Ruppert Murdoch: “Paying bribes is the culture of my business”
Bribery undermines the Murdoch media empire
Detectives from Scotland Yard are seeking a secret recording in which billionaire, Ruppert Murdoch, admitted that wiretapping practices and paying bribes to British officials in exchange for exclusive newspaper coverage is a culture in the business of newspapers he owns which includes The Sun and The Times, among others.
The billionaire Rupert Murdoch reads a copy of The Times, part of his communication empire
The billionaire media empire of Rupert Murdoch, which includes, among others, the British newspaper The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, The Australian morning, the U.S. Fox News and the financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal, is now caught in a bit of a sticky wicket after the Murdoch, age 82, admitted that in his vast media companies there exists a culture of corruption, bribery and illegal wiretapping.
A team of detectives from Scotland Yard are seeking access to a secret recording in which Murdoch journalists admitted to The Sun that practices to bribe officials and police in exchange for exclusive journalistic “is part of an expanded culture ” on Fleet Street, the journalistic center of London.
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In the recording, which was played in parts of the English Channel, Channel 4, the media entrepreneur acknowledged being aware of such practices bribes.
The admission was made in March of this year at a meeting with Murdoch and a score of reporters and Sun executives, many of whom were arrested over allegations of illegal eavesdropping, bribery and corruption that has engulfed the media group were present.
Sixty journalists and officials in the UK have been arrested for telephone wiretapping. Al least 60 journalists and civil servants in the UK have been arrested in connection with Operation Elveden, which arose from a previous scandal over phone hacking by journalists of thousands of celebrities, athletes, politicians, members of the armed forces and the general population.
The first bit of the scandal broke in July 2011 which resulted in closure of the English Sunday News of the World, part of Murdoch’s media empire and considered the most widely read and populist weekly Britain. The Sunday celebrated more than 100 years in circulation and closure shook the country’s political world, mainly by the news of the Murdoch ties with “establishments” of power, including ex-prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
In the secret recording, which was accessed on Channel 4, Murdoch admitted:
“We are talking about exclusive payment for journalism: this is something that has been happening for hundreds of years. You (Sun journalists) did not instigate this practice existed ” (http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/mundo/item/casos-de-soborno-minan-el-imperio-de-medios-de-murdoch.html).
In another part of the conversation, the billionaire said that any journalist convicted and sentenced in connection with the police investigation would certainly be hired again by the media group News International, which Murdoch controls. Murdoch said in the recording
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“I will do everything in my power to support them, even if they are convicted and given six months or whatever (of punishment in prison).
He then added that “all cops are incompetent” (ibid).
However, News Corporation has previously denied that the employer had prior knowledge of cases of bribery by their journalists and police officials.
Labor MP, Tom Watson, one of the leading movers and shakers in the country, and one who has campaigned for an end to media monopolies in the UK, accused Murdoch of being a “liar” and “fraud”.
Watson said Murdoch contradicted previous statements made two years prior in testimony before the Parliamentary Committee on Media and Culture, where he denied knowledge of illegal bribes or illegal wiretapping in his empire’s newspapers.
“This is a man who was questioned in Parliament and said he had unimpeachable integrity. He said he was a man who cooperated with police and journalists and who stated that those who tapped phones or paid bribes to officials or police would be punished. Now it seems he is saying the opposite” (ibid)
The truth is that after the scandal, Murdoch was summoned again to appear before the British Parliament to give his position.
“He will now be called to give evidence before the Committee again and explain his position” explained Jessica Bridges-Palmer, party spokesperson in charge of examining, among others, the issue of the press.
The scandal of illegal wiretapping has posted a huge cost for the empire, News Corporation, which has spent over 350 million dollars in legal costs and compensation to victims of eavesdropping.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is assessing whether the illegal wiretapping practices and payments of bribes from Murdoch’s newspapers in the UK are also flagrant violations under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Foreign.
Stay tuned to Fox News for more.
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