News Release

Murdoch’s Scandals


CBS News reports: “A U.S. senator has urged an investigation into whether Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. newspapers, in the spotlight of a phone hacking and bribery scandal, had violated U.S. law.

“Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., called for the investigation after a report surfaced Monday that 9/11 victims may have been targeted by one of Murdoch’s papers, The Sun tabloid. The Mirror, a British competitor of The Sun, first reported the story.” In the U.S., Murdoch properties include Fox television networks, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

KEVIN ZEESE, kbzeese at
Zeese is attorney and spokesperson for the government accountability group Protect Our Elections, which is “urging the FBI and the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] to launch parallel criminal and civil investigations into Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in the United States for possible prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom.”

Zeese wrote a letter Monday to the FBI and SEC describing the extent of the phone hacking as “staggering” and pointed to recent revelations by News Corp executives that its employees have engaged in “widespread obstruction of justice, bribery and destruction of evidence.”

“It is clear that News Corp has violated the [Foreign Corrupt Practices] Act on an industrial scale,” the letter said. “Rupert Murdoch moved to the U.S. and became an American citizen in 1985 in order to take advantage of our laws yet his company under his leadership has blatantly violated American law by bribing foreign officials in order to increase revenues.” Zeese appeared on the program Democracy Now this morning:

ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN, [16 hours ahead of U.S. ET] antloew at gmail.com!/antloewenstein
Loewenstein is an independent journalist and author in Sydney, Australia. He recently appeared on Al-Jazeera English, stating that in his native Australia, Murdoch “Controls 70 percent of the print press. … There’s virtually no transparency between Murdoch’s empire and the political elite. … On a weekly basis, the Murdoch tabloids in Australia and around the world publish information that is ethically suspect.”

Background: Noted financial investigative reporter David Cay Johnston writes: “Over the past four years Murdoch’s U.S.-based News Corp. has made money on income taxes. Having earned $10.4 billion in profits, News Corp. would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Instead, it actually collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government.” *

See FAIR blog: “Could Hack Scandal Spell Trouble for Murdoch’s U.S. TV Licenses?” and “Fox Media Show Skips Murdoch Scandal”

Also: Billy Bragg’s brand new song “Never Buy The Sun

* Correction: “How I misread News Corp’s taxes” by David Cay Johnston