July 12, 2011

Murdoch's blaggers

The Murdoch story now seems to have arrived in the US with NPR giving regular updates and even my local newspaper the Plain Dealer running a long article today.

The Murdoch scandal has taught me a new, and somewhat ugly, word 'blagging'. It apparently refers to the act of getting information by trickery or deception. In the case of former British prime minister Gordon Brown, people employed by Murdoch's News International apparently pretended to be him to obtain his financial records.

Les Hinton, one of the key executives of Murdoch's UK operations during the phone hacking and blagging periods, now heads the US outfit that runs the Wall Street Journal. Hinton may be charged with lying to the British parliament and it will be interesting to see if any investigations get started here, especially since the UK scandal has spread beyond the tabloids News of the World and The Sun and implicated the so-called 'respectable' broadsheets The Times and the Sunday Times, indicating that the corruption had spread pretty far and was not due to some rogue operatives at a single low-brow scandal sheet.

Murdoch is so powerful that current UK prime minister David Cameron and former prime minister Tony Blair both toady to him (Tony Blair was an all-round toady so this is not surprising) and may still wriggle out of it. But until he does, I must say that I am enjoying the spectacle of a net tightening around him and his cronies.


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