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Phone Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson to Be Charged for Phone Hacking

In the most significant charges in the long saga that is the News International phone hacking scandal, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and six others are being accused of “conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications.” The New York Times reports that, if convicted, they face two years in prison and/or a fine.

Brooks is the former head of British newspapers for Rupert Murdoch and ex-editor of News of The World. Coulson is the former head of media for Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron. Brooks released a statement declaring her innocence, while Coulson has not commented on the charges.

Others being charged include Stuart Kuttner, the managing editor of NOTW, Ian Edmondson and Greg Miskiw, two senior editors, reporters Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

Rupert Murdoch Weighs in on Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise Says His Phone Might Have Been Hacked, Vows Revenge

The Daily Mail is reporting that in an interview with Playboy, Tom Cruise says that his voicemails might have been hacked, which would easily make him the most high profile celebrity associated with the scandal.

During the interview, Cruise was asked about the News Corp. misconduct:

The night Princess Diana died you called CNN to talk about how the intrusiveness of the press had gotten out of hand. This phone-hacking scandal on Fleet Street has closed one major newspaper and reached all the way to Rupert Murdoch. Have you ever been hacked?

Cruise replied, “Maybe,” and didn’t elaborate any further. However, because he is Tom Cruise, he didn’t hesitate to get a little crazy when discussing what he would do to the hackers. “There’s one thing you know with a bully,” Cruise explained. “I don’t care how big or mean they are. There are different ways to do it… but sometimes just confronting them works.”

You have officially been put on notice, Rupert Murdoch.

First Criminal Charges Issued for Phone Hacking Scandal

Rebekah Brooks — the former editor of News of The World — and five others are the first to be criminally charged in the now year-old phone hacking scandal that has left many questioning the direction of News Corp. and its leadership. According to The Guardian, Brooks, along with her husband and others, have been charged with “perverting the court of justice.”

Investigators allege that all six removed evidence — including computers, documents and more — from those probing the phone hacking. The maximum sentence for the charge is life in prison, but the average sentence for those found guilty of “perverting the court” is 10 months.

While Brooks and her husband said the charges were “weak,” Alison Levitt, a legal adviser for the investigative team, said, “There is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.” Stay tuned, because the trial probably won’t happen anytime soon.

Mort Zuckerman is Happy with Colin Myler

Among the many damning quotes featured in the British panel’s report on Rupert Murdoch and News International, there was the revelation that Colin Myler, the current New York Daily News Editor-in-Chief, was charged with misleading Parliament during his testimony. The allegations apparently didn’t bother Mort Zuckerman. Ed Pilkington, the New York correspondent for The Guardian US, tweeted that Zuckerman said Myler “is doing a great job as Editor of the Daily News.”

It makes us wonder: What, exactly, does one have to do to not be doing a good job at the Daily News? The UK panel’s claim is just the latest storm cloud to gather over Myler’s head in a very short amount of time. He has already been accused of bullying British investigators and blamed for the entire phone hacking scandal by Murdoch.

Maybe the catch is that Myler hasn’t been arrested for any of those accusations, so Zuckerman is happy with things as they are. Ah, working at The Daily News: Just don’t get thrown in jail, everything else is fair game!

Rupert Murdoch Addresses the Troops

After this morning’s brutal report from the British panel, you had to figure Rupert Murdoch would eventually address it with staffers. Jim Romenesko obtained a memo from Murdoch to Dow Jones employees, and here is a snippet:

I recognize that for all of us – myself in particular – it is difficult to read many of the report’s findings. But we have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes.

There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right.

We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner.

For the full memo, click through.

UK Panel: Rupert Murdoch is ‘Not Fit’ to Run Media Empire

The months of phone hacking investigations have concluded, and the result is this: Rupert Murdoch has done a lot of bad things. And that’s just us being nice. The report gathered by the British panel had a lot worse language in it.

Some choice cuts, according to The Guardian and The New York Times:

  • “On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications”

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Rupert Murdoch Apologizes for Scandal, Blames Daily News EIC Colin Myler

Rupert Murdoch, during another round of testimony before Parliament, apologized for the phone hacking scandal in one of the best ways to apologize that we’ve ever come across. Murdoch, according to The New York Times, said that he “was very sorry about it” and that he wished he could apologize “to a lot of people, including all the innocent people” at News of the World.

He also referred to the scandal as “a serious blot on my reputation.” Then he turned around and blamed Colin Myler, current Editor-in-Chief of The New York Daily News, and former editor of News of the World.

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Harold Evans Replies to Rupert Murdoch’s Statements

The feud between Harold Evans, former editor of London’s The Times and Sunday Times, and Rupert Murdoch, who acquired the papers in 1981, still has plenty of legs. Today, Murdoch was testifying before Parliament about his ties to political parties, and when the subject of Evans’ book — Good Times, Bad Times — came up, Murdoch got visibly annoyed.

Evans’ book details the strained relationship between Evans and Murdoch for what Evans described as Murdoch’s desire to heavily influence the paper’s contents. Murdoch denied Evans’ claims today, saying that his leadership methods were “decentralized.”

Evans, who is married to Tina Brown, took to The Daily Beast to address Murdoch’s statements and bluntly let him have it:

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Daily News EIC Under Fire for Allegedly Intimidating UK Investigators

Colin Myler, the New York Daily News’ Editor-in-Chief and former News of The World editor, is coming under fire for allegedly intimidating British investigators. The Guardian reports that while Myler was editor of News of The World, he attempted to bully officials who were investigating the paper for phone hacking.

Myler allegedly asked a group of six reporters to find whatever “dirt” they could on those probing the paper, such as if they were doing anything illegal themselves, or if they were gay. Myler testified to Parliament that the phone hacking at News of The World was the result of one rogue person, so these new allegations will certainly cast further doubt on his statements.

As a New York profile of Myler points out, this isn’t the first time he has been challenged for his methods:

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