The Noose Tightens Around News Corp—Is FOX News Next?
Last week, we outlined the admitted (and denied) criminal allegations at News Corp and issued a first-in-the-nation call for an FBI investigation. Since that modest beginning, calls for a U.S. investigation of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire have exploded. And the public outrage shows no signs of stopping.
U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller, Barbara Boxer, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg (all Democrats) have called for various investigations. "My bet is we'll find some criminal stuff," Senator Rockefeller told CNN. "This is going to be a huge issue."
In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Frank Lautenberg called on the Department of Justice to investigate New Corp for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA.) Lautenberg was joined by Senator Boxer, who also asked for the FCPA investigation.
Under FCPA, Murdoch and company—particularly son James Murdoch and executive Rebekah Brooks—could be found guilty of US crimes for bribing police officers in England. Penalties are stiff—up to $30 million in fines to the corporation and 20 year in prison for the perpetrators. There is every reason to believe that a concrete case of police bribery will be made in England. No one yet knows how high it will go, either in the police or at News Corp.
Senator Bob Menendez is concerned with US-based crimes against 9/11 families. In a letter to Eric Holder the senator writes, “The U.S. government must ensure that victims in the United States have not been subjected to illegal and unconscionable actions...” Is he asking about criminal activity by British News Corp? Or is he asking about phone hacking by U.S. News Corp? So far it’s just News International. That paper is another British paper owned by Murdoch, not The News of the World, the now defunct paper at the center of the scandal.
Even a Republican Representative, perennial blowhard and Muslim hunter Peter King, has joined the fray. In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, king called Murdoch’s brand of “fair and balanced” more akin to a criminal enterprise. “According the recent reports, journalists working for the News of the World solicited a New York police officer to gain access to the content of private phone records of 9/11 victims,” wrote King. “It is revolting to imagine that members of the media would seek to compromise the integrity of a public official for financial gain in the pursuit of yellow journalism,” He also said the allegations, could merit “felony charges.”Continued on the next page