The ugly slop that Murdoch's News Corp. is trying to ooze out of specifically centers on the company's News of the World, whose sneaky intrusions reached as high as the country's beloved royalty to various other victims along the way. It now embraces private investigators, politicians, the prime minister , bribed police and anyone else that the paper found useful in titillating its readers. It has been going on for a decade, which shows you the depths of tolerance and benign neglect that some public officials exercised in the paper's behalf.
But it wasn't until the scandal sheet hacked the voicemail of a girl before she was found dead that people started to take the paper's unlawful tactics seriously enough for officials to respond.
Team Murdoch, which presides over Fox News in America, reacted to the perilous news about its gossipy ways to set up funds for potentially explosive law suits that would get quite monstrously costly.(By the way, Media Matters is reporting that the gang at Fox News has largely ignored the nasty cause celebre. Are you surprised? Wouldn't think so.)
Murdoch, his son James and his top editor, Rebekah Brooks have now been asked to appear before Parliament to to explain the paper's bad habits.
The scandal couldn't have come at a worse time for Murdoch as he is deeply engaged in a multibillion dollar takeover of BSkyB, Britain's largest pay TV provider. (Murdock never thinks small.) There is growing disaffection for the deal by Parliament as well as for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been described as a close friend of the Murdochs. It was Cameron, after all, who hired f0rmer Murdoch editor Andy Coulson, as Cameron's press spokesman. A few days ago Coulson was arrested and charged with, um, "inappropriate' payoffs to some police who were in on the deal.
More damage control: Cameron now stands with those who oppose the Murdoch TV takeover. Makes sense to me, in a survival sort of way
UPDATE: MURDOCH HAS WITHDRAWN HIS $12 BILLION BID TO TAKE OVER BSKYB. You bet I am swept with schadenfreude.