The Murdoch Media Empire Slowly Crumbles

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The Guardian reports on yet more douchebaggery from various pieces of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire:

Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family’s medical records…..

  • Abbey National bank found evidence suggesting that a “blagger” acting for the Sunday Times on six occasions posed as Brown and gained details from his account;
  • London lawyers, Allen & Overy, were tricked into handing over details from his file by a conman working for the Sunday Times
  • Details from his infant son’s medical records were obtained by the Sun, who published a story about the child’s serious illness.

….The sheer scale of the data assault on Brown is unusual, with evidence of attempts to obtain his legal, financial, tax, medical and police records as well as to listen to his voicemail. All of these incidents are linked to media organisations. In many cases, there is evidence of a link to News International.

Oh lovely: they hacked into the medical records of his infant son. What’s more, this story suggests that this kind of thing wasn’t limited just to News of the World, nor just to the tabloids. Even the Sunday Times was in on the fun. So here’s the question: how long will it be before we learn that some of Murdoch’s properties in the United States were engaged in the same kind of behavior? Tick tick tick…..

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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