@NYT: Bret Stephens reminisces about his long ago casual conversation with Rupert Murdoch…

Political Cynic wonders why and how this was published by The Paper of Record!

Note how Stephens opens his essay:

In the summer of 2011, Rupert Murdoch stopped by my small office at The Wall Street Journal, where I was a columnist and editor. He was just back from London, where he had given testimony to a parliamentary committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal by his British tabloids (and where he was attacked with a shaving-foam pie). The scandal ultimately resulted in the closure of News of the World, at one point one of the world’s biggest-selling English-language newspapers.

This was about the ‘murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’ : Mr. Stephens feigns ignorance?

I don’t remember many specifics about the conversation — Murdoch loved to talk politics and policy with his journalists, sometimes by taking us to lunch at the Lamb’s Club in Midtown Manhattan — but I do remember the gist of what he said about the fiasco: Never put anything in an email. His private takeaway, it seemed, wasn’t to require his companies to adhere to high ethical standards. It was to leave no trace that investigators might use for evidence against him, his family or his favorite lieutenants.

Here is how Reuters covered the ‘murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’

LONDON (Reuters) – Journalists from the News of the World tabloid misled police after hacking the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, action which sparked a scandal engulfing News Corp, a letter from police published on Monday said.

Surrey Police said reporters had lied to police after hacking into Dowler’s voicemail messages in 2002 and put pressure on detectives working on her case.

The paper, part of News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, had demanded answers after claiming it had information Dowler had contacted a recruitment agency, the force said.

One of its reporters had claimed the tabloid had got Dowler’s mobile phone details from school children, while the letter discloses someone had called the agency pretending to be Dowler’s mother.

It later emerged a message from the agency had mistakenly been left on Dowler’s phone because they had the wrong number on their files.

The force dismissed speculation that information published by the News of the World (NOTW) had come from collusion between detectives and the paper.

“The NOTW obtained that information by accessing Milly Dowler’s phone,” Surrey’s Assistant Chief Constable Jerry Kirkby wrote in a letter to lawmakers investigating phone-hacking.

It was the revelation by the Guardian newspaper last July that the tabloid’s reporters had illegally accessed the voicemail of missing Dowler, who was later found murdered, which caused the phone-hacking to hit the headlines amid widespread public revulsion.

News Corp took the drastic step of shutting down the 168-year-old paper, pulled its plan to take full control of Britain’s highly profitable satellite broadcaster BSkyB and Murdoch also personally donated 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) to charities nominated by the Dowler family.

News International also paid the family a further 2 million pounds for behavior Murdoch described as “abhorrent.”

“The interception of Milly Dowler’s phone was shocking and totally unacceptable,” a News International spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“The abhorrent nature of what was discovered to have happened at the News of the World ultimately led to its closure last year,” she added.

In a twist to the Dowler story last December, police said there was no evidence about a central claim in the original Guardian story that News of the World journalists had deleted voicemails, which had given her parents false hope she was still alive.

An inquiry set up by Prime Minister David Cameron into newspaper practices in the wake of the furor heard that the most likely explanation was that the voicemails had been automatically removed after a 72-hour limit.


Mr. Stephens’ long ago encounter with The Great Man, led to the preposterous title of his essay ‘The Tragedy of Fox News’ ? Mr. Stephens in not a Journalist!

Political Cynic

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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