secret news: Her Majesty’s Secret Led to Murdoch’s Fall
Her Majesty’s Secret Led to Murdoch’s Fall
Press freedom is under a fierce coordinated assault from the British Establishment. In the guise of caring for so-called „victims of phone hacking“, the loyal cowards of Parliament are suppressing the handful of investigative journalists with News of the World who dared to probe into the royal family’s cover-up of the murder of Princess Diana.
At the end of the day of heckling, members of Parliament, whatever their party affiliation, came to the preplanned conclusion: The UK needs stronger press regulations. The burning issue at hand is the British monarchy’s order to tighten the nation’s system of press controls, which sits at very heart of the class system. The more loudly debated matters – the Murdoch dynasty’s business practices, tabloid sensationalism, police leaks to reporters and electronic eavesdropping – pale in comparison to the demonization of investigative journalism.
The made-up „crisis“ has little to do with parents of disabled children or distraught widows of war veterans. What triggered Buckingham Palace to precipitate the parliamentary firestorm was the MI-5 surveillance program’s finding News of the World was reopening their investigation of who, exactly, ordered the assassination of the Princess of Wales, nee Diana Spencer. Scotland Yard soon contacted every principal in the Diana case, including Fayed Dodi, father of the disaffected princess’s companion, warning them not to accept interviews from NoW reporters. The timing of this latest cover-up was appropriately on the year of Diana’s 50th birthday, that is, if she had not been killed in the Paris incident.
Punishing the Message Bearer
Parliament summoned Rupert Murdoch, publisher of the NewsCorp group, to London on the pretext of his possible knowledge of phone hacking by the News of the World team. The underlying reason for his public humiliation, however, was to make a stern example for the liberal elite to restrain their republican sentiments.
As demonstrated in the 1999 referendum for Australia to leave the Commonwealth, Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper urged the dumping of the Governor General, the Crown’s representative in Canberra, in favor of an elected president.
His increasingly close friendship with Prime Minister David Cameron, one of the targets of the parliamentary interrogation, set off alarm bells in Buckingham Palace of an emerging campaign to trim the powers of the Queen and strip the royalty of their authority over the military and other core state institutions. New revelations of the Crown’s role in Diana’s death could have tipped public opinion in favor of dismantling the throne.
The spectacle in Parliament was not primarily focused on the Murdoch’s role in the hacking affair. Rather the collective wrath was focused on Andy Coulson, an editor with the News of the World tabloid who went on to become David Cameron’s communications director in May 2007.
In 2007, the 10th anniversary year of Diana’s death, Coulson led the investigative reporting team that cracked the shield of secrecy that surrounds Queen Elizabeth II and her brood of bluebloods. His information-gathering tactics might have been less than prim and proper, but that is completely forgivable when Buckingham Palace is more tightly protected than the vaults of the Bank of England.
NoW reporters were forced to resign in 2007 for replaying mobile-phone messages. This activity, unethical as it may sound, can hardly be equated with hacking. With enough button-pushing, even children can decode a voicemail key. For all the pious shock about „phone hacking“, our Internet society is rife with eavesdropping. Parents spy on their children’s website visits, companies read their employees‘ emails, students snoop on their classmates – everyone is prying into someone else’s privacy. I-phones and handhelds with Blackberry are being tracked by dozens of marketing firms, police agencies, credit-card companies and intelligence services.
Social media is precisely that: media open to society. Yet our profession of journalism is expected – and now demanded by Parliament – to follow „ethical“ rules that were framed when messages were sent on paper sheets inside stamped and sealed envelopes, a bygone era when news arrived months after the event.
By comparison with such kid’s stuff , Julian Assange of Wikileaks has sold for cash – folks, it’s called blackmail not voicemail – encrypted documents classified by governments or records of proprietary value to banks.
Assange is hailed as a media hero and protected by the British government, while Coulson is being flogged and flayed by rival newspapers and television news. The Guardian and Telegraph should be ashamed for turning against a journalist who was fulfilling his professional duty to go after a high crime.
Suppression of the Press
|The Dirty Digger: Selected Articles on the Rupert Murdoch Eavesdropping Affair
– by William Bowles – 2011-07-20