Bernstein says one of Murdoch’s former top executives told him, “This scandal and all its implications could not have happened anywhere else. Only in Murdoch’s orbit. The hacking at News of the World was done on an industrial scale. More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means.”
News of the World, like Fox News, is owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation. “In the end, what you sow is what you reap,” the same executive told Bernstein. “Now Murdoch is a victim of the culture that he created. It is a logical conclusion, and it is his people at the top who encouraged lawbreaking and hacking phones and condoned it.”
“The facts of the case are astonishing in their scope,” writes Bernstein about the founder of Fox News. “Thousands of private phone messages hacked, presumably by people affiliated with the Murdoch-owned News of the World newspaper, with the violated parties ranging from Prince William and actor Hugh Grant to murder victims and families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The arrest of Andy Coulson, former press chief to Prime Minister David Cameron, for his role in the scandal during his tenure as the paper’s editor. The arrest (for the second time) of Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royals editor. The shocking July 7 announcement that the paper would cease publication three days later, putting hundreds of employees out of work. Murdoch’s bid to acquire full control of cable-news company BSkyB placed in jeopardy. Allegations of bribery, wiretapping, and other forms of lawbreaking—not to mention the charge that emails were deleted by the millions in order to thwart Scotland Yard’s investigation.”
The investigation into the scope of the corporation’s illegal deeds is ongoing.
Murdoch issued a public apology in British newspapers after two top executives in News Corp resigned. Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of Murdoch’s British newspapers. Hours later, Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton – who had overseen those newspapers when the voice mail hacking is alleged to have occurred – resigned as well, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor. “All of this has raised questions about Murdoch’s US business entities (which include Fox News and the New York Post) – especially the Wall Street Journal,” writes Brad Knickerbocker of that publication. Media Matters is petitioning the public to demand the US Congress to hold hearings to see how the breach “of public trust has affected us.”