Rupert Murdoch Was Secretly Recorded Admitting Violations Of American Law

MurdochalypseA recording of a board meeting of Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper in Britain has surfaced and it contains some rather damning evidence of Murdoch’s knowledge of illegal activity, including possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the United States. Murdoch and his staff were discussing the fallout from the scandal wherein Murdoch’s newspapers were discovered to have been hacking into the phones, computers and email of politicians, royals, celebrities, and private citizens, including a kidnapped schoolgirl who was later found to have been murdered.

The tape was disclosed by a British investigative news service and broadcast on the UK’s Channel4. The transcript, published in part by the Columbia Journalism Review, revealed Murdoch admitting that he had prior knowledge of bribes paid to police officials, which he previously testified before parliament that he knew nothing about.

Murdoch: We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: that’s been going on a hundred years, absolutely. You didn’t instigate it.

I remember when I first bought the News of the World, the first day I went to the office… and there was a big wall-safe… And I said, “What’s that for?” And they said, “We keep some cash in there.” And I said, “What for?” They said, “Well, sometimes the editor needs some on a Saturday night for powerful friends. And sometimes the chairman [the late Sir William Carr] is doing badly at the tables, (laughter) and he helps himself…”

There is a certain irony in Murdoch getting caught admitting to criminally eavesdropping on others by a secret recording made, most likely, by one of his own criminal reporters. But now that this has come out, Murdoch needs to be held accountable for his crimes in England and here in the U.S. The FCPA prohibits exactly the sort of bribery of government officials that Murdoch confesses to in this recording. And that may be why Murdoch once gave a million dollars to a lobbying group that was attempting to have the FCPA altered in a manner that would benefit Murdoch.

It is time for the Department of Justice to investigate Murdoch and bring charges against him if the evidence supports it. The FCC should also look into whether Murdoch still satisfies its criteria for owning a media enterprise. America must stop coddling its wealthy industrialists when there is reason to believe that they have broken the law.


6 thoughts on “Rupert Murdoch Was Secretly Recorded Admitting Violations Of American Law

  1. Insightful and significant article. Murdoch should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  2. I’m afraid the Obama justice department is going to let this one slide for fear of being accused(as we all know they would) of attacking them because of their critical reporting(if you can call what they do reporting) of the President. Some of the republicans in the house would call it an abuse of power and call for his impeachment for it. None the less, I hope they do their duty and pursue this criminal investigation but I’m not holding my breath.

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