Shoes, dropping, everywhere: British prosecutors announced they're charging eight new and very high profile people with criminal phone hacking in the endless News Corp tabloid phone hacking scandal. The biggest names: former News of the World Editors Rebekah Brooks (a top lieutenant and trusted confidante of Rupert Murdoch) and Andy Coulson (who went on to become the spokesman for British prime minister David Cameron). Five other former NOTW editors and reporters were also charged, along with private eye Glenn Mulcaire, who was heavily involved in the phone hacking.
The deliciously slow-falling dominoes of the News Corp phone hacking scandal continue to falllllll: Rebekah Brooks, former News of the World editor, News International boss, and Rupert Murdoch bestie, is going to be charged with "conspiring to pervert the course of justice" for attempting to conceal documents and data in the hacking case. Brooks' husband and several others are being charged as well. Brooks denies the charges.
It looks like the biggest guillotine thus far has fallen (again) in the News Corp phone hacking scandal: British police have reportedly arrested Rebekah Brooks—former editor of the tabloids News of the World and The Sun, as well as former CEO of News International, News Corp's UK newspaper division, and a close friend and confidante of the Murdoch family. Brooks resigned from News International last year and was arrested last summer in the earlier stages of the phone hacking investigation. She was given a hefty going-away package last year.
The neverending News Corp phone hacking scandal continues to chip away at the Murdoch family's prestige. James Murdoch—son of Rupert and onetime heir to the company throne—is stepping down as the head of News International, News Corp's UK publishing arm. He'll be, ah, setting up shop here in New York in order to "Focus on expanding international TV businesses," according to the company.
Bloated starfucker Piers Morgan finally gave his long-awaited testimony before a British commission investigating phone hacking today. While there were no Perry Mason moments trapping Morgan in one of his numerous transparent lies about his tenures at the News of the World and Daily Mirror, he was at least exposed as having a conveniently spotty memory.
Whoops! Remember when Rupert Murdoch's News of the World was revealed to have illegally listened to the voicemails of teen murder victim Milly Dowler? And how the bastards actually erased the voicemails, leading Dowler's family to falsely believe that their little girl was still alive and checking her messages? And how Murdoch killed off NOTW in shame and a panicked attempt to avert scandal when it all came out? Well, there's a slight wrinkle.
As if the News Corp. hacking scandal weren't already lousy with pitch-perfect villains, a new one has topped them all. Former News of the World deputy features editor Paul McMullan gave a bravura performance today before a British government inquiry into the press scandal, gamely defending the most loathsome transgressions of his colleagues in the U.K. tabloid press with Snidely Whiplash relish.
James Murdoch, the News International CEO and News Corp. scion who has been identified by an overwhelming array of documentary and testimonial evidence as having been made abundantly aware that the company he runs engaged in widespread and routine criminal conduct by repeatedly hacking into celebrity's voicemails, told Parliament this morning that he didn't know anything about widespread hacking and all the people who say he did are liars.
Poor Rebekah Brooks! The disgraced former News of the World editor and News International executive, who oversaw the paper and its parent company while it hacked into the phones of murder victims, resigned in July and was arrested a few days later. She must be destitute! Except for the $2.7 million, chauffeured limousine, and office that her boss Rupert Murdoch gave her.
The final tally of victims in News International's hacking scandal looks like it will eventually reach 5,800, according to the Guardian. Which may explain why News Corp. has set up a dedicated web site for victims to apply for an out-of-court settlement. Think of it as a MySpace for targets of Rupert Murdoch's criminal surveillance operation.