NEWS INTERNATIONAL ADMITS LIABILITY AND WILL PAY DAMAGES TO “REASONABLE CLAIMANTS”

The Murdoch Empire has now done the unthinkable and admitted liability for a number of cases in the phone hacking scandal. They have “apologised unreservedly” and went on to say that past behaviour was “a matter of genuine regret”, which is quite a statement!

It has not been a happy time for the Murdoch empire of late, and the entire fleet street consortium of newspapers are sitting, wishing and hoping that the scandal will go away before it reaches them.

The action of the Police last week in actually taking some action and arresting 2 people, some would cynically say, has prompted News International into taking this action at this time.

The newspapers are generally devoid of coverage on this topic for obvious reasons, but the Coulson Affair will continue to rumble and come back to bite the Conservative party as it is abundantly clear that the practice of illegally listening in on phone messages was wide spread and endemic in the journalists armoury against the rich, famous and not so.

All in the name of public accountability and catching those pesky politicians out as was explained by Paul Mcmullan on the 10 o’clock Live show last night.  Paul Mcmullen was roundly set upon by John Prescott which was one of the funniest parts of the show.  Dave Mitchell could hardly get a word in edgeways.  What it showed was that Mcmullen’s ridiculous arguments could not stand up to any scrutiny at all and he floundered as the audience took against him and he looked battered and bruised by the end of it.  If any one didn’t think this type of journalist was a sleazy wind bag with no integrity what so ever, then they probably do now!

This story though has several narratives. One regarding the power of newspapers; 2) regarding the actions and accountability of journalists and 3) The rebound affect onto the Prime Minister calling into question his judgement.

We will have to see exactly where this goes, but never has a news organisation took such unprecedented wide swept action to admit and agree to pay out damages to such a large amount of people.  News International knows their number is up and more will undoubtedly come out over the next few weeks hence acting now.

It would be good to think that other news organisations would do the same and offer help to the Police and clean out their organisations in order to make a clean breast of things.  This sadly is unlikely to happen.

Whatever people think of Mr Murdoch, what cannot be in doubt is his belief in providing news in the media, as he has proved over and over again keeping news organisations going when profitability was not attainable.

The politicians on the other hand (unless you are David Cameron) must be ringing their hands with joy to see the newspapers who were baying for their blood before the 2010 election to now be looking over their own shoulders.  How things change!

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