Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The scandal that keeps on giving

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    For a surreal take on the whole thing, the last couple of weeks of John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman's The Bugle podcast have been hilarious, doubly so because it's nominally released from inside the Murdoch empire - it comes from the Times Online site. They seem genuinely surprised that they haven't been shut down yet :)

    They've been excellent on this and a number of other things UK-side. Good counterpoint to getting what's going on inside the USA from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart I find.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Yeah – it’s certainly possible Hoare killed himself – I’m not saying people who think that are ‘sheeple’ or anything – just that the police statements to that effect are near worthless, that it seems like a huge coincidence that he’d antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people and then commit suicide.

    There’s presently no more evidence for suicide than there is for murder – ie, none.

    Anyway, tweet fromThe Guardian’s Paul Lewis:

    I’ve been at Sean Hoare’s house. Police/ambulance there 11am-3pm. Then nothing. Story breaks. Forensics arrive 9pm.

    It appears there’ll be questions asked tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, The Daily Mail got pics of the forensic team at work and got a neighbour to talk:

    Last night a friend and neighbour claimed Mr Hoare had become increasingly reclusive and paranoid in recent weeks. ‘He would talk about someone from the Government coming to get him and he was always hiding in the flat with his curtains drawn and he’d say to me, “If anyone comes by, don’t say I’m in”.

    He was physically going downhill. He was yellow in colour and wasn’t looking well for the last month.

    ‘He had a constant struggle with alcohol and talked to me about how much he had put his wife through.

    ‘He did say something about phone hacking and I think that was his main worry. He had definite concerns with the media. He did mention he was paranoid and would mention conspiracy stuff.’

    So I guess there’s fodder for everyone’s theory there. I would note that people who are turning yellow from liver disease can just up and die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    He was yellow in colour and wasn’t looking well

    So's Homer Simpson and he's still alive. Works for Murdoch as well. Hmmmmm.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Murdochs’ and Brooks will probably have been tutored by PR trouts in how to handle and fob off any tough questions, unfortunately.
    I hope the MPs grilling them are hard-arse, long-term MPs, not just a bunch of newbie back-benchers.

    Hmmm - grilled trout, yum!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    Perhaps I'm being over sensitive but the Sun page hack immediately drew my thoughts to the death of another media man Robert Maxwell; who apparently fell off his boat one night in 1991.

    Rather more sensitive than HRH Prince Andrew, who joked at the time that Maxwell met his end thanks to an "Irish tart" who he'd brought along for recreational purposes. "Toss me off," ordered the great man, so she did.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Toby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'd suggest you'll be interested in the Commons select committee hearing that Brooks and the two Murdochs are about to appear before. It's live on Sky News tonight from 11.30pm. Yowza.

    Unfortunately the headliners - Murdochs Sr and Jr and Rebekah Brooks - aren't scheduled to appear until the afternoon session, it says here - ie from 1.30am NZT

    pt chev • Since Mar 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    it seems like a huge coincidence that he’d antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people and then commit suicide.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, Danyl. I want to take my own advice and not feed idiotic speculation, but is it possible that (shock! horror!) Sean Hoare was suicidally depressed (possibly exacerbated by a relapse) under extreme stress? My sobriety might be a bit wobbly if I felt responsible for 200 people losing their jobs, and looking down the barrel of having my career and life pulled apart.

    Meanwhile, The Daily Mail got pics of the forensic team at work and got a neighbour to talk

    God, you'd really think now of all times the Daily Mail would try to elevate itself from the sewers to the dizzying heights of the gutter. Apparently not.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I'm pretty sure he didn't commit suicide. I mean, how would he bang in the last nail?

    Maybe he just used three?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    And had 3 hands?
    Ur, pinned his other hand on the sharp edge of a nail that some helpful person had previously hammered thropugh the cross bar?
    O geez.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I was searching for an excuse to bring that one up, and nailing it on a member of the BRF is an ideal way. Must remember that.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Currently teaching, with Philosophy, a course on Media Ethics so this NOTW debacle is ever so timely. I have begun with quoting Marshall McLuhan's caution "Nothing is inevitable if we pay attention" in tracing Murdoch's evil influence. As Russell points out, his clammy fingers have reached as far as NZ, with the sweet ride Sky have had here, as a consequence of the cosy relationship between their full-time lobbyist and politicians.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    In terms of cosy relationships, we also have John Key dining out with Warner Brothers execs in Los Angeles. I guess they will expect him to pick up the tab.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    Perhaps I'm being over sensitive but the Sun page hack immediately drew my thoughts to the death of another media man Robert Maxwell; who apparently fell off his boat one night in 1991

    But it's unlikely Hoare's funeral will be be held on the Mount of Olives or attended by heads of the Israeli intelligence community.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    In terms of cosy relationships....

    ...and then catching up with his old banking days pals at The Fed, and probably Obama will do the whole "Buddy can you spare a dime" routine...

    As Russell points out, his clammy fingers have reached as far as NZ, with the sweet ride Sky have had here,

    initially I read this as "...his calumny fingers" which works just as well, now I think about it....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    As Russell points out, his clammy fingers have reached as far as NZ, with the sweet ride Sky have had here, as a consequence of the cosy relationship between their full-time lobbyist and politicians.

    Murdoch once part-owned INL (the former owner of the Dom & EvPost) from 1964 but from what I know he never had much of an editorial directive towards it, unlike his British and North American holdings. Right-wing editors like Richard Long ran the Dom in spite of Murdoch's part-ownership, rather than because of it.

    The stakeholding does live on in SKY TV though, which INL bought into early on but I think was largely kept separate from the print division. Nonetheless, Fox News has a presence on SKY Digital...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    From the UK Labour List blog - just another little intrigue in this case.

    Tory MP gives Murdochs a helping hand

    By Mark Ferguson / @markfergusonuk

    Last night Labour MP Cathy Jamieson should have been elected unopposed to the DCMS Select Committee, replacing the recently deceased David Cairns ahead of today's showdown with Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs. And yet Tory MP Nick De Bois decided to shout "object", which meant that Jamieson has yet to be elected to the committee, and won't be able to question the News International trio today.

    Paul Waugh suggests that this was tit-for-tat after Labour MPs tried to keep David Laws off another committee, but it's surprisingly that the Tories are willing to play procedural politics with this issue.

    Co-incidentally, Jamieson is a former Scottish justice minister, and has extensive knowledge of the Tommy Sheridan case, which (it has been alleged) may be "unsafe" thanks to hacking.

    But De Bois didn't know that though...surely?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3225 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    In terms of cosy relationships, we also have John Key dining out with Warner Brothers execs in Los Angeles. I guess they will expect him to pick up the tab.

    So, anyone got any ideas what APN and Fairfax spends on lobbyists and *cough* corporate entertainment? I know Murdoch is a really easy hate object, but he's also too damn convenient in a media market where Murdoch and News International are really fairly minor players. I don't know if I'd be as sanguine as some about the benign indifference of Fairfax Media and APN if their bottom line, or their rather cosy effective print media duopoly, was seriously threatened by government policy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Murdoch once part-owned INL (the former owner of the Dom & EvPost) from 1964 but from what I know he never had much of an editorial directive towards it, unlike his British and North American holdings.

    Funny you should say that. Back when he was fronting Mediawatch, Russell did a reality check on the meme that Rupert Murdoch was dictating a pro-Iraq War editorial line to the newspapers he owned. In New Zealand, the facts really did get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nonetheless, Fox News has a presence on SKY Digital…

    And? SKY Digital also carries BBC News, CNN, CNBC, Stratos/Triangle (which carries news/current affairs content from AlJazeera English, PBS, Deutsche Welle and others), TVNZ, Three and RT (which is a state-funded Russian network) – none of which bear the distasteful prints of the evil one.

    I assume Sky Digital carries all these because they believe they might just attract and retain subscribers. Just as the movie channels aren't all 20th Century Fox all the time. Crazy old bitch that I am, I just can't find anything particularly sinister in any of the above...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t know if I’d be as sanguine as some about the benign indifference of Fairfax Media and APN if their bottom line, or their rather cosy effective print media duopoly, was seriously threatened by government policy.

    But in the real world neither of those companies actually do have anything like the history of News Corporation in working to a corporate editorial line, or its highly politicised culture. That’s surely the point.

    It never manifested in the newspapers Murdoch/INL owned here, but the united front of the Murdoch papers that dominate the major centres in Australia is a fact of life. They’ve declared war on Gillard this year. It’s the way the company operates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Nonetheless, Fox News has a presence on SKY Digital…

    And? SKY Digital also carries BBC News, CNN, CNBC, Stratos/Triangle (which carries news/current affairs content from AlJazeera English, PBS, Deutsche Welle and others), TVNZ, Three and RT (which is a state-funded Russian network) – none of which bear the distasteful prints of the evil one.

    There was actually demand for Fox when they added it, so that was a simple commercial decision.

    On Al-Jazeera, I think they did make a craven political decision in the “War on Terror” years. They were offered Al Jazeera on very good terms (basically free, I think) and declined, which is how Triangle/Stratos got it. But that’s only a few hours a day. It’d be nice to have Al Jaz English 24 hours.

    So, yeah, there is some politics in there.

    EDIT: I got this wrong. Stratos approached Al Jaz, and Sky wasn't offered it.

    Although not so much that CEO John Fellett, a conservative Christian, can’t look the other way when the hardcore porn gets programmed on the pay channels …

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Nonetheless, Fox News has a presence on SKY Digital…

    So is CNN, BBC, Bloomberg and TVNZ7 #whatsyerpoint

    ETA: Snap, Craig

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Home Affairs Commitee meeting is streaming now (defaults to Windows Media Player - or can choose Silverlight instead, you lucky critters).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Fucking thing only seems to play in IE.

    ETA Bah, I'll pick it up tomorrow

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to nzlemming,

    TVNZ7

    That is, while it lasts.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

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