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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

POLITIK | Newsweek har publicerat ett bearbetat utdrag från David Folkenfliks bok Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

Newsweek 28 okt - 4 nov 2013

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.

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NEWS CORP. | För två år sedan såg hela Rupert Murdochs medieimperium ut att vara hotat. Idag står han starkare än någonsin.

Bloomber Businessweek den 22-28 april 2013

I juli 2011 var han tvungen att inför en panel av parlamentsledamöter svara på förödmjukande frågor om den telefonavlyssning man ägnat sig åt på bl.a. News of the World.

Bara dagarna innan hade man tagit beslutet att lägga ner tidningen.

Men idag har Sun on Sunday – Murdochs senaste publikation i Storbritannien – fler läsare än konkurrerande söndagstidningar.

Felix Gillette, Bloomberg Businessweek, skriver:

“We started off with phone hacking, and along the way the business of police corruption, long suspected, also came out in the public,” says Claire Enders, the founder of the London-based media research firm Enders Analysis. “These issues have grown and grown without there being any commensurate damage. It’s simply unbelievable.”

Today, Murdoch survives at the helm of a global entertainment and publishing company that, far from being diminished, has soared in value. The day before Murdoch appeared in Parliament, the stock closed at $14.96 a share. On April 12 it closed at $31.54. The company is now valued at $73 billion. Revenue and earnings are up. The company has $3.3 billion in cash. Since July 19, 2011, the Murdoch family’s 38 percent stake of News Corp. Class B voting shares has grown in value from $5.1 billion to $9.5 billion.

Given his track record, it should come as no surprise that Murdoch has slipped away. “Time and again when his plans have gone awry and he has found himself facing calamity, his superb survival skills have saved him,” the Australian journalist Neil Chenoweth wrote in a biography of Murdoch published in 2002. “Just before he hits the wall … he feints this way and that, and then he sets off with undiminished speed in a new direction. This is Murdoch’s genius: not that he gets into a jam, but that he is able to walk away afterward, an implausible winner.”

[…]

“The big win for Murdoch is that as much coverage as it got in the U.S., the crisis didn’t jump the Atlantic,” says [advokaten och krishanteraren Richard] Levick. “They were able to cordon it off as largely a British story.”

In February 2012, seven months after closing News of the World, Murdoch rolled out a new Sunday version of his daily tabloid the Sun—effectively reoccupying the niche his company had made such a big deal of leaving. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, between September 2012 and February 2013, the Sun averaged 2.3 million daily readers—significantly more than its closest rivals, the Daily Mail (1.8 million readers) and the Daily Mirror (1 million). Over the same time period, the Sun on Sunday has averaged 1.9 million readers, topping its competitors, the Mail on Sunday (1.7 million) and the Sunday Mirror (1 million). Murdoch’s papers may not be as popular as they were before the crisis, but, then again, few newspapers are.

The first half of the Leveson Inquiry—the government’s investigation into the press’s role in phone hacking—has come and gone. The second laborious chapter, which will focus on the role of the police, will take place at some later date. Meanwhile, Murdoch remains the most read publisher in the U.K.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Businessweek den 22-28 april 2013.

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VAL 2016 | Jakten på nästa republikanska presidentkandidat är redan i full gång. Förutom Paul Ryan finns idag bara två riktigt starka förhandsfavoriter.

Time, 21 januari 2013

Chris Christie, som är guvernör i New Jersey, porträtterades i Time av Michael Crowley:

For much of his governorship, Christie’s unfiltered persona has been a mixed bag. His willingness to snap back at questioners in public forums has at times seemed fearless but has also carried a nasty whiff of New Jersey Turnpike road rage. Christie recently expressed regret for calling one ­aggressive ­questioner—who turned out to be a former Navy SEAL—an “idiot.” Still, it was part of his charm that Christie could be candid about his shortcomings, ­talking freely about his weight. (“Man up and say I’m fat” was his response to a 2009 campaign ad by his rival that featured a veiled reference to his mass.) With buzz that he might run for President in the air, Christie even told an interviewer in 2010 that he was “not ready” to be President. While endearing, talk like that has led some Republicans to wonder whether he is disciplined enough to complete a White House run.

But what many Americans have seen in Christie is what they don’t see in Obama: someone who is decisive and unfiltered and doesn’t think the world is an impossibly complex place. He may be wrong, he may be right, but he’s never in doubt. It was Sandy that evoked the best part of Christie’s raw persona. If he could be an overbearing bully in political arguments, he was an open hydrant of empathy in the wake of disaster. In the days after the storm, Christie toured nonstop among downed power lines and wrecked boardwalks, doling out countless bear hugs to shattered survivors. It helped a lot that his connection to the devastated areas was authentic. “The pier with the rides where I took my kids this August before the Republican Convention, where I got into that famous yelling match with the guy who was buying an ice cream cone?” Christie reminded reporters. “Those rides are in the Atlantic Ocean.”

Within days, Obama visited the state. Although Christie had delivered the keynote address at the Republican National Convention and campaigned for Romney, Christie and Obama seemed to bond, flying over storm-ravaged areas in Marine One and exchanging robust compliments. Romney campaign aides fumed that Christie was allowing Obama to play the part of nonpartisan crisis manager just days before the election, and Rupert Murdoch warned on Twitter that Christie would have to “take blame for the next four dire years” if Obama was re-elected. But at home, Christie was celebrated for putting the state’s need for swift aid from Washington ahead of campaign politics.

Ett annat stort namn bland många republikaner idag är senator Marco Rubio från Florida. Han har fördelen att tillhöra en familj med immigrantbakgrund.

Time, 18 februari 2013

Dessutom bor han i ett område med immigranter och är gift med en kvinna med en liknande bakrund.

Bättre kan det inte vara för ett parti som är av desperat behov av att bygga upp förtroendet bland USA:s minoriteter. Inte minst den snabbt växande spansktalande minoriteten.

Michael Grunwald, skriver i Time:

But while Rubio is a child of immigrants, he’s also a child of the conservative movement, an ambitious ideologue and former political operative who speaks partisan Republican with the fluency of a native. (Romney, by contrast, spoke it as a second language.) Like Paul Ryan, a potential 2016 rival, he’s part of a new generation of lean and hungry conservatives who grew up in the antigovernment Reagan era and entered politics after the scorched-earth Gingrich revolution. Bipartisan compromise is not usually his thing.

So he’s navigating a borderland of his own. He has endorsed a path to citizenship that he once derided as “code for amnesty,” risking a backlash from many loyal supporters who see los pobrecitos as freeloaders. But he has also pushed to make that path more arduous, demanding much tougher enforcement first, insisting he won’t get into a who-can-be-nicest bidding war with Obama and pledging to walk away from reform if the final legislation doesn’t reflect conservative principles. In an hour-long Feb. 1 interview with TIME, he emphasized that the undocumented have no right to stay in the U.S., vowed to oppose any bill that rewards them for breaking the law and defended the motives of hard-line “shamnesty” critics who say illegal immigrants are taking taxpayers for a ride. “Someone’s violated the law, and they’re receiving taxpayer benefits? That’s a legitimate reason to be upset,” Rubio says.

It’s a thin, hard line to walk: between the Republican establishment and the base, between compassion and the rule of law, between family and politics. And Rubio is walking it on an issue no politician has cracked in nearly two decades while testing the support of the grassroots Tea Party conservatives he will need if he seeks the White House in 2016. So far, though, he seems to be succeeding. After helping to craft bipartisan reforms in the Senate, he has served as their chief spokesman on right-wing radio and Fox News, getting remarkably sympathetic hearings from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other talkers whose antiamnesty crusades helped kill similar efforts in the George W. Bush era. Almost all of them have praised his courage—Limbaugh called his work “admirable,” like a Pope granting absolution—and the backlash has yet to materialize. “I don’t know anyone else who could have broken through the conservative sound barrier on immigration,” says American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas, a Miami lawyer who gave Rubio his first job as an attorney. “Marco can do left brain, so you get the logic, and he can do right brain, so you feel it in your heart and soul.”

Bild: Ovan ser vi tidskriftsomslag från den 21 januari respektive 18 januari 2013.

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KAVALKAD |  Vem minns längre 2011? Med ”The Dumbest People, Events and Things 2011” hjälper Mad oss återuppliva några av händelserna i USA.

Satirtidskriften bjuder bl.a. på Barack Obama och kongressens ledamöter som levande döda zombies i skuggan av skuldkrisen. (The Walking Debt: They Need Braaaaaains!)

Här är också Arnold Schwarzenegger. Under fjorton år lyckades han dölja det faktum att han fått en son med hushållerskan. (”Arnold Schtups His Housekeeper: The Last Action-on-the-side Hero”).

Här är tre, numera f.d. republikanska presidentkandidater: Donald Trump (”Trump Says Obama Not American: The Born Identity”), Michele Bachmann (”Michele Bachmann Speaks: A Broken Facts Machine”) och Herman Cain (”The Pee-Wee Herman Cain Show”).

Naturligtvis hör också avlyssningsskandalen kring Rupert Murdoch hit (”News Corp Hacks Phones: Getting Away With Murdoch”).

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget och ”The 20 Dumbest …” är hämtat från nr 513, februari 2012. Mad finns på madmag.com.

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SKANDALEN kring Rupert Murdoch och nedläggningen av News of the World riskerar att få långvariga politiska konsekvenser.

Time Magazine

Premiärminister David Cameron och Tories har tappat cirka fem procent enligt en opinionsundersökning som publicerades den 20 juli. Det är knappast ointagliga siffror.

De politiska konsekvenserna av avlyssningsskandalen kommer kanske snarare att bli av en annan karaktär. The Economist skriver:

A more realistic dread for Mr Cameron than an outright breakdown of trust with his electorate is that the hacking furore will paralyse public life for an indefinite period. The prime minister had to cut short a trip to Africa to take charge at home. Parliament, due for its summer recess, was recalled for a day. Mr Cameron’s unveiling of his white paper on public-service reform on July 11th was ignored. In Sir Paul [Stephenson] and Mr [John] Yates, Britain has lost an acclaimed Met commissioner and its most senior counter-terror officer, just a year before the Olympic games turns London into an even bigger terrorist target than usual. The broad inquiry launched by Mr Cameron, led by Lord Justice Leveson and featuring former journalists and media regulators, could bog government down for months. Criminal trials of the main actors, such as Mr Coulson, could do the same.

[…]

Slickness, evasiveness and proximity to media elites have always been part of the Cameron brand—he spent seven years as a public-relations adviser, after all. That voters probably had lower ethical expectations of him to begin with could, perversely, help him now.

[…]

Mr Cameron has been mocked for his crisis management, but this misses the point. He generally thrives in a crisis; his Commons performance was not the only backs-to-the-wall triumph in his career. But his complacency—the dark side of his vast self-belief—makes him hopeless at avoiding crises in the first place. This year he has ditched bad or unpopular policies on health care and crime that were cooked up while he was paying scant attention last year. Similarly, he probably hired Mr Coulson not through any amoral calculation but because he did not think through the risks involved.

Tidskriftsomslagen ovan är från Time (”Tabloid Bites Man”, 25 juli 2011), Newsweek (”Rupert’s Red Menace” och ”How We Broke the Murdoch Scandal”, den 25 juli 2011), Bloomberg Businessweek (”Murdoch’s Mess”, 18 juli 2011) och The Economist (”Last of the Moguls”, 23 juli 2011).

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UNDER LÖRDAGEN publicerade Rupert Murdochs helsidesannonser i nationella tidningar där han ber om ursäkt för avlyssningsskandalen. Och ber den gamla räven om ursäkt vet vi att det är kris på riktigt!

Lisa O’Carroll på The Guardian har tittat på hur Murdoch så här långt har försökt hantera krisen med News of the World.

Full-page apologies in national newspapers, the departure of two of his most trusted lieutenants and a face-to-face meeting with the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler herald a fresh tack in Rupert Murdoch’s campaign to get a grip on the phone-hacking crisis.

[…]

Whatever his motivation it marks a considerable volte-face for the 80-year-old who only two days ago went on the offensive pronouncing he had handled the crisis ”extremely well in every way possible”.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday he went on the attack, claiming the damage to the company was ”nothing that will not be recovered” and that only ”minor mistakes” had been made in the last fortnight.

Now it’s a different story – contrition is the order of the day. 

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ED MILIBAND har krävt att David Camerons agerar med anledning av att hans stabschef Ed Llewellyn tydligen blev varnad för att inte anställa Andy Coulson som kommunikationschef p.g.a. hans agerande under tiden som redaktör på Rupert Murdochs News of the World.

Avlyssningsskandalen rullar vidare men en sak är dock ur världen för Cameron. Murdochs mediekoncern News Corporation har nämligen meddelat att man nu drar tillbaka sitt bud på satellitkanalen BSkyB. Affären skulle ha krävt den brittiska regeringens godkännande.

Andrew Sparrow på The Guardian summerar premiärministerns frågestund så här:

Ed Miliband has accused Cameron of making a ”catastrophic error of judgment” when he gave Andy Coulson a post in Downing Street. At PMQs, Miliband accused Cameron of ignoring warnings his staff had received from the Guardian about Coulson. Cameron claimed the Guardian warning ”contained no allegations directly linking Andy Coulson to illegal behaviour, it didn’t shed any further light on the issue of phone hacking so it wasn’t drawn to my attention by my office”. In response, Miliband said Cameron ”just doesn’t get it”. Cameron replied that Miliband did not get it. ”What the public want us to do is address this firestorm,” Cameron said. ”They want us to sort out bad practices at the media, they want us to fix corruption in the police, they want a proper public inquiry. And they are entitled to ask: when these problems went on so long, for so many years, what was it that happened in the last decade?”

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