Poor Questions

Some of these questioners seem very amateurish and unfocused. Not surprising I suppose – it’s an investigation designed by a committee. But do they really have two of the world’s most influential men here to ask them about the day-to-day running of newspapers? It’s like they’re taking advantage of the situation to ask things they’d always wondered, and it’s giving the Murdochs opportunities to paint themselves in brighter colours.

Murdoch’s Evidence – 2

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...
Murdoch when he still looked in control

James Murdoch apologises. He’s not addressing the committee, he’s addressing the shareholders.

“This is the most humble day of my life” – Rupert Murdoch. Yes, but what’s the scale?

By saying he cannot say who was involved in the phone hacking because of ongoing investigations, James Murdoch seems to implicate Rebekah Brooks.

Monosyllabic answers from Murdoch Senior. He denies knowing who lied to him. This may still be true if no one lied to him. But he is denying any knowledge of anything awkward in his UK operation – indeed, virtually any knowledge of how News International was run. Either you don’t believe that – and it is hard to believe – or you have to accept that the guy in charge is no longer really in control.

I can actually hear News Corporation’s share price falling.

Murdoch’s Evidence – 1

20th Century Fox logo designed by Rocky Longo ...
Showtime!

Time for a little liveblogging I think… Just watching the UK parliament’s select committee hearing (video feed) into the phone hacking affair. The Murdochs will be on later, though at the moment it’s Sir Paul Stevenson, the freshly-resigned head of London’s Metropolitan police.

First though, I want to remark on the fact that more than one News International journalist I’ve heard seems to be of the opinion that if you take any money from Rupert Murdoch – even appear in a 20th Century Fox film – then you are fair game. He has the right to do with you as he pleases. It’s as if they think they work for Satan.

Paul Stevenson is a funny bird, wearing what looks like the Dalek Prime version of police uniform, yet unworldly and even slightly fumbling in manner. Hard to imagine him as the top policeman of all London.

He says that he was satisfied with the Metropolitan Police’s original phone hacking investigation, which found no wrongdoing; sufficiently satisfied that he saw no problem with ten of the Met’s media staff being former News Of The World employees. Yet he also states that the never knew the actual parameters of that investigation.

He says he’s resigning because he’s a leader.

Now That’s More Like Hacking

The controversial front page of the Sun.
The Sun - Not Famous For Truth

Funny how it doesn’t seem to be in the news this morning, but last night all the websites of Murdoch’s UK newspapers were brought down. The Sun’s by LulzSec, the fun-loving hacker network – they switched it to a fake version that announced Rupert Murdoch’s death – the rest probably pulled by News International itself in a somewhat desperate effort to protect them.

I like the humorous anarchy of LulzSec and their ilk, but I fear an organisation as media-canny as News Corporation will be able to turn this to their own advantage. You want to make Rupert Murdoch look like a victim, you attack him with something even more feared and poorly-understood than himself. Interweb hackers, that can do all sorts of mysterious and dangerous things. Things that are – sharp intake of breath – bad for business. Bring down a Murdoch website, and you give him a chance to portray himself as a champion of free speech. Which would be ironic in any number of ways, not least because most of Murdoch’s websites were not free.

Meanwhile, rumours fly that Murdoch is about to be deposed as head of News Corporation.

Meanwhile, perhaps even as you’re reading this (video feed), Murdoch and other heads of News International will be giving evidence before an investigating committee of the UK parliament. They didn’t want to much.

Meanwhile, the next domino in the Metropolitan Police has fallen: Assistant commissioner John Yates, the UK’s leading terrorism officer.

Meanwhile, the whistleblower who originally broke the phone hacking story has been found dead. The police say it’s not suspicious, but… The police say it’s not suspicious.

So thanks for the lulz, LulzSec. But it looks like things are already way beyond that.

The Long Weekend

Hiya. If you haven’t dropped in to I.Doubt.It over the weekend, it was a busy one. Thanks to everyone who made Saturday a record day for visitors. Here’s the best of what the rest of you missed:

What Phone Is Right For You? 7 – I, Android

Latest in the ongoing series of articles aimed at helping you pick the best fruit in the smartphone jungle. Today I look at Google’s Android and ask if it is a better alternative to Apple’s iPhone.

Don’t Trust The Data Protection Commission

The agency charged with keeping us safe from the likes of the News Of The World’s “phone hacking” has a suggestion to prevent the same thing happening here. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Expel The Papal Nuncio

Join the campaign to tell the Vatican that canon law is not above the law of the land.

They Really Are Out To Get You

Despite ever more excruciating cuts into Ireland’s budget, no matter how much we reduce health and social spending, the US-based agencies continue to revise our credit rating down. Could there be a hidden agenda?

Your Morning Monkey

Just a picture of me. With a monkey.

Some Of Last Week’s Highlights

Stuff you might not have seen yet if you’re new to I.Doubt.It

Good Morning, Euro. Euro?

I come up with a brilliant solution to the currency crisis.

The George Michael Revelations

Disgraced Murdoch minion Rebekah Brooks admitted her papers got celebrity news from police informers – or so George Michael claimed on Twitter. I edit his tweets together to make his allegations clear.

The World’s Greatest Secret

Before she was fired herself, when Rebekah Brooks made the entire staff of the News Of The World redundant, she told them that when the full story comes out in a year from now they would see she had no choice. I think I know what the terrible secret is.

First Impressions of Google+

Is it the new Facebook? Is it the new Twitter? Is it the new Twitface?

The Long Weekend

Hiya. If you haven’t dropped in to I.Doubt.It over the weekend, it was a busy one. Thanks to everyone who made Saturday a record day for visitors. Here’s the best of what the rest of you missed:

What Phone Is Right For You? 7 – I, Android

Latest in the ongoing series of articles aimed at helping you pick the best fruit in the smartphone jungle. Today I look at Google’s Android and ask if it is a better alternative to Apple’s iPhone.

Don’t Trust The Data Protection Commission

The agency charged with keeping us safe from the likes of the News Of The World’s “phone hacking” has a suggestion to prevent the same thing happening here. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Expel The Papal Nuncio

Join the campaign to tell the Vatican that canon law is not above the law of the land.

They Really Are Out To Get You

Despite ever more excruciating cuts into Ireland’s budget, no matter how much we reduce health and social spending, the US-based agencies continue to revise our credit rating down. Could there be a hidden agenda?

Your Morning Monkey

Just a picture of me. With a monkey.

Some Of Last Week’s Highlights

Stuff you might not have seen yet if you’re new to I.Doubt.It

Good Morning, Euro. Euro?

I come up with a brilliant solution to the currency crisis.

The George Michael Revelations

Disgraced Murdoch minion Rebekah Brooks admitted her papers got celebrity news from police informers – or so George Michael claimed on Twitter. I edit his tweets together to make his allegations clear.

The World’s Greatest Secret

Before she was fired herself, when Rebekah Brooks made the entire staff of the News Of The World redundant, she told them that when the full story comes out in a year from now they would see she had no choice. I think I know what the terrible secret is.

First Impressions of Google+

Is it the new Facebook? Is it the new Twitter? Is it the new Twitface?

How Compromised Were The Police?

London
The Headquarters of London's Metropolitan Police

I have to admit, the resignation of the head of London’s police was not the next move I expected. He accepted no responsibility for the stunningly suspicious web of relations between papers and police however, but only claimed that media coverage around these events would be too distracting while he was trying to oversee policing for the Olympics.

The Olympics. A world-class excuse for a world-class scandal. Does he think the media will be less curious about his successor? His own second in command was more deeply implicated than himself.

Rebekah Brooks’ arrest of course comes as less of a surprise, though one hopes she is not made the scapegoat for a what appears to be a long-established cosiness between News International and the Metropolitan Police. You can easily imagine how they’ve grown close over the years; maybe Scotland Yard giving Wapping the odd tip-off, maybe the papers spiking the odd story that didn’t reflect well on the Boys in Blue. Such a relationship must be nearly inevitable when people work side-by-side, investigating the same events in the same city. They may even be useful in the solving of crime at times. But the risk of corruption is obvious and enormous.