Thursday, March 01, 2012


Now James Murdoch Really IS Toast

Interesting piece by Michael Wolf today. I feel more than usually interested in the phone hacking story as I predicted early on it would blow up into a huge story. I recall, back then in autumn 2010 some of my right-wing commenters getting hot under their collective collars about it. All this happened long after Private Eye began to uncover it and Nick Davies in The Guardian did his sterling investigative work.

I predicted Rebekah Brooks would resign on the day she finally did and also that Murdoch would be the next to go in short order. Well I got the timing wrong but my prediction has finally proven right. And rightly so; James Murdoch's trans-Atlantic smoothness invested his testimony to Leveson with, for me a sheen of mendacity. Of course he knew all about it, just as Coulson and Brooks did. I'm almost prepared to believe old man Murdoch didn't as he seemed a bit out of it anyway and maybe they just kept bad stuff from the old fashioned newspaper man.

Wolf gives an insight into Murdoch junior which I kind of suspected but which still surprised me:

,,,since he left the top job at BSkyB at his father's behest and took over News Corp's operations in Europe and Asia, James has become the most disliked man in the company. This is partly because, for all the obvious reasons, Murdoch's entitled children would breed a predictable resentment. But additionally, it is because James is an extraordinarily cold, abrasive know-it-all.

Well, there won't be any tears shed over his departure from the scene for as, Wolf convincingly argues, James Murdoch has been humiliated to the extent he will no longer carry clout in News International. He will carry the can for the appalling mess at The Sun and will probably have to defer to his brother, Lachlan in terms of postions of power.

Yup, Skipper, I hold my hands up, you were right and I was totally wrong. I thought this was all a few people trying to make themselves feel important and/or embarrass David Cameron and derail his media operation. The reason I assumed this was a non-story was largely because I thought even a Sun journalist wouldn't be daft enough to routinely break the law passim ad nauseam (as Private Eye would say) right under the noses of the police. Well, we all make mistakes.

On the other hand, I must admit I'm not too sorry - I never did like the Screws (particularly its odious smug self-righteousness) and I was dead chuffed to hear it was closing.

What would turn this from a balanced to a glorious event though is if it claimed certain ex-Mirror journalists (no names and he wouldn't survive a pack drill) or even the Mirror itself, which in many ways closely resembles the Screws in its dog days but is less well-written.

Anyway, you called it right all along - one of the few - so congratulations.
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