon, spineless politicians, amoral journalists, a red-headed siren, a multi-billion take-over bid, some corrupt policemen, some Clouseau-like investigators and a bunch of small-time criminals.

Yesterdays hearings of policemen at a House of Commons select committee was fascinating not just for the ineptness of the  witnesses (with the exception of Sue Akers) but also for the smugness of the middle-aged, middle-class, self-righteous politicians putting the questions.

Making sense of the torrent of allegations now engulfing News Corp., its subsidiary News International and their newspapers is difficult. But Crikey has a good summary of events so far:

Closing down News of the World may have been James Murdoch’s second attempt at putting this problem “in a box”, but the allegations of phone hacking and criminal activity are now bleeding beyond the besmirched masthead, as British parliament calls for Rupert and James Murdoch and News International CEO Rebekah Brooks to front up to answer questions. 

As News International continues to try to staunch the blood, now upgraded to a full blown haemorrhage, here’s a guide to the allegations thus far — where they’ve come from, and the subsequent response …  

Read more 

The story moves on into the House of Commons today…..

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