Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Another week in Murdochland

by ceebs Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 08:38:38 PM EST

It's been a week of ups and downs for the followers of this story. The main feature was a big down, Rupert has flown in after a couple of weeks of arrests of Sun journalists, and has begun a fightback. On the eve of his arrival, Trevor Kavanagh, the long running political editor of the Sun, his weekday tabloid, painted the attacks on the paper's journalists as a witch hunt.

Trevor Kavanagh: 'Police have treated Sun journalists like suspected terrorists' - Telegraph

The paper's former political editor said the tabloid was "not a swamp that needs draining" and that a police "witch-hunt" was making press freedom worse than in former Soviet states.

Five senior Sun journalists were detained over the weekend over alleged corrupt payments to police as part of Operation Elveden - the inquiry examining allegations of bribery - which has more than 60 detectives on its team.

Writing in The Sun today, Kavanagh said the journalists has been "needlessly dragged from their beds in dawn raids" and humiliated while their homes were ransacked by officers.

He accused police of treating them "like members of an organised crime gang" and "threats to national security" simply for doing their jobs, uncovering stories in the public interest.

The fact that the article was somewhat flawed in its arguments didn't stop it getting picked up by a variety of other newspapers worried about the impact of the Leveson inquiry on their own underhand methods.

The Kavanagh aricle initially blames the investigation of journalists for the UK's fall in the world press freedom rankings. If you actually bother to look at the source report however, it says that with the News of the World investigations in the background, the cause of the fall has been the problems with privacy in the UK (mainly down to newspapers hacking each others' phone and email accounts you have to assume) and the riots last summer, where the authorities demanded the handing over of photographers' raw images, and a variety of media groups complied without requiring the government to go through the courts, putting reporters and photographers at risk in future events. Carrying on the rest of the article is of little better quality.

but When Rupert actually arrived at the Suns headquaters, then the big announcement occurred.

Rupert Murdoch to launch Sun on Sunday next weekend | Media | The Guardian

The Sun on Sunday will publish for the first time next weekend, News International has announced.

An internal memo sent to all staff on Sunday at Rupert's Murdoch's company said the media mogul will be in London for the launch.

The email said: "Rupert Murdoch said during his visit on Friday that a new Sunday title would be published 'very soon' - and that is a week from today. Rupert will be staying in London to oversee the launch."

Speculation about a Sunday edition of the biggest-selling UK daily newspaper has been mounting since the closure of the News of the World after the hacking scandal.

Without waiting for the court cases to occurr,  Rupert has extended the paper to seven days a week, taking over from the destroyed News of the world. He also announced that those journalists who had been arrested over illegal payments to the police over the last two weeks are no longer suspended from work. effectively giving the forces of law and order the finger. Interestingly, Rupert has turned up to  do this with elder son Lachlan in tow, Long time observers think that this may signal a changing of the succession within the  Murdoch empire

Murdoch Visits Downcast Tabloid, With Other Son in Tow

The presence of Lachlan on the tour signaled to observers of the Murdoch family's internal dramas that James -- the heir apparent and overall head of British newspaper operations until the phone hacking scandal that erupted last summer -- may have ceded his place to his older brother. Lachlan, a onetime heir apparent himself, had a falling-out with News Corporation executives in 2005.

Looking from the outside it's hard to tell wether Rupert has used this problem as the ultiamte opportunity, decimating his costs by cutting the expense of a seperate newspaper while  coming back with a seven day a week version of his cheaper paper.  If this is what has been in the running ever since things first started going wrong, it would be a difficult decision wether to be outraged at being played for rubes, or to stand up and appluad the man for the sheer brass balls he is displaying.

However it's not all been bad, Firstly the "poor us we're being bullied" has been met with general derision.

Trevor Kavanagh learns a hard lesson about human rights and due process « Richard Wilson's blog

"The overwhelming odds are that these guys were put inside for good reason -- whatever sob stories their human rights lawyers are peddling on their behalf." - Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 2007

"It is important that we do not jump to conclusions. Nobody has been charged with any offence, still less tried or convicted", Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, 2012

Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper has long been hostile to the idea that people suspected of wrongdoing should be treated as innocent until proven guilty, that no-one should be locked up for extended periods without a fair trial and due process, and that even if someone is tried and convicted of a criminal offence, they are still entitled to basic human rights.

When, in 2005, 47 Labour MPs joined opposition ranks to throw out the Blair government's attempt to award itself the right to detain for 3 months, without charge or trial, anyone it claimed was a "terrorist", the Sun's political editor Trevor Kavanagh branded them "traitor MPs" who had "betrayed the British people".

And other media sources have come out with

Secondly as part of the  attempts to head off  disagreement with Murdochs, the journalists at the paper appear to have invited the National Union of Journalists back in. This is a huge event if it actually comes through in the end.  To people My age one of the big events of the last 40 years was the industrial action at the gates of Rupert Murdochs "Fortress Wapping" many of us would love to see the face of Rupert on that first meeting when he has to deal with the hated unions over the negotiating table if it happens.

And tonight we have something that by rights should be front page news

News of the World hacking suspect pleads guilty to conspiracy | Technology | The Guardian

A man at the centre of allegations that computers were hacked for the News of the World has been convicted of conspiring to illegally access private information for profit.

Until Monday legal restrictions meant that what is known about Philip Campbell Smith's alleged involvement in computer hacking could not be reported.

Smith is alleged to have hacked the computer of a former British army intelligence officer in 2006 as part of a commission from the News of the World. In a tape recording, Smith says he was in contact with Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who went on to become David Cameron's director of communications. Smith says Coulson is in his mobile phone directory.

Smith is understood to be under investigation by a Scotland Yard inquiry, Operation Kalmyk, which is examining allegations that email hacking may have been used against several dozen targets.

The hacking of this computer is a major story, the computer hacked is that of a former British army agent,  and among the emails are ones detailing the location of two informers that British Inteligence had  inside the PIRA and evidence is said to link Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World, and David Camerons former press secretary to this activity, according to the  taped conversation in posession of the hacked agent, this is a direct link. not just through a lower reporter.

News Internationals interference in this situation could have sabotaged the entire Northern Irish peace process, and as a paper group that prides itself on its nationalist rhetoric, It could be that this may be The Murdoch papers biggest betrayal.

also available in orange

And other media sources have come out with
Secondly as part of the  attempts

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 01:37:11 AM EST
I guessed the words "similar examples" were missing

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 02:53:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fear you may well be correct

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 03:55:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fear that by constantly loading all of the errors onto the News of the World, this will somehow enable Murdoch to slither out from all the manure and emerge smelling of money roses

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 02:55:03 AM EST
maybe, but while people are turning over rocks and looking underneath, we are getting multiple arrests at the Sun for bribery of public officials. and at least one computer hacking case that happens at the times

Jack of Kent: A NightJack - and computer hacking - timeline

I set out below a chronology of the NightJack case and computer hacking by newspapers more widely.

Please suggest further events and/or links, as it is intended that this post will be updated - significant additions will be noted in the comments at the end of the post.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:00:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It amazes me what Murdoch is able shovel without any apparent sense of irony.  Murdoch's Media Minions (TM) have labeled as terrorists everyone who criticizes his pet politicians and business interests.  Now a Tory government is busting some of his Minions, and he accuses the police of treating them like terrorists.
by rifek on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 04:11:58 PM EST

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 10:54:20 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries