Rupert Murdoch and the Conspiracy Machine – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
It was less than a day after Rupert Murdoch’s supposedly triumphant return to the Sunday tabloid market in the UK, with the new Sun on Sunday, when the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sue Akers dropped a bombshell on Murdoch’s UK newspaper empire.
The Sun, the daily tabloid flagship which had birthed the Sun on Sunday from its inky loins, was found to have engaged in the systematic bribing of high-profile public officials and policemen.
On a scale calibrated by the Milly Dowler phone hacking scandal, this would seem to be a trifle. The rule of thumb is that if you think of the worst thing the Murdoch papers could possibly be doing, and double it, it’s only a matter of time before it is matched and surpassed by real life. As a well-known tabloid columnist is apt to say, “you couldn’t make it up”.
The Sun’s leading journalists, led by the weathered drudge Trevor Kavanagh, had recently been in rebellion against company managers who ordered the staff to fully comply with the police investigation.
Kavanagh had written a tired, emotional and belligerent tirade positioning the paper, never normally known for its concern with civil liberties, as a sort of Solidarnosc, labouring under a Stalinist boot.
“Who polices the police?” he lamented.
The answer as suggested by recent disclosures is, until recently, The Sun