I'm on a mission from THE Brit.
He's asked me to diary this very insightful article by John Dean in The Guardian.
I'll link the article, give as much copy as is allowable and just let you at it.
Americans are extremely interested in Rupert Murdoch's unfolding scandal in the UK. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it has striking parallels with Watergate, an observation I offer based on personal knowledge and experience. (I am sure I speak for many Americans when I shout out a thank you to the Guardian, whose journalism on the Murdoch story is every bit as good, and in many instances better, than the legendary work of the Washington Post during Watergate.) Many Americans wonder if this scandal will leap the Atlantic or remain "contained" in Britain. Because of Watergate, I have some familiarity with containment – when it works and when it does not.
Link to John Dean's previous article, which he is referring to.
I do not use the metaphor of cancer easily or lightly. Once before, I had occasion to offer a similar warning, when I told Richard Nixon that Watergate was going to destroy the American Presidency. I’m offering this warning again now, because the unfolding scandal that is currently hammering the reputation and value of News Corp. so closely parallels the sequence of events that provoked my warning to Nixon.
Watergate was a political scandal that was provoked by Nixon’s ruthless and shameless manner of doing business. Similarly, News Corp. is mired in a political and business scandal because of the brutal and coldblooded way its chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, has conducted business. Just as Nixon did not undertake the initiating illegality himself (the bugging of the Democratic National Committee headquarters), nor did Murdoch personally undertake the illegal hacking of voicemails. Rather, both men created norms and standards within their respective organizations where such conduct was not only considered acceptable, but actually encouraged.
Our political system needs for Murdoch to be gone, along with the cronies he has encouraged to pollute our politics. Nixon’s finest act as president was to resign. There could be no more fitting end to the unfolding saga for Murdoch than for him to do likewise. When this scandal threatens to take away his fortune, if not his freedom, he may actually do the right thing, and resign. For the public good, that cannot happen too soon.
Back to the original article..........
In addition to Arnold & Porter, Klein and Dinh retained another top Washington law firm, Williams & Connolly, and the firm's highly skilled criminal defence attorney, Brendan Sullivan, to assist with the criminal investigation in the US. Klein and Dinh retained Mark Mendelsohn, who until recently had been the deputy chief, fraud section, criminal division, of the US department of justice, and understands the department's thinking about prosecuting under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which prohibits American businesses from bribing foreigners to assist their business, and appears applicable to some of the allegations against News Corp).If the problems are half as serious as the level of legal talent retained suggests, I would not be surprised if News Corp co-operates with the prosecutors to get this matter behind the organisation. Rupert might throw his son James to the wolves. If evidence of wrongdoing by senior figures is found, the lawyers can defend it while requiring the government to prove its case, but they cannot assist in a cover up – a reality I learned the hard way. Rather they must withdraw from representation. And if that happens, we will all know they are fleeing a sinking ship.
There is a lot of information that will be of particular interest to you in the US.
I'm sorry that I can't offer too much personal insight right now, I'm really tied up today.
Consider this a message from Brit who is deep in the Polish forest, lucky so and so.
8:20 AM PT: Reclist, thanks folks. Fully thanks to Brit who really deserves the recs.