From the Bloomberg Businessweek website:
LONDON (AP) — They were once two of the most powerful people in the British media, senior executives for media mogul Rupert Murdoch and associates of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were going on trial Monday, along with several others, on charges of hacking phones and bribing officials while at the now-shuttered Murdoch tabloid.
Both arrived early at London’s Central Criminal Court for the first day of the trial, which was opening with legal arguments and jury selection. Brooks came by taxi with her husband, Charles Brooks, who faces a related charge of obstructing justice.
The trial unfolding in a plain, starkly lit room at the Old Bailey should provide high drama for media watchers – and an unwelcome reminder for Murdoch and Cameron of the two-year-old scandal that continues to tarnish Britain’s media, politicians and police.
Murdoch tweeted about the upcoming trial earlier this month: “Remember, everyone innocent until proven guilty, entitled to fair trial in most countries.”
Murdoch denies having any responsibility for the phone voicemail hacking, just like President Obama denies ever giving permission to the NSA for hacking Angela Merkel’s phone. But unlike anyone at the NSA, those who are suspected of being responsible of violating privacy are being put on trial and accused of a crime.
One of those crimes is especially ironic: “bribing private officials” to violate the privacy of others. Yet when Justin Amash tried to de-fund one illegal NSA program, he was attacked. It seems to me that people giving money to public officials for the purpose of domestic spying should be regarded as heroes by the Establishment, given the value system they displayed when Amash threatened their phone hacking empire. In fact, many of those accused of hacking voice mail had worked in government at high levels at one time. Are we supposed to believe they had entirely different ethical systems when they were in “the public sector”?
New York, pseudo-Republican Representative Peter King is out and about campaigning to defend Obama’s NSA programs. Yet back in July 2011, King was outspoken in attacking Rupert Murdoch and calling for the FBI to investigate him. He made noises that made it sound like he believed Americans (and the British) had a right to privacy.
Now we realize he just didn’t believe the US Federal Government should have any competition. The only real crime these former media executives are on trial for is violating the government’s monopoly.