New York Times: News Corp.’s Soft Power in the U.S.

-by David Carr

August 7, 2011- Over the last month, many Americans watched from a distance in horror or amusement as it became evident that the News Corporation regarded Britain’s legal and political institutions as its own private club.

That could never happen in the United States, right?

As it turns out, a News Corporation division has twice come under significant civil and criminal investigations in the United States, but neither inquiry went anywhere. Given what has happened in Britain with the growing phone-hacking scandal, it is worth wondering why.

Both cases involve News America Marketing, an obscure but lucrative division of the News Corporation that is a big player in the business of retail marketing, including newspaper coupon inserts and in-store promotions. The company has come under scrutiny for a pattern of conduct that includes below-cost pricing, paying customers not to do business with competitors and accusations of computer hacking.

The Telegraph: Phone hacking: 'Rupert Murdoch tells Rebekah Brooks to travel the world’

Rebekah Brooks will not comment on claims she is still drawing a News International salary. 

-By Tim Walker

August 6, 2011- A big song and dance was made of Rebekah Brooks’s belated decision to resign as the chief executive of News International as the phone-hacking scandal engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s empire, but it has not had any great effect upon her standard of living. I am reliably informed that she remains on the company payroll.

“My understanding is that Rupert has told her to travel the world on him for a year and then he will find a job for her when the scandal has died down,” whispers my informant.

When I call News International to inquire if Brooks is still on the payroll, they refer me to her personal publicist at Bell Pottinger. “We’re offering no comment on your query regarding Rebekah,” Steve Double tells me, helpfully.

Eamonn Holmes’s adviser

After he had his lawyers prevail upon the impressionist Jon Culshaw to desist from lampooning him for being fat, Eamonn Holmes, the Sky News presenter, has turned to Antonio Carluccio for dieting tips.

Huffington Post: Phone Hacking Suits Against Trinity Mirror, Piers Morgan's Former Employer, Looming

-by Jill Lawless

August 5, 2011- Several alleged victims of tabloid phone hacking in Britain will soon file lawsuits against a second newspaper group, Piers Morgan's former employer Trinity Mirror PLC, their lawyer said Friday.

Mark Lewis said the claims would be filed in "a few weeks," but would not disclose identities of his clients or say precisely when the papers would be presented at court.

Lewis represents the family of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl abducted and murdered by a pedophile in 2002. The revelation a month ago that her voicemail messages had been accessed by the News of the World tabloid while she was still missing outraged British opinion, and triggered a crisis for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The phone hacking scandal centers on allegations that journalists eavesdropped on private phone messages, bribed police for information and hacked email accounts.

So far the crisis has centered on Murdoch's media empire, leading him to shut down the News of the World and abandon a bid to take over British Sky Broadcasting. Several former executives of the newspaper have been arrested by police investigating the eavesdropping.

The Independent: Andy Coulson vetted by investigator linked to News International

Man who cleared the former editor for Downing Street was once paid by Murdoch

-by James Hanning, Jane Merrick and Matthew Bell

August 7, 2011- Andy Coulson was cleared for work at No 10 Downing Street last year after an investigator who had also done work for News International (NI) carried out his vetting, the IoS can reveal.

Mr Coulson, David Cameron's media chief, who resigned in January as the phone-hacking scandal developed, was scrutinised by an experienced investigator with strong links to both the Security Services and to the newspaper group that owned the News of the World, which Mr Coulson had previously edited.

The revelation is certain to renew controversy about Mr Cameron's 2007 decision to appoint Mr Coulson months after the former journalist's resignation as editor of the paper when two men were sent to prison for phone hacking.

The vetting process, which took place around the time of last year's election, gave Mr Coulson the green light to work alongside the Prime Minister in Downing Street and to see certain secret documents.

The Guardian: Phone-hacking scandal: NoW exec Stuart Kuttner bailed after arrest

Former managing editor and one-time public face of the News of the World released on bail until later this month

-by Amelia Hill 

August 2, 2011- Stuart Kuttner, the public face of the News of the World and its most vocal public defender for 22 years, has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking and of bribing police officers to leak sensitive information.

As managing editor until his resignation in July 2009, Kuttner was in charge of finances at the now-defunct tabloid.

Kuttner, 71, was described at the time of his resignation by the last editor of the newspaper, Colin Myler, as a man whose "DNA is absolutely integrated into the newspaper which he has represented across the media with vigour".

Kuttner reportedly did not know he was going to be taken into custody when he arrived by appointment at a police station in London on Tuesday at 11am for questioning. Police were later seen searching his home in Woodford, Essex.

Police from operations Weeting (the investigation into phone hacking) and Elveden (concerning allegations of inappropriate payments to police), are understood to have arrested Kuttner, who has serious health problems and recently returned from treatment in the US.

BBC News: Detective firm invoiced Mirror 230 times in two years

-by  Robert Peston

August 4, 2011- Most of the Hackgate coverage has been about alleged illegal behaviour by News of the World journalists and the private detective it employed, Glenn Mulcaire.

However, there is a related issue which will be probed by Lord Justice Leveson, who has been asked by the prime minister to examine the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

According to sources close to Lord Justice Leveson, he will be looking at the extent to which newspapers used private detectives instead of journalists to ferret out information.

He is expected to take a view about whether this is an appropriate way to behave, and whether readers should be informed that stories have been obtained by hired detectives rather than through more conventional journalistic enquiries.

It is in that context that the BBC has been investigating the employment by the Daily Mirror in the late 1990s of a controversial firm of private detectives, Southern Investigations, whose boss Jonathan Rees was jailed in 2000 for conspiring to plant cocaine on an innocent person.

Huffington Post: Piers Morgan Asked To Return To Britain To Answer Phone Hacking Allegations

-by Raphael G. Satter

August 4, 2011- Former Beatle Paul McCartney said Thursday he would contact police over his ex-wife's claim that the couple had been spied upon by a British newspaper.

In comments to U.S. television journalists delivered via videolink from Cincinnati, Ohio, McCartney said that he would be in touch with law enforcement as soon as he was finished with his summer tour.

"I will be talking to them about that," McCartney told the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles, just hours before a perfomance.

"I don't think it's great. I do think it is a horrendous violation of privacy, and I do think it's been going on a long time, and I do think more people than we know knew about it. But I think I should just listen and hear what the facts are before I comment," he said.

McCartney is the latest celebrity to be dragged into Britain's phone hacking scandal, which centers on allegations that journalists routinely eavesdropped on private phone messages, bribed police officers for tips and illegally obtained confidential information for stories.

Reuters: Paul McCartney says appears to be phone hacking victim

-By Jill Serjeant

August 5, 2011- Former Beatle Paul McCartney said on Thursday that he appears to be a victim of the newspaper phone hacking scandal in Britain and will be talking to police when he finishes a U.S. tour.

Speaking to journalists in Los Angeles via satellite from Ohio, McCartney said he did not have the full facts but called phone hacking by British newspaper journalists a "horrendous invasion of privacy."

"When I go back (to Britain) after this (U.S.) tour, I am going to talk to the police because apparently I have been hacked," McCartney said.

"I don't know much about it because they won't tell anyone except the person themselves. So I will be talking to them about that.

"I do think it's horrendous violation of privacy. I do think it has been going on for a long time and I do think more people than we know knew about it. But I think I should just listen and hear what the facts are before I comment," McCartney told reporters gathered in Los Angeles for a bi-annual meeting of television critics.

Huffington Post: Heather Mills Alleges Mirror Group Hacked Her Phone During Piers Morgan's Daily Mirror Editorship

-by Katherine Fung

August 3, 2011- Heather Mills, Paul McCartney's ex-wife has alleged that a senior journalist from the newspaper group that owns The Daily Mirror—along with many other papers in Britain—admitted to hacking her voicemail in 2001—while CNN host Piers Morgan was running the paper.

Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Mills recounted that a Mirror Group journalist had called her asking about an argument between her and her then-boyfriend Sir Paul McCartney, "quoting verbatim the messages from my machine." Mills said the journalist admitted to hacking the voice mails after she questioned where the journalist had gotten their information and threatened to go to the police if the material was published.

Mills said the journalist told her, "OK, OK, yeah we did hear it on your voice messages, I won't run it."

New York Magazine: Murdoch Hacked Us Too

The News Corp. scandal already exposed just how thoroughly the company had corrupted Britain. Now it’s time to look on this side of the pond.

-By Frank Rich

July 31, 2011- When I was offered a job as a film critic for the New York Post in 1975, it had just been labeled �a terrible newspaper� by Nora Ephron in her media column for Esquire. Having been a Post reporter, she knew whereof she spoke. Dolly Schiff, the paper’s legendary dowager-in-chief, was notorious for being cheap, petty, whimsical, and, somewhat more fetchingly, a rumored onetime paramour of FDR. Her paper was a rapidly declining asset�a staunchly liberal tabloid chasing after a hypothetical middlebrow afternoon readership too highfalutin for the Daily News and yet insufficiently titillated by the sober New York Times. I knew Nora and asked her if I should really take the plunge into a newsroom she had so convincingly portrayed as a hellhole. She advised, wisely: Well, why not? I was 25 that spring and had nothing to lose except my innocence.

RAW Story: Frank Rich: Murdoch and O’Reilly are ‘thugs’

-by David Edwards

August 2, 2011- New York magazine writer Frank Rich explained Monday that Rupert Murdoch’s unethical business practices weren’t limited to just Britain.

“I think that we’re deluding ourselves if we think the whole Murdoch culture has not spread to America,” Rich told HLN’s Joy Behar. “We’re reading all this sort of exotic stuff about having British police on the payroll. Bernie Kerik was on the Murdoch payroll. He had a huge advance from Harper Collins. And you know, the piece I’ve written in New York that’s out today, I talk about the bullying things that they do. It’s not just about politics. It’s not just about Fox being right wing. It’s about them going after people who are personal enemies, Bill O’Reilly having producers stalk people on the street.”

“Liberals love to criticize Fox because it’s not fair and balanced and all that. They like to criticize the Post because it’s very right wing. Forget about the politics. This is about power and money, punishing enemies that they don’t like, for reasons that could be personal or business, not just political.”

Huffington Post: Stuart Kuttner, Former NOTW Editor, Arrested Over Phone Hacking

-by Jill Lawless

August 2, 2011- Detectives investigating phone hacking and police bribery at defunct British tabloid the News of the World on Tuesday arrested the newspaper's former managing editor, police and British media said Tuesday.

He is the latest in a string of executives to be questioned about wrongdoing at the muckraking Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper.

The Metropolitan Police said a 71-year-old man had been arrested by appointment Tuesday morning at a London police station. They did not name him in keeping with the British police practice of not identifying suspects who have not been charged.

Sky News, which is 39 percent owned by the newspaper's parent company, News Corp., identified him as former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner. Kuttner retired in 2009 after 29 years at the News of the World, 22 of them as managing editor.

News International – Murdoch's British newspaper division – would not confirm the arrested man's identity.

The man was questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications – phone hacking – and on suspicion of corruption, which relates to claims that journalists bribed police officers for information. He was released on bail a few hours later pending further questioning later this month, police said.