Rebekah Brooks Resigns From Murdoch Org


In case you haven’t heard, Rebekah Brooks hasn’t had a good week. First, a newspaper started in 1843 was sacrificed on the alter of her career, and then Rupert Murdoch kicked her to the curb anyway.

In her farewell message, Ms. Brooks said: “At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons

(click here to continue reading Rebekah Brooks Resigns From Murdoch’s British Subsidiary –

Nicely done – no mention of journalistic ethics, or reporting facts, still all about slant, and “setting the agenda”. A Murdoch loyalist until the end.

First Site of Scotland Yard
First Site of Scotland Yard

and The Metropolitan Police are a bit nervous too, as their corruption seems likely to be exposed:

The company’s woes increased on Thursday when yet another former senior editor of The News of the World, now defunct, Neil Wallis, became the ninth person since January to be arrested in the phone-hacking scandal. Mr. Wallis also appears to have unusually close ties to top officers at the Metropolitan Police Service, and worked for them as a public relations consultant last year.

Mr. Wallis’s arrest, while bad news for the company, is doubly worrying for the Metropolitan Police Service. The police are already under attack for failing to adequately pursue the phone-hacking inquiry in 2006, and again for failing to reopen the investigation in light of new evidence in 2009. While Mr. Wallis is not the most important figure yet to be arrested — that would be Mr. Coulson, a former editor of The News of the World who until January was Prime Minister Cameron’s chief spokesman — he is close to Scotland Yard.

After leaving The News of the World in 2009, Mr. Wallis became a media consultant, whereupon he was immediately hired to “provide strategic communication advice” to Scotland Yard officials from October 2009 to September 2010, according to a police spokesman. His firm offered the lowest rate, the spokesman said, explaining how he got the job.

But his ties to the police went back longer. In September 2006, one month after The News of the World’s royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, was arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and the paper Mr. Wallis worked for was supposedly under investigation, Mr. Wallis had dinner with Sir Paul Stephenson, then Scotland Yard’s deputy commissioner, and Dick Fedorcio, its chief spokesman.

Sir Paul, now the police commissioner, said on Thursday that he was “very satisfied with my own integrity.”

More recently, Assistant Commissioner John Yates, another top police official, told a parliamentary committee in March that he could not remember exactly when he last had lunch with Mr. Wallis, but that it “may well” have been in February.

A police spokesman said he did not know the precise date of this engagement. But if it was indeed in February, that meant that it took place after the police had already opened Operation Weeting, the investigation into phone hacking under which Mr. Wallis has now been arrested.

Evening Newspapers at Monument Station

Evening Newspapers at Monument Station

Ken Auletta of The New Yorker adds:

The only surprise in the resignation of Rebekah Brooks is that it took so long. She was the editor of the News of the World when a good deal of hacking was done, when police were paid bribes for documents and news tips. When she left the newsroom, she became the News Corp. executive responsible for overseeing at least one newspaper that continued these practices, as well as others that we may learn more about. And when she testified before Parliament, she offered misleading and contradictory answers. Yet she remained in place. When Rupert Murdoch flew to London last weekend to quarterback his company’s defense, a reporter asked: What’s your foremost concern?

He might have said, protecting my company’s good name. Or getting to the bottom of who was responsible for these dastardly acts. Instead, with Brooks standing beside him, he said: protecting this woman.

Why was Murdoch, who is not known for loyalty, so loyal to Brooks? Because outside of his family, Brooks is only one of two people he is said to treat as a genuine friend. His closest friend is Robert Thomson, editor of the Wall Street Journal and former editor of his London Times. (I wrote about Thomson for The New Yorker.) Although he is three decades younger than Murdoch, he is more of a peer. Brooks has been more of a daughter. And she is treated as a member of the family by many in the Murdoch brood. Letting her leave must have been personally painful.

But with Murdoch, business comes first.

(click here to continue reading News Desk: The Brooks Resignation: Business and Loyalty : The New Yorker.)

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