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‘Murdoch’s Watergate?’: “The Most Important Story in the World in the Last 25 Years”

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 13, 2011 8:54 AM |

Although I write primarily on issues directly relating to finance and the economy with a particular focus on investor education and investor protection, when “the most important story in the world in the last 25 years” comes along, as Carl Bernstein has asserted, I am compelled to address it.

I have been busy since January 2009 highlighting the endless assault on our prized virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity.

No corner of our global economic landscape has been protected from these assaults. That said, while the scandal centered on the News Corporation may not seem to be a financial or economic story, it is very clearly a story which takes the assault on our prized virtues to an entirely new level. Let’s navigate.

Who better to comment on this enormous and explosive story than one of the writers who investigated and exposed perhaps the biggest story of the prior 25 years, that being Watergate? Carl Bernstein writes and inquires in this week’s edition of Newsweek of Murdoch’s Watergate?.

This is a MUST read for many reasons but ultimately because of the massive implications on so many parts of our social, political, and financial landscape along with the indescribable violation of our aforementioned prized virtues.

Bernstein hits Rupert Murdoch hard in writing,

Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy. Private detectives and phone hackers do not become the primary sources of a newspaper’s information without the tacit knowledge and approval of the people at the top, all the more so in the case of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to those who know him best.

As you read it, I encourage you to ponder this story in the context of our regular commentary and discussions here at Sense on Cents. I ask once again:

1. Whom do you trust?

2. Are there individuals on our side of the pond quaking in their boots wondering if this story may come over here? Would we be so naive to think that if this hacking of private individuals’ personal information occurred in the UK, that it has not and does not occur here in the United States?

3. Within this story but then also at large, what is the nature of relationships at work? Are those relationships figuratively incestuous?

4. How does this story impact the management of Murdoch’s prized holdings here in the United States, specifically The New York Post, Fox News, and the financial fortress that is The Wall Street Journal?

5. How might individuals within the incestuous web that encompasses our financial and political industries have benefited from media relationships and how has our society as a whole suffered?

6. Is this once again an example that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?

7. Does the end ever justify the means?

Read it and weep, Murdoch’s Watergate?

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Dieter


    What’s going on? You are becoming one of my best sources for real hard news. I haven’t read Newsweek in years, but put it on my ‘favourites’ after reading Bernstein’s ‘must read’ article. America is counting on patriots like YOU. Keep up the good work!

  • LD

    News of the World GC Quits in Midst of Phone Hacking Scandal

    In the wake of the hacking and bribery scandal that shuttered News of the World last week, the legal manager of News Corp’s UK newspaper arm has left the company. Tom Crone, a senior News International executive for the past 26 years, oversaw editorial legal matters for both The Sun and News of the World newspapers.

    Sources familiar with Crone’s work told Reuters that he would have been responsible for approving the content on many of the front pages of the two tabloids.

    According to the Guardian, Crone’s departure follows a statement from NOTW boss James Murdoch last week implying that bad advice from Crone might’ve led to a £700,000 settlement with hacking victim Gordon Taylor in 2008. Overall, it’s been a rough summer for Murdoch’s legal team—News Corp general counsel Lawrence “Lon” Jacobs announced a sudden resignation just over a month ago.

    The Guardian reports that the Taylor settlement was the first evidence that hacking had spread beyond royal reporter Clive Goodman. “The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me,” said Murdoch in a statement. “I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret.”

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