POLITIK | Newsweek har publicerat ett bearbetat utdrag från David Folkenfliks bok Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.
Där blir det tydligt hur insyltad Rupert Murdochs medieimperium News International är med den politiska världen. En av dessa nyckelfigurer – och Murdochs skyddsling – är Rebekah Brooks.
Många politikerna har varit rädda för att stöta sig med tidningarna som lätt kan användas för att bedriva negativa kampanja mot både politiker och partier.
Uppgifter som dykt upp i efterdyningarna av avslöjanden om journalisternas avlyssning av personer i offentligheten, men även av privatpersoner, visar att oavsett vem som sitter i 10 Downing Street har alla strävat efter att ställa in sig hos Murdoch.
Det var först efter Murdoch och Brooks var skadeskjutna som politikerna vågade ge igen för gammal ost.
Several lawmakers with the Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media, and Sport told reporters they decided against compelling her testimony in part because Murdoch had privately warned that her papers might retaliate by investigating their personal lives.
Brooks and [hennes första man Ross] Kemp favored Tony Blair’s New Labour, and she befriended Prime Minister Blair, his wife Cherie, and Blair’s close friend and fierce rival Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah. Brooks and Kemp split after Kemp’s confession of marital infidelity, and Brooks took up with Charlie Brooks, an Eton classmate of the leader of the opposition, the Conservative David Cameron.
The Brooks rented homes on the grounds of Blenheim, the Churchill family’s estate, and Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where they dined with Cameron and other leading Tory and media figures, including James and Elisabeth Murdoch. Charlie Brooks raised horses, and soon Rebekah was riding too. In one text to Brooks, Cameron wrote, “The horse CB put me on – fast unpredictable and hard to control – but fun.”
In the wake of a key address by Cameron, Brooks cheered him on: “Brilliant speech. I cried twice. Will love working together.” Later, Brooks tutored the prime minister in the protocol of their modern communiqués. “Occasionally, he would sign them off, LOL—‘Lots of love,’ ” she said, “until I told him it meant ‘laugh out loud.’ ”
In August 2008 Cameron flew on the private plane of Elisabeth’s husband, Matthew Freud, a London public relations executive, to the Greek isle of Santorini and met on his yacht with Murdoch and his inner circle.
Cameron attended Brooks’s June 2009 wedding. So did the prime minister, Brown. A month later, the Murdochs elevated her to become CEO of News International.
On July 8, 2011 [Cameron] announced investigations into hacking by police and MPs, and a broad-ranging inquiry into the practices and ethics of the press.
“Because party leaders were so keen to win the support of newspapers, we turned a blind eye to the need to sort [out] this issue,” Cameron said. “The people in power knew things weren’t right. But they didn’t do enough quickly enough – until the full mess of the situation was revealed.” Cameron said if he were in Murdoch’s position, he would have accepted Brooks’s resignation.
[Gordon] Brown declared The Sunday Times had misrepresented itself to obtain his private financial records. There were suggestions the Sun paid hospital workers to secure documents confirming his infant son had cystic fibrosis. He said he had been punished for challenging the company’s plans for consolidation.
The scandal, Brown said, was “not the misconduct of a few rogues or a few freelancers but, I have to say, lawbreaking often on an industrial scale, at its worst dependent on links with the British criminal underworld.”
By February last year, News International’s containment strategy had crumbled. The effort to contain scrutiny to a single reporter and investigator had failed. So had attempts to limit attention to a single newspaper and to protect Rebekah Brooks. Anyone without the last name Murdoch was expendable.
In mid-February, police arrested nine Sun reporters and editors on suspicion of having bribed a breathtaking array of government and law enforcement officials. On February 27, the Leveson judicial inquiry released emails from 2006 suggesting Rebekah Brooks knew Glenn Mulcaire had been paid more than 1 million pounds to hack into cell phones for News of the World. Two days later, James Murdoch resigned from News International.
Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 28 oktober-4 november 2013.