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Newspapers Are Murdoch's Tools of War, Says Journalist Afshin Rattansi


RT, Published: 17 July, 2011, 01:53
Edited: 17 July, 2011, 11:54


United Kindom, London : News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch speaks to the media after meeting the family of murdered British school girl Milly Dowler in London, on July 15, 2011 (AFP Photo / Ben Stansall)

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Rupert Murdoch is rapidly losing allies on both sides of the Atlantic, with his media empire under pressure from all sides. Journalist Afshin Rattansi believes Murdoch still has some “ammunition” to battle his enemies.

­“[Murdoch] basically had newspapers so that he could manipulate monopoly concerns over his broadcast interests which actually did make money unlike the newspapers. Newspapers are just tools of war,” Rattansi said. “It is interesting that he owns these newspapers and they always say Rupert Murdoch loves newspapers.”

“He has lots of enemies out there,” Rattansi added. “He probably has lots of ammunition to hurl back at them, thanks to all those muckraking journalists who spent their time looking at sex scandals.”

Rattansi admitted that Murdoch still has a lot of friends, but for him it seems like “some MPs find it unbelievable that he has the right to own any form of media in this country.”

Murdoch says sorry to murdered girl’s parents


Published: 15 July, 2011, 21:59
Edited: 16 July, 2011, 03:16


News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch speaks outside a hotel where he met the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler in central London,


July 15, 2011 (AFP Photo / Getty Images)

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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has apologized to the parents of Milly Dowler, whose phone was hacked by his journalists. He is also said to have bought full-page “We are sorry” ads in British newspapers.


­The Dowler family’s solicitor Mark Lewis said on Friday that the private meeting between the Dowlers and Murdoch had been called by Murdoch to give a full apology to the family, the Guardian newspaper reports. The BBC showed images of the News Corp head walking into a building to attend the meeting.

Lewis added the question of money did not "taint" the meeting with Rupert Murdoch, but the parents of the murdered 13-year-old girl will still be pursuing compensation. News of the World journalists had illegally accessed Milly Dowler’s phone in search of information for news stories and deleted voicemails while she was missing but before her body was found, which gave investigators and her family false hopes she might still be alive.

The session with the Dowlers came hours after Murdoch released a copy of an apology that will be printed in all British newspapers this weekend.

In the ad, Rupert Murdoch says News International is “deeply sorry for the hurt” caused to phone-hacking victims and promises to “take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused.” The text of the ad was obtained on Friday by Sky News, which is partly owned by Murdoch.


Earlier on Friday, the chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks resigned, saying she is “sorry… for what we now know to have taken place.” Brooks, who is the highest-ranked official so far to leave their post due to the scandal, will be replaced by Tom Mockridge of Sky Italia.

Rebekah Brooks has agreed to answer questions next Tuesday at a UK parliamentary committee. Rupert and James Murdoch have also agreed to appear after the committee issued formal summonses to them.


British police report seven people have been arrested in their investigation of the phone-hacking scandal, and two others in a parallel investigation of alleged bribery of police officers for information. A list of 3,700 names regarded as potential victims has been recovered by investigators, but so far the police have been in touch with fewer than 200 people, according to the Associated Press.

Besides the two investigations running in the UK, the FBI is reviewing the possible hacking of 9/11 victims’ phones.

FBI opens probe of News Corp. over alleged 9/11 hacks


Published: 15 July, 2011, 01:17


News Corporation headquarters is seen in Manhattan on July 14, 2011 in New York City (AFP Photo / Getty Images)

As allegations escalate about even more wrong doings carried out by the staff of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, the FBI formally opened up an investigation in the US today on possible hacks carried out by News Corp. in the States.


A source confirmed to the New York Times today that, following requests from members of Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York offices have started a probe to investigate conduct perhaps perpetrated by News Corp. involving illegal wiretapping and other phone tomfoolery.


Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller said on Tuesday of this week that he was willing to “bet” that Murdoch’s News Corp. attempted to perform unauthorized wiretaps on the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks and make efforts to obtain phone records.

Rockefeller waged that investigators could “find some criminal stuff” if they began a probe.

The Times reports that Republican Representative Peter T King of Long Island issued a letter to FBI Director Robert S Mueller III on Wednesday asking that the bureau begin a probe of News Corp. immediately about the allegations. This comes days after a reporter at London’s Daily Mirror first made allegations that Murdoch and company sought to obtain 9/11-related records by illegal endeavors.


In his letter to the FBI, Rep. King says that is is his “duty to discern every fact behind these allegations,” noting that his congressional district lost more than 150 people due to the 9/11 attacks.


Referencing the Daily Mirror piece, King says that “If these allegations are proven true, the conduct would merit felony charges for attempting to violate various federal statutes related to corruption of public officials and prohibitions against wiretapping. Any person found guilty of this purported conduct should receive the harshest sanctions available under law.”


Concerns about News Corp. mischief in the States has materialized in recent days following revelations that Murdoch’s corporation hacked into the voicemail of a teenage murder victim in the UK. Since that news surfaced, other allegations have since developed. Murdoch withdrew from a massive media takeover once that scandal broke.


The FBI has not issued any official comments on the investigation, though sources with knowledge of the bureau confirmed the probe to the press this afternoon.

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