Another day, another allegation this time on home turf of Rupert Murdoch, who though Australian born is a US citizen and has his biggest business interests in the United States.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining accusations the media mogul’s News Corporation may have tried to hack into phone records of victims of the September 11 attacks. The probe was prompted by a call from a US congressman.
Protesters have watched events unravel across the Atlantic in Britain and now they were literally at Murdoch’s door demonstrating outside his plush home on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Civil rights activists want Congress to investigate whether News Corporation may have broken US laws.
And the first reaction from Rupert Murdoch was printed in one of his own papers, the Wall Street Journal. He explaining the about-turn on answering questions with his son James in Parliament. Earlier both had said they would be unavailable.
Therese Coffey, a member of the UK Culture, Media and Sport select committee, responded to the change of mind: “I think they kind of underestimate how keen we are to make sure that we get to the bottom of these allegations and not to just be brushed off. So fair play to them, they’ve responded to it, they could have, I suppose, not been in the country next week but they’re now doing that.”
The political fall out has hit the top of the Metropolitan Police. Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson faced calls for his resignation after admitting that a News of the World executive, Neil Wallis, arrested on suspicion of phone hacking was recently employed as his personal adviser.