Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The scandal that keeps on giving

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  • Julian Melville,

    For a surreal take on the whole thing, the last couple of weeks of John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman's The Bugle podcast have been hilarious, doubly so because it's nominally released from inside the Murdoch empire - it comes from the Times Online site. They seem genuinely surprised that they haven't been shut down yet :)

    I'll link to Wikipedia because the Times website seems to be having a bad afternoon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bugle

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to 3410,

    It's an unexplained/no-suspicious-circumstances-type death, ie suspected sucide/overdose

    ...according to the Met? Just saying, it's not the sort of situation in which you can be confident of police impartiality.
    Which sounds awfully conspiracy minded.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 277 posts Report Reply

  • merc,


    "Many dark players playing games"

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    Speaking of John Oliver, last Monday's segment from the Daily Show is worth a look too.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Perhaps I'm being over sensitive but the Sun page hack immediately drew my thoughts to the death of another media man Robert Maxwell; who apparently fell off his boat one night in 1991.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    It's an unexplained/no-suspicious-circumstances-type death, ie suspected sucide/overdose

    ...according to the Met? Just saying, it's not the sort of situation in which you can be confident of police impartiality.

    Agreed. Like I said, ", so... who knows either way, really?"

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    When is the fall out going to reach NZ?

    Should it? While I wouldn't cross the road to piss on a copy of the Herald if its head was on fire, I don't think anyone is suggesting they hack people's phones. Their crass and morbid insenitivity is more old school.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It’s an unexplained/no-suspicious-circumstances-type death, ie suspected sucide/overdose

    A bit like all those Marconi scientists, but it turned out in the end that that was a hoax perpetrated by a psychopathic terrorist in order to lure a Scottish investigative journalist into being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thus take the fall for his spectacular murder spree.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    For the time being, I'm inclined to hang with the more straightforward explanation that he died because he was mortally ill.

    So, for the time being, do you think it might be a matter of fairness and sheer bloody good taste to suggest folks lay off the Ian Wishart-esque conspiracy theories? You know, while we're all showing such lofty disdain for the tabloid media it might help not to act like the fuckers.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    When is the fall out going to reach NZ?

    Should it? While I wouldn’t cross the road to piss on a copy of the Herald if its head was on fire, I don’t think anyone is suggesting they hack people’s phones. Their crass and morbid insenitivity is more old school.

    I think there is some marginally ethical stuff done in New Zealand in the name of the story – you can guess the handful of suspects – but that’s not really where to look.

    As Bryan Gould noted in his column in the Herald, governments have been kind to Sky in New Zealand – perhaps because it’s a very active government lobbyist.

    I know for a fact that every time Jim Anderton or whoever started talking about anti-siphoning regulation, Sky would call NZRU comms and tell them to put the frighteners on the government about how it would be the death of rugby.

    As I’ve noted previously, Sky (largest and 39% shareholder, News Corp) has had an unprecedented run of favourable decisions from the current government, one which began with the scrapping of a regulatory review whose conclusions probably wouldn’t have been to Sky’s liking. TVNZ was pressured to make 6 and 7 available to Sky on Sky’s terms, Kordia was basically told to cut Sky a sweet deal to get on Freeview, etc.

    There is a degree of unease building out there – not just in TV land but in the internet sector – about Sky’s dominance and its lock on content. I doubt there has been anything improper in Sky’s relationship with government, but it can certainly be seen as an extremely friendly one. I suspect it will be a little more circumspect now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Murdochs power has aligned first world political discussion to a centre he very succesfully dictated, a centre that has no time for union activity and a seemingly restless appetite for deregulation and the abandonment of watchdog laws in business.

    It's amazing this is getting out so fast but anyone with a knowledge of recent media history knows they guy has a long history of manipulation and lies. Fuck it, he deserves anything he gets and I say that because his activities across his career are disgusting and unacceptable.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    While I wouldn't cross the road to piss on a copy of the Herald if its head was on fire, I don't think anyone is suggesting they hack people's phones. Their crass and morbid insenitivity is more old school.

    And despite being the only daily newspaper for a significant slice of NZ, the Herald doesn't enjoy anything close to the shameless collusion that Murdoch's Sydney Telegraph has enjoyed with pretty much all NSW State governments over the last couple of decades.

    In the lead-up to the 2000 Olympics, eagerly awaited information on ticket availability and pricing was released exclusively via the pages of the Telegraph. When pressed for details at his press conference, the relevant minister simply repeated "read the Daily Telegraph". Not buy, just read the damn thing.

    I'd like to think that NZers wouldn't have settled so uncomplainingly for a similar kind of cosy exclusivity over the RWC.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3560 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Murdoch's Sydney Telegraph has enjoyed with pretty much all NSW State governments over the last couple of decades.

    Joe, you beat me to it. Watch the Tele go for Gillard over the carbon tax. The pattern is precisely the same.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Paul Williams,

    During Bob Carr's tenure as NSW State Premier he was often criticised for "governing via the pages of the Daily Telegraph", but never by the state Liberal opposition. After all, they hoped to exercise the same privilege at some point, and it wouldn't do to bite the proverbial master's hand.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3560 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    This BBC blog, from back in January, is interesting for the Murdoch backstory: clips of BBC coverage of Murdoch, going back to the 60s. The Panorama doco from 1981 is especially good:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/01/rupert_murdoch_-_a_portrait_of.html

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    To put it succinctly, Prolefeed/Prolesec has come to pass - the only major difference is that it's listed on the sharemarket.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Agreed. Premier O'Farrell appears to give most of his major interviews to Fox News and the Tele.

    <anxiously>No one in Australia, other than George Darroch and I, read PAS right?</anxiously>

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    in Australia, other than George Darroch

    We've repatriated him.
    Just you now..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Sacha,

    And I've been slack of late...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    ...according to the Met? Just saying, it's not the sort of situation in which you can be confident of police impartiality.
    Which sounds awfully conspiracy minded.

    Yeah - it's certainly possible Hoare killed himself - I'm not saying people who think that are 'sheeple' or anything - just that the police statements to that effect are near worthless, that it seems like a huge coincidence that he'd antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people and then commit suicide.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people

    That's a stressful thing to do.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Sacha,

    antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people

    That's a stressful thing to do.

    It ruined jesus's health.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    It ruined jesus's health.

    I'm pretty sure he didn't commit suicide. I mean, how would he bang in the last nail?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I don't think it's impossible that he'd be murdered, I genuinely don't (and not just 'cause I've been watching the early seasons of Spooks). But, reading the little I have about him, lots of stress on top of serious illness is the more obvious scenario.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Beard,

    ROFL +1

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

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