One wonders what the closed boardroom meetings must be like at News International headquarters. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for those. It seems the alleged unscrupulous world of Murdoch’s empire continues apace. This time the Sun newspaper – Britain’s most widely read rag – is at the heart of a new series of investigations and allegations. The UK loves a solid MI5/Scotland Yard scandal and this one just keeps going.
Key staff members at the Sun, including ‘five senior journalists’ and the deputy editor, Geoff Webster, have been arrested in London on allegations that they offered bribes to public officials including members of the Surrey police force. If this sounds like an evolving pulp novel, a la L.A. Confidential, you may be right. As the Guardian newspaper reported, ‘The arrests have prompted speculation that News Corp, News International’s US-based parent company, may be forced to consider closing the Sun, as it did with the News Of The World, in an attempt to protect the Murdoch empire.’ The one interesting twist is that News Corp issued a statement saying their own standards committee had provided information to the authorities leading to the arrests. A valid attempt of Murdoch’s cadre to show transparent journalistic practices, or a pre-emptive effort to quell the dirt that they know investigators will find eventually anyway?
A spokesman for the National Union of Journalists admitted the collective anger of his brethren, with News Corps’ fingers pointing at ‘individuals’ rather than a corrupt Murdoch culture. The witch hunt continues, but Murdoch and Co. will have an increasingly difficult time shifting blame.