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The 2,000 page Leveson Report was finally released today. This is the official document of the entire Leveson Inquiry, a probe into the nefarious dealings of the UK Press, though primarily of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, a now shuttered tabloid.

An excerpt from the report:

There was serious failure of governance within the News of the World. Given criminal investigation and what are now the impending prosecutions, it is simply not possible to go further at this stage...
...What can be said is that there was a failure on the part of the management at the News of the World to drill down into the facts to answer the myriad of questions that could have been asked and which could be encompassed by the all-embracing question ... 'What the hell was going on?'

(bolding by diarist)
If I'm not mistaken, Lord Leveson is saying here he can't even discuss this part of his findings because he knows they are details in an ongoing criminal case, "impending prosecutions" no less.

Another excerpt regarding Rupert Murdoch's exercise of power over UK politicians, and surely a rebuttal to Rupert's testimony that he never asked for any favors:

Sometimes the very greatest power is exercised without having to ask, because to ask would be to state the blindingly obvious and thereby diminish the very power which is being displayed. Just as Mr Murdoch's editors knew the basic ground-rules, so did politicians.
The language of trades and deals is far too crude in this context. In their discussions with him, whether directly or by proxy, politicians knew that the prize was personal and political support in his mass circulation newspapers.

Addressing James Murdoch's dubious claim that he and his dad were victims of an N.I. cover-up, Lord Leveson said this:

If James Murdoch had been the victim of a cover-up, or an attempt to minimize the gravity of the position, then the accountability and governance systems at News International would have to be considered to have broken down in an extremely serious respect. If James Murdoch was not the victim of an internal cover-up, then the same criticism can be made of him as of [others] in respect of the failure to take appropriate action.
There are aspects of the account of Mr. Murdoch that cause me some concern.

And my favorite bit:

Most responsible corporate entities would be appalled that employees were or could be involved in the commission of crime in order to further their business. Not so at the News of the World. When the police had sought to execute a warrant, they were confronted and driven off by the staff at the newspaper. Cooperation, if provided, was minimal. The two that were sentenced to terms of imprisonment were paid very substantial sums as compensation for loss of employment when they were released."

So it's fair to say the House of Murdoch is not out of the woods yet. The Leveson Report doesn't appear to contain any major bombshells, but the criminal trials against Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson haven't really even started yet, not to mention the raft of hundreds of civil trials against News International from hacking victims.
And not to mention any and all charges, especially Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ones that should be brought here in the U.S., relating to overseas bribery.

Check out The Guardian live blog of today's events:
(h/t AnnetteK)


Yesterday, Murdoch's News International was unmasked as the organizer of the 'Free Speech Network' , a purportedly grassroots collective of media companies allied against any regulations recommended by Lord Leveson. Someone leaked an email from News International's Director of Communications, Gutto Hari:

>> Hello
>> How’s life
>> Wondered if any of your clients would like to be associated with this?
>> Its a new alliance set up to respond to leveson, counter hacked off, and make the case for a free press (against statutory regulation)
>> Launch next week.
>> They could attend but a couple of lines for our website would be
>> perfect from eg salman rushdie
>> Hope you’re well
>> Guto x
>> Sent from my iPad

(bolding by diarist, to show moment of confession)
Makes one wonder what organizations in the USA might be Murdoch-backed shadow groups.
And also, hasn't Mr. Rushdie been through enough? ;)

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