Murdoch bosses duck and weave after verdicts

News UK, the hurriedly-renamed company that used to be News International but is still owned by Rupert Murdoch, issued a statement in response to today’s verdicts that conspicuously fails to meet the needs of the moment.

It begins: ‘We said long ago, and repeat today, that wrongdoing occurred, and we apologised for it.’

Does that sound sorry? No, it sounds like ‘Leave us alone.’ To think that their newspapers complained that Maria Miller wasn’t sorry enough…

A total of seven employees have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to hacking the phones of thousands of people over several years – people who include bereaved parents, 7/7 bombing victims and relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. they can do better than this.

It goes on: ‘We have been paying compensation to those affected…’

They don’t have any choice about that, yet those people had to sue, and to endure years of flat denials and legal ducking and weaving from the company.

‘… and have cooperated with investigations.’

That is what people have to do in this country under the law. And they did it only reluctantly, after failing to cooperate for years.

We made changes in the way we do business  to help ensure wrongdoing like this does not occur again.’

No, they have flatly refused to do what Lord Justice Leveson said they had to do to ensure this doesn’t happen again – and what every party in Parliament agrees they should do, and their victims, and the public.

‘And we are strong supporters of the Independent Press Standards Organisation that is expected to begin work this autumn, serving as a watchdog on the industry in the public interest.’

IPSO only satisfies 12 of the 38 Leveson recommendations. It is the PCC all over again. In fact News UK, far from being sorry, is raising two fingers to the public, the judge, the victims and Parliament.

‘Out of respect for the fact that further legal proceedings will occur, we will have no further comment at this time.’

What this really means is: ‘We can’t defend this position so we are going to lie low now in the hope the row will blow over.’

That must not happen.


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June 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm

And here’s the covertly recorded tape of Murdoch addressing Sun journalists last summer. He seems to think there’s nothing wrong with illegal payments to public officials, calling the whole business “next to nothing” :

And here’s the full transcript of the complete tape:

Society of Editors: ‘verdicts show there was never anything wrong’ | Hacked Offreply
June 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

[…] Murdoch bosses duck and weave after verdicts […]

Bruce Dicksonreply
June 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

If an MP can threaten to punch a disagreeable (Macpherson disagreeable, ie as perceived by the MP) hack in the throat, what in genuine democracy can one do to nudge awake an industry that kills awake?

It must be quite worrying to know that a sane person will custard pie your uber-employer in Parliament, while you need to be taking stronger action to be effective. And are not. Surely to a sensitive, this could be causing mental breakdown. The greater good or lesser harm defence might well apply here. Like does he who causes genocide, then blames Blair, deserve a fair trial? Or to run News UK?

Hope some of this is useful in avarting more tragedy.

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