July 17, 2011 |
The head of Scotland Yard resigned amid a phone-hacking scandal that has reached into the highest levels of public life in Britain, a shocking turn of events that came hours after the arrest of one of media baron Rupert Murdoch's most trusted deputies. Paul Stephenson on Sunday night said he was stepping down as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, as Scotland Yard is formally known, because of continued criticism and speculation over links between senior police officials and Murdoch's media empire.
July 17, 2011 |
What others might call lying, Paul McMullan calls a brilliant maneuver. Looking for the goods on a philandering actor, the tabloid reporter hired a private investigator to make a phone call to the actor's hotel posing as his accountant and persuade the front desk to fax over his room bill, which included a list of all the calls he'd made. McMullan, who at the time was working for the late, lamentable News of the World, then dialed every number on the list until he got the actor's mistress on the line — and his scoop.
July 16, 2011
Rupert Murdoch is an attractive target for politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Allegations that investigators for his flagship London tabloid, the News of the World, hacked into telephones — including one belonging to a missing girl later found dead — are appalling. So are allegations that News of the World staffers paid the police for confidential information. But does the scandal have an American angle? Some members of Congress think so, and they succeeded in persuading the FBI to open a preliminary probe.
July 15, 2011 |
Majestically swathed in a pink evening gown and tugging the leash of one of her cloned pit bulls, Joyce McKinney was ready for her close-up. The zaftig former Miss Wyoming was milling outside the Vista movie theater in Los Feliz, minutes after a Wednesday night screening of "Tabloid," the latest film from Oscar-winning documentary maker Errol Morris. "Tabloid," which opens in theaters Friday, unspools the outlandish tale of a '70s transatlantic caper involving McKinney's alleged abduction of her Mormon missionary boyfriend, kinky sex, ethically challenged Fleet Street reporters and a shadowy cast of supporting characters straight out of a film noir.
July 15, 2011 |
"Tabloid" is tabloid journalism with a difference. The Errol Morris difference. Though his most recent documentaries (the Abu Ghraib exposé "Standard Operating Procedure" and the Oscar-winning "The Fog of War") have featured weighty subject matter, Morris has always had a weakness for the wilder shores of human psychology, for the odd and eccentric patterns of personal behavior, the odder the better. In Joyce McKinney, he has very much met his match. A cheerful, bubbly woman with a forthright manner and an inexhaustible willingness to talk, McKinney was the central figure in one of the great tabloid newspaper yarns of the 1970s, the infamous "Case of the Manacled Mormon," a tale so irresistible that, as one observer accurately remembers, "the British Isles were on fire with this story.
July 14, 2011
It is beginning to look as if respectable British newspapers might be collateral damage in the backlash against Rupert Murdoch and his sleazy underlings at the News of the World. Prime Minister David Cameron predicted that a special panel studying the tabloid phone-hacking scandal would make recommendations for "a new, more effective way of regulating the press. " The possibility of new restrictions on the press is only one of the reactions to the scandal in which Murdoch's reporters hacked into the telephones of an array of unsuspecting people.
July 14, 2011 |
Britain's drama has penetrated even the carapace of American self-preoccupation. Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein compares it to Watergate. Hugh Grant appeals to Americans to wake up to Rupert Murdoch's pernicious influence on their own media. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) calls for an inquiry into the activities of Murdoch's parent company, News Corp., and whether Americans' phones were hacked. If it turns out that 9/11 victims were targeted, as suggested by the campaigning British MP Tom Watson, then this will no longer be just a foreign story.
July 10, 2011 |
He's been one of the most powerful forces in British politics for decades, even though he doesn't live here and can't vote in an election. He's been an honored guest at 10 Downing St., as well as one of the most feared. But it's an upside-down world that will greet media kingpin Rupert Murdoch when he arrives in London for an expected visit Sunday as he personally takes on the battle to keep an explosive phone-hacking scandal at one of his tabloids from sinking the rest of his business interests.
July 8, 2011 |
The British are no strangers to scandals involving their politicians, their police and their press. But after a series of recent troubles that had already eroded public confidence in those pillars of society, the country is now in the grips of a crisis that engulfs all three. Fallout from the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid spread further Friday with the arrest of a former editor who until early this year was one of Prime Minister David Cameron's closest aides.