Silvio Berlusconi sentenced for tax fraud. Ok, his four-year sentence was reduced to one-year in jail because of some fucking amnesty law, but this filthy asshole might finally serve jail time. Yeah, he should die in jail, but in a world were Pres. Obama calls Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon "savvy businessmen," I'll take whatever I can.
Rebekah Brooks and husband arrested in new twist in phone-hacking inquiry. Yes, Rebekah Brooks was arrested again! For a different crime! Along with her husband! And what was the offense? Why it was suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and four other people were also arrested. I'm just guessing here, but I recall reading that Brooks' husband was alleged to have ditched (or attempted to ditch) a briefcase in a dumpster shortly after the phone hacking scandal exploded, so my gut says his charge has to do with destruction (or attempted destruction) of evidence. Might be the same for the rest. And prosecutors and courts hate that. They really do.
If I seem gleeful, it's because I am. Not just because some filthy people may finally get their coeuppance, but for the bigger reason--if these miscreants actually are convicted and see jail time, yes News Corp. suffers a blow, but more importantly some justice will be served. And in a world where war criminals go unpunished and Wall Street bankers are lauded for looting the treasury, any act of justice, however small, is so very precious.
Life was getting a bit lonely at The Guardian. Nick Davies had been alerted that Brooks had told colleagues that the story was going to end with “Alan Rusbridger on his knees, begging for mercy.” “They would have destroyed us,” Davies said on a Guardian podcast last week. “If they could have done, they would have shut down The Guardian.”
And here's a surprise: the NY Times played a role, and it was as a good guy. Go figure.
You know, the timing couldn't be better--the phone hacking story is building steam just as the last movie in the Harry Potter series was released. Yes, I read the books--had to since my brother ordered the last volume to be delivered on the day of release so the family could read it together. I was coming to visit that weekend, so I had to buy the other books in the series so I would know who was who (mispronounciations would have been criticized). In any event, what made Harry Potter so successful, and what makes this phone hoacking scandal so compelling, is the common theme: bad things happen, innocent people die, but, ultimately, good triumphs over evil. Yes, I think it might actually happen here, in real life.
6.30pm: Channel 4 head of home news Ed Fraser has just tweeted this very interesting development: @channel4news reveals the Serious Fraud Office examining dozens of cases involving News International
7.33pm: Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has just announced his resignation.
In a press conference he said his position was "in danger of being eclipsed by the ongoing debate by senior officers and the media. And this can never be right."
.And ExNOTWjourno2 did tweet yesterday that another big resignation was this way coming. People wonder who she is (or whether it's a she or a bunch of hes and shes). Long and short, I don't give a shit. Whomever it is has been right. A friend thinks it's one of the bunch who was fired who is getting calls from everyone else because she is will to tweet the information for general consumption. That sounds about right.
So, when does David Cameron resign? Or does he get off with a no cofidence vote? Either way, the Tories and the new way Labour (neoliberal assholes like our Third Way democrats and president) are on their way out. Tony Blair may rue this more than most. Ed Miliband? If he continues to call them as he has, well, there's your new prime minister.
That according to a tweet posted 8 minutes ago (8:22 a.m., roughly) by ExNOTWjourno2. And my new favorite tweeter says Les Hinton didn't resign--he was forced out in an attempt to save anyone named Murdoch. I assume the same with Brooks, even though people claim there was some sort of father-daughter like relationship there (um, I don't think so). Long and short, the Murdochs must be in a frenzy, because they just threw overboard two people who can only point higher.
I can't even begin to tell you how overjoyed I am. And it's not just because I"m enjoying a nice big mug of schadenfreude. It's this: I have been convinced for a long time now that nothing will change until we change the media. Now the media in the UK is better than here--god bless the Guardian, my paper of record--but the outrage there could very well mean change here. Good change. If nothing else, the Murdochs have blinked. That by itself is good. We can punish/motivate/influence the media more than we know. Time to get to it.
Rupert Murdoch's empire must be dismantled – Ed Miliband. Here's a surprise: Apparently Tony Blair courted a relationship with Rupert Murdoch. As in the U.S., Murdoch like holding sway over the spineless assholes that make up the political class. Well, Ed Miliband may just be taken advantage of a weakened Murdoch cabal, but good for him for recognizing that the monster has been gravely wounded. Now rip off its head and kill Voldermort already.
ExNOTWjourno2. Who is ExNOTWjourno2? Well, she says she is a she who worked at News of the World for five years. Claims she handed Rebekah Brooks the crossword puzzle, which contained hidden messages, that got by the team looking for hidden messages. And apparently she is going to reveal some of what was kept in a "rainy day draw" at News of the World--you know, crap they learned by hacking, I guess. Long and short, she's made some predictions that have been proven right (she called Brooks' resignation on Friday). And she says that there is a major resignation coming up tomorrow (got that from another person) and Tuesday. More importantly, she claims that this story is much bigger and will shake the foundations in institutions and people that are much bigger than News International and the filthy Murdoch family. I repeat: David Cameron could very well be kicked to the curb before the year is out. Hell, I'm thinking he could be out before the summer ends.
FBI to investigate News Corporation over 9/11 hacking allegations. Interestingly enough, Peter King (Douchebag R, Long Island) asked for the inquiry, so maybe it will go somewhere. After all, Obama's team would shit on a request by, say, Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders, but this is a crazy asshole republican, so this phone hacking thing by an organization ruled by a savvy businessman may be worth doing after all (trying to channel Obama, so bear with me). That said, you are no doubt aware that Murdoch withdrew his BSkyB bid. Sad. He wants out of newspapers and in on tv/cable, so that had to hurt.
But something even more wonderful has happened. Namely, Rupert and James have learned that the politicians in the U.K. have managed to stand on their hind legs and they will no longer lick their master's hand: Phone hacking: both Murdochs agree to face MPs following jail threat. You see, both father and son said "no thank you, we're busy that day," when asked to appear before a Commons committee, and the now-standing-on-two-legs politicians said "we aren't afraid of you anymore." Oh my. I assume, but do not know, that lying to the committee is perjury which would be punishable in court. So, we need to find out whether witnesses before the committee can assert something like our fifth amendment right against self-incrimination when called to testify. And we need to get a bowl of popcorn.