MEMBER LOGIN

Login

Non Fiction

I've often written about the bad side of journalism, and especially that of the Murdoch owned press, but just breaking is some shocking news of the noble sacrifices many journalists make in their attempts to report reality. A civil war which is rapidly becoming one of the bloodiest conflicts has claimed the life of the great Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin. She was killed along with a photographer Remi Ochlik when the building she was staying in was shelled by Syrian government forces. The people who tried to escape were then targeted by rockets. Two other journalist were severely injured in the attack. American born Colvin was the only journalist from a British paper in Syria, and has been described as the Martha Gellhorn of her generation. Witty, acerbic and fearless, only yesterday she filed reports for the BBC and CNN on the carnage in Homs.

“I watched a little baby die today,” she said. “Absolutely horrific. “There is just shells, rockets and tank fire pouring into civilian areas of this city and it is just unrelenting.” In a report published in the Sunday Times over the weekend, Colvin spoke of the citizens of Homs "waiting for a massacre". "The scale of human tragedy in the city is immense. The inhabitants are living in terror. Almost every family seems to have suffered the death or injury of a loved one," she wrote.

Last year, at a special ceremony in London at St Bride's Church for the 49 British journalists and media workers killed in war reporting over the last decade, Marie, who lost an eye due to shrap covering the Sri Lankan conflict, explained why she took the risks she did.

"Covering a war means going to places torn by chaos, destruction, and death... and trying to bear witness. It means trying to find the truth in a sandstorm of propaganda when armies, tribes or terrorists clash. And yes, it means taking risks, not just for yourself but often for the people who work closely with you. Despite all the videos you see from the Ministry of Defence or the Pentagon, and all the sanitised language describing smart bombs and pinpoint strikes... the scene on the ground has remained remarkably the same for hundreds of years. Craters. Burned houses. Mutilated bodies. Women weeping for children and husbands. Men for their wives, mothers children. Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado?"

Of course, the death of one journalist is nothing compared to the thousands of innocent civilians who have been slaughtered by the Syrian regime. Think of a citizen journalist like 26 year old Rami Ahmad Alsayed, killed in the streets of BabrAmr with three of his friends. He maintained a live video stream to provide graphic details of the kind of indiscriminate military terror Assad's forces had unleashed on Homs. Below is moving tribute by his brother of over Rami's body, detailing his wounds. WARNING: upsetting images.

Marie Colvin, who described the situation in Homs as one of the bloodiest and most dangerous she'd ever seen, lost her life reporting how others were losing theirs. Her death brings home to us how lethal the situation is for most Syrians.

"Someone has to go there and see what is happening. You can't get that information without going to places where people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you. The real difficulty is having enough faith in humanity to believe that enough people be they government, military or the man on the street, will care when your file reaches the printed page, the website or the TV screen. We do have that faith because we believe we do make a difference."

Let's hope that her death, like her life, keeps on making a difference, and this shocking news will shake the international community out of its indifference to the sufferings of Syria.

 

It's ironic, given that US corporate interests (including one R Murdoch) are complaining about SOPA and how tomorrow/today's internet blackout is an abuse of power, that it's just emerged through the ongoing Leveson Enquiry, that the world's third largest media conglomerate, News Corp, through one of its prestigious titles, The Times of London, hacked the identity of a prize winning blogger and - apparently without revealing this to the courts - fought a privacy case against him to out his real identity and silence his blog.

The blogger in question was Nightjack, a police officer who blogged so brilliantly about the realities of police work that he won the prestigious Orwell Prize in 2009. A few months later, the anonymous blogger was outed by the Times as Richard Horton. As a result he was reprimanded by his police employers, and his blog was deleted. (The mirror site linked above has been retrieved by someone else).

The case caused an outcry in 2009, not only because a valuable voice was lost, but it also resulted in a landmark ruling in the British High Court that a blogger had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”.

During that period the Times had argued it had deduced Horton's identity from the material on his blog.  But in his written statement today at the Leveson inquiry, the Times Editor James Harding admitted.

"There was an incident where the newsroom was concerned that a reporter had gained unauthorised access to an email account. When it was brought to my attention, the journalist faced disciplinary action. The reporter believed he was seeking to gain information in the public interest but we took the view he had fallen short of what was expected of a Times journalist. He was issued with a formal written warning for professional misconduct."

However, he failed to mention that the article - written by media correspondent Patrick Foster - was still published, and Horton's privacy case fought successfully by the Times through the courts.

Not only does this connect the hacking scandal beyond the now closed News of the World and The Sun to Murdoch's broadsheet titles, it is also yet another example of egregious corporate double standards. While in the witness box today Harding  had the temerity to complain that any kind or regulation would chill 'free speech'.

"We don't want a country in which the government, the state, regulates the papers … we don't want to be in a position where the prime minister decides what goes in newspapers," he said.

He added that if the outcome of the inquiry was a "Leveson act", even one just offering a statutory backstop to an independent press regulator, it would be unworkable.

"The concern is that a Leveson act would give a mechanism to politicians to loom over future coverage," of politics, Harding said, and start introducing amendments to this legislation "and that would have a chilling effect on the press".

This from an editor who was responsible outing a celebrated blogger through hacking and then hounding him to the point of silence

This is timely reminder that the threats to free speech don't just come from governments but from corporations too. This is something I've begun to explore in  the first chapter of my book (illustrated by fellow Kossack Eric Lewis) Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch (warning - long quote below the squiggle but I'm only abusing my own copyright)

Today in the High Court, News Group Newpapers, the News Corp subsidiary responsible for the defunct News of the World and The Sun, is settling dozens of hacking and surveillance claimsin an attempt to avoid a high court case on Feb 13th which could result in punitive damages.

There are over 60 hacking victims with ongoing cases, and at least another 800 confirmed  and subject to litigation. Financially, this could be very costly for News International. But in terms of the hacking saga, it could be devastating for the Murdochs

Two Smoking Guns

1. In terms of the legal statements now being made in court, perhaps the most important is the admission of corporate cover-up. David Leigh at the stellar Guardian has the most incisive analysis

The most significant new element of Thursday's hacking settlement announcements is the accusation by the hacking victims' lawyers that Murdoch company directors tried to destroy evidence.

Although the lawyers' statement does not name names, it specifically accuses directors of News Group Newspapers Ltd, the Murdoch subsidiary which controlled the News of the World, of seeking to conceal the wrongdoing by "deliberately deceiving investigators and destroying evidence".

The directors of NGN were headed, from April 2008, by James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's son. James has already been at the centre of public allegations that he first authorised a cover-up in June 2008, by agreeing to buy the silence of Gordon Taylor, one of the hacking victims, with a lavish £700,000 secret pay-off.

The following year, former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks joined the NGN board. This was on 23 July 2009, a few days after the Guardian revealed the existence of the cover-up at the News of the World. Brooks, who by now had been promoted by Rupert Murdoch to head his entire UK newspaper operation, responded by claiming: "The Guardian coverage, we believe, has substantially and likely deliberately misled the British public."

This takes the whole phone hacking scandal right to the top of the tree. Who knows what will unfold, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more resignations.

2. But for US readers - and for News Corp which is incorporated in the US - perhaps the most significant revelation in the welter of admissions today is with the Jude Law Case, where NGN's lawyers have admitted that - in line with news reports months ago - they hacked his phone while he was on US soil at JFK. From the Telegraph in June

The News of the World allegedly hacked into the mobile phones of Jude Law and his personal assistant while they were in New York, opening the way for News International to be prosecuted in the United States.

In the first specific example of a case of hacking on US soil, it has emerged that the actor and his assistant, Ben Jackson, were allegedly targeted shortly after arriving at New York's JFK airport.

Their mobile telephones were operating on American networks, meaning that regardless of where the alleged hacker was based, American law would apply.
It would leave News International open to claims that it broke US federal laws and also pave the way for costly lawsuits.

The allegation comes after it was announced that the FBI has opened a preliminary investigation into allegations that Rupert Murdoch's company tried to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11 attacks.

So where does this leave the FBI investigation? The DOJ is still looking at violations Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and potential RICO violations. But this is a clear cut admission of intercepting wireless telephony on US soil.

I'm looking to fellow Kossacks for legal clarification on this and - if possible - to push the DOJ into action.

UPDATE: looks like this is getting some traction stateside. From Vanity Fair contributor and Murdoch Biographer, Michael Wolff:

Be part of the FOTHOM book: Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 12:13

Hitchens' One Troubling Legacy: Islamofascism

Written by

The death of Christopher Hitchens is a loss to the world of letters for, as the many eulogies over the last week have proven, he was clearly a stylish writer, a fantastic orator, and from the accounts of those who knew him, a voluble, generous and compassionate friend. But as the last line of Some Like It Hot makes clear: "No-one is perfect." Given that Hitchens never stood on ceremony, and was a great slayer of sacred cows, it wouldn't be fitting to note his passing without decrying one of his more otiose and unfortunate legacies: as the inventor and populariser of the term Islamofascism.

Saturday, 26 November 2011 14:26

Cryptofascist? The Problem with Frank Miller

Written by

As my colonial cousins recover from an overdose of turkey and tryptophan, let me prod you into consciousness with the Frank Miller problem - which also allows me to post some awesome pics.

No, the Frank Miller problem isn't as simple as you think. From his slapdash rant about the OWS movement on his website, it seems to quite clear where Frank's political sympathies lie:

 

"Occupy" is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the "movement" - HAH! Some "movement", except if the word "bowel" is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.

This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they're spewing their garbage - both politically and physically - every which way they can find.

Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.

Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you've been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you've heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.

And this enemy of mine - not of yours, apparently - must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh - out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.

In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas' basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft (sic).

I said it seems to be quite clear where Miller's political thinking lies: except nothing is clear in this inchoate melange of addled testosterone,  islamophobia, and shock jock cliche.

Surprise, surprise. Frank Miller writes dark, paranoid cartoon books. His political thinking is dark, paranoid and cartoonish.

This is not the real Frank Miller problem - except for him - and anyone who expected anything else.  

Peter Jukes :: Cryptofascist? The Problem with Frank Miller: Open Thread
The Real Frank Miller Problem

Hopefully, Miller's political rantings will make some of the Occupy supporters in London think again when they sport V-for-Vendetta masks, and therefore assume this is some left revolutionary uprising of the masses. Though Alan Moore is a much more sophisticated story teller, aware of the violent illiberal tendencies of his heroes, there's nothing in the Guido Fawkes character that couldn't be equally conscripted by a right wing populist.

And this brings me to the nub of the issue: can you read off fiction against politics, or vice versa. Rick Moody puts the case in his essay Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood.

 

Miller's hard-right, pro-military point of view is not only accounted for in his own work, but in the larger project of mainstream Hollywood cinema. American movies, in the main, often agree with Frank Miller, that endless war against a ruthless enemy is good, and military service is good, that killing makes you a man, that capitalism must prevail, that if you would just get a job (preferably a corporate job, for all honest work is corporate) you would quit complaining. American movies say these things, but they are more polite about it, lest they should offend. The kind of comic-book-oriented cinema that has afflicted Hollywood for 10 years now, since Spider-Man, has degraded the cinematic art, and has varnished over what was once a humanist form, so Hollywood can do little but repeat the platitudes of the 1%. And yet Hollywood tries still not to offend.

I kind of go along with this thesis: especially the domination of the DC and Marvel franchises which have so saturated Hollywood. Compared with the 70s - where realistic story telling and improvisatory acting were at a premium - the movies of the early 21st Century aspire in their acting and subtlety and realism to the state of a cartoon. (Fortunately great actors and writers have a refuge in USTV).

But then I stop short. Rick Moody puts Gladiator into this genre.

 

which I still contend is an allegory about George W Bush's candidacy for president, despite the fact that director and principal actor were not US citizens. Is it possible to think of a film such as Gladiator outside of its political subtext? Are Ridley Scott's falling petals, which he seems to like so much that he puts them in his films over and over again, anything more than a way to gussy up the triumph of oligarchy, corporate capital and globalisation?

And here we have it - the whole problem of reading fiction as politics. Gladiator as an allegory for George Bush? How bonkers can you get?

Hopefully, more bonkers still. Moody's reading of the Ridley Scott classic is as revealing about himself as it is about the movie. And that is the joy of fiction: taste and interpretation is entirely subjective. Meanings are not enclosed and enforced as in polemic or propaganda. The drama of the story is dialogic - it lets you take two sides at the same time. (As Shakespeare says in King Lear "That's true too")l. Art is  open ended, descriptive rather than prescriptive, and let's you frame your own metaphors. And rarely are stories allegories like Orwell's Animal Farm or Miller's The Crucible , and even when they are, they take on a complex life of their own.

Most stories play with political and real life events, but with no definitive read off. I remember as a politicised 19 year old, having loved reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy in my early teens, worrying whether Sauron was Hitler or Stalin, Saruman Mussolini or Hitler. Though the story of the Ring of Power is definitely Tolkien's response to Germanic myths of power and domination (the inscription even echoes the Hitlerian "Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer") it is ridiculous to go beyond some deep metaphoric echoes. Had Tolkien wished to make a simple political or historical statement he would have made it. Fiction creates its own internal dynamics, and from fairy tales to classical tragedy to morally complex anti heroes like Tony Soprano or Harry Lime in The Third Man, allows us to experience the clash of ideas and characters, without taking sides, or taking all sides.

So the meaning of a writers work often escapes its maker. There are dozens of artists whose politics I abhor, but whose writings I still love. Take the case of some great 20th Century poets - Yeat's fascist nationalism, Eliot's anti-semitism, Philip Larkin's racist conservatism, Bertolt Brecht's collaboration with Stalinism. Where their political beliefs obtrude into their work or - as in the case of Ezra Pound - they become pure propagandists, their statements can be rebutted and excoriated for what they are.

But these writers weren't full time politicians. We only know of their politics because of their lyric talents. In the more epic world of fiction - whether it's a mirror to reality or a fantasy alternative world - meanings are fluid, metaphors are mysterious, characters and events memory precisely because they are intractable and irreducible to a simple message. By definition, works of art contain emotional and unconscious force which the artist cannot control or describe. Therefore we're presented in a great comic book, novel, poem, movie or painting with densely complex statement, something which rewrites its meaning every time a new viewer watches it.

In short - Frank Miller's politics are stupid, paranoid and frankly laughable.

But still the Dark Knight will survive the idiocy of his maker.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Today in Parliament

 


As expected, the appearance of James Murdoch, the Chief Executive of News International (and related to some other famous people) before the DCMS Committee today failed to produce any huge bombshells. Let's remind ourselves that the Parliamentary Committee has no real powers of subpoena, witnesses are not obliged to testify on oath, is not run by trained lawyers, and is not allowed to investigate anything that could prejudice the three ongoing police investigations.  

C-Span has the whole proceedings here

James is smart, lawyered up, and left no hostages to fortune in terms of his evidence. Tom Watson had some stellar moments, challenging James over various contradictory testimonies, naming three or four other private investigators working for News International (adding some cryptic reference to Operation Millipede), and at least landing a rhetorical blow by calling James

'the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.'.

(This latter remark has caused some consternation among Watson's enemies and Murdoch's apologists - but my American friends will know that the Department of Justice IS looking at potential RICO violations by Newscorp)

All in all, another day in the ongoing Murdoch saga. As Britover puts it in an excellent rec-listed diary: Some top line people really need to face jailtime. The most senior executive of the sixteen so far arrested has been Rebekah Brooks: but though James might not feel the hand of the law on his shoulder, the media scrutiny of his performance could be just as damaging in the long run.

Unanswered Questions

 


But however evasive and well trained James is at avoiding direct questions ("I have no knowledge of that... I don't recall") there are three glaring contradictions that this appearance has underlined.

1. Someone has Misled Parliament over the information provided to James when he authorised an extraordinary 700,000 GBP payment to Gordon Taylor in a civil suit over his phone being hacked by News of the World. James' claim in his previous appearance in July that he had no knowledge of phone hacking beyond the rogue reporter Clive Goodman had been directly contradicted by evidence given by the editor of NOTW at the time, Colin Myler, and News International's chief legal adviser, Tom Crone. They claim they informed James when he made that settlement. James now claims they didn't tell him, and that they misled Parliament rather than him.

TW: Did you mislead this committee?

JM: No I did not

TW: If you didn't who did?

JM I believe his committee was given [evidence] by people without full possession of the facts or...it was economical. My own testimony has been consistent. I testify to this committee with as much clarity and transparency as I can.

TW: Was it Mr Crone [who misled the committee?]
JM: I thought it was inconsistent and

TW: So you agree he misled the committee
JM: It follows that I do. I believe their testimony was misleading and I dispute it

This is a kind of either/or argument that the Committee will comment on: both accounts cannot be true.

2. How can an Effective Chief Executive be so ineffectual? James consistent response to the mounting evidence of extensive phone hacking, blagging and other borderline illegal activities by his staff was 'how am I supposed to know that level of detail'. Fair enough. But when you're making multimillion pound payouts to Gordon Taylor and Max Clifford, with dozens of other suits pending, surely it's your corporate duty to find out.

This is now being called the Asda Moment - 'Asda' is the UK equivalent of Walmart.

After explaining that he used to work for the supermarket chain (owned by the giant US company, Walmart) Davies registered his incredulity that Murdoch could have authorised the payment of more than £500,000 (to Taylor) without inquiring deeply into the reasons.

"It all seems so cavalier to me," said Davies. "You agree to settle cases with no real cap but a ballpark figure. You agree that a company should have a legal opinion, but you don't even ask to see the opinion when it is written."

3. A Fit and Proper Person? Next month is the shareholders meeting of BSkyB, Britain's largest pay-for-TV operator, 39.14% owned by Newscorp. Though the public outcry and online petitioning (by groups such as Avaaz) effectively stopped the full takeover of the company this summer, James still chairs the board. Our broadcast regulator, Ofcom, has a statutory duty to make sure that owners of licensed broadcasters are 'fit and proper' and can revoke a license if a director fails that test.

By the time BSkyB meets next, the DCMS committee will have ruled whether James has deceived Parliament or not.

Is being either/or a 'liar' or completely incompetent enough? Or even better - both.

In other News

 


Your intrepid reporter made a fool of himself an appearance outside Parliament for James' testimony. Bedecked like a human press pack, Brit decided to protest about the 30 years of Murdoch influence by sporting a sandwich board illustrated by fellow Kossack Eric Lewis, bearing the understated message:

Murdoch Ruined my Life.

Above you can see him above talking to a French journalist. Tonight he will appear on Al Jazeera. Below he joins members of the Avaaz campaign also picketing parliament.

When it's processed, I'll also post a video of him picketing Portcullis House where James was supposed to arrive, only to be stopped by a policeman and told (much to his shock and amazement) that no protests or placards are allowed within a kilometre of Parliament without prior approval, and I could be arrested. I told the very polite and helpful officer that I wasn't protesting, merely advertising the book I'm writing with Eric Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch. The policeman said he didn't hear that, because advertising without a licence could also earn me a night in the cells.

I'm not as brave as many in the Occupy Movement, and rapidly removed my billboards.

There will be more about the book in later posts. It will be loosely based on my Kossack series of diaries, and focus on the stellar 'crowd sourced' journalism, reportage and activism of my fellow bloggers. It will also be crowd sourced in funding, so we'll be hitting back at the command and control modus operandi of the main stream media both in form and content.

Meanwhile join me below to discuss what you make of this latest chapter in the FOTHOM saga. And do contribute to the dedicated Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch website if you can

{jb_dropcap}No, there is no major news about the three major investigations into multiple phone and computer hacking, bribing police officials, or perverting the course of justice by News International in the the UK. Nor is there any major development in the DOJ investigation into the parent company Newscorp, for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or other examples of systemic criminality (RICO violations) like the Floorgraphics case. No, the simple stunning verdict on the Murdoch Dynasty has been delivered by Newscorps Shareholders

Shareholders Deliver a Damning Verdict on James and Lachlan Murdoch


As handsomely diaried by Ceebs, last Friday's Newscorp shareholders meeting, held in high security in LA rather than in New York, was still a tumultuous affair, with many of independent shareholders calling the management to task over issues of corporate governance, probity, possible further legal actions, and of course the underlying complaint that Rupert Murdoch treats the public corporation like a 'family candy store'. Usually as Murdoch's biographer Michael Wolff explains in a tellingly titled piece: Rupert Murdoch: News Corp's great dictator on the brink

Under normal circumstances, Rupert Murdoch doesn't have much patience for the annual shareholders' meetings that are required by law of American public companies. He regards them as a farce, because they cannot change the outcome in a company where a voting majority is secure, and as an exercise in liberal corporate law designed to put him personally on the spot.

This time it was different. This time the voices couldn't be ignored, and they were joined by the stalwart British Parliamentarian, Tom Watson, initially a victim and now a persistent campaigner against both the industrial scale phone hacking in the UK (among other illegal practices) and the coverup. The vote was supposed to be delivered here last week. Now you can see the reason for the delay. Pegasus Corporate Governance has just tweeted the independent votes:

2011 AGM James Murdoch: For 59,297,033 (19.23%), Against 232,013,203 (75.24%) Abstain 494,831 Non-Votes 16,564,060
2011 AGM Lachlan Murdoch: For 67,175,479 (21.78%), Against 224,151,616 (72.69%) Abstain 477,972 Non-Votes 16,564,060

It doesn't constitute a majority since, though only owning 10 percent of the shares, the Murdoch family have 40 percent of the voting rights. But this is like Thatcher winning the first round of the votes in 1990 - not by a big enough margin. She was holed in the water. The vote of non confidence is resounding. As the Guardian puts it:

James Murdoch's future at News Corporation looks increasingly precarious as shareholders delivered a damning verdict on his tenure amid widespread criticism of his handling of the hacking scandal. Following a contentious meeting in Los Angeles last week News Corporation shareholders lodged a massive protest vote against James and his brother Lachlan Murdoch. A majority of independent shareholders voted against the re-election of chairman Rupert Murdoch's sons James and Lachlan Murdoch. James Murdoch received the largest vote against his re-election at 35%. James, 38, faces a second grilling in the Parliament next month over phone-hacking at The News of The World, one of News Corp's UK newspapers. Some 34% of shareholders voted against Lachlan Murdoch 40. After subtracting the shares controlled by Rupert Murdoch, 67% of the votes went against James Murdoch and 64% against Lachlan, said Julie Tanner, assistant director of News Corp investor Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), who last week called for Rupert Murdoch to step down as chairman after the "extraordinary scandals" at the company. "Shareholders are saying loud and clear that this board has failed as a group," she said.

As you probably all know, the Square Mile of the City of London is the world's second biggest financial centre, and ever since the mid 80s has very much followed suit in the Thatcher Reagan concoction of deregulated markets, fluid global finance, strange derivatives, and the sharp increase in wealth inequality that comes from the 'Anglo Saxon Model'. Indeed, the problems of the last three years are very much an international problem, with a transatlantic origin. So it's about time the Occupy London movement took root.

I live on the edge of the City, only a ten minute walk from St Paul's where the demonstrations began at Noon today, so it hardly showed great radical commitment to head down there, be a witness and a supporter, before heading back to diary what I saw. I would have stayed, but my daughter is not well, and I didn't want to get 'kettled' (contained) by the police, and unable to look after her this evening.

So here are some images. It is a preternaturally warm day here in London, and the crowds were pleasant, well behaved and peaceful. It was a great mix of people

Wednesday, 12 October 2011 21:57

FOTHOM XXV: BREAKING: Wall Street Journal Scam Exposed

Written by

 

Over the course of these diaries, both myself and other FOTHOM aficianados have tried to stress that the UK hacking scandal is just one indication of the corrupt and anti-competitive practices that characterise the modal monopoly of Newscorp. Now another scandal is breaking which, like the looming shareholder rebellion, allegations of satellite card hacking in Italy and the Floorgraphics case prove once again that - like Watergate - the current scandal being investigated by no less than three large scale police operations in the UK, is only the tip of the iceberg, and that RICO violations are the best way for the current DOJ investigation to go.

Now the Wall Street Journal has news of the resignation of one of its chief executives:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:22

Magnetic Reversals: the Political Compass Shifts

Written by

This is partially inspired by a conversation on Labour List, the premier British Left of Centre blog, where a version of the Political Compass Test was taken by several diverse commenters.

Now most people who visit the political blogosphere know the parameters of that test: authoritarian/libertarian, socially interventionist/economically interventionist. Like Myers-Briggs, these are static and almost self fulfilling quadrants which test how much you believe in individual freedom versus social responsibility, whether in crime, foreign affairs, the economy, gun ownership or reproductive rights. We all know the tests, and probably where we come out in them. I think that the events of the last three years make that compass profoundly irrelevant, an old paradigm which can only provide a direction in an outdated map.

Follow me below the fold while I suggest that the old metrics no longer apply and we are in a new world looking for new bearings.

Page 2 of 4

Links and Contact Details

Live Tweeting

Over the last few years I've created some attention with my live coverage of the phone hacking trial in London, the most expensive and longest concluded criminal trial in British history. There are various accounts and articles about this on the web, including a radio play. My Twitter feed can be found here, and a collation of evidence from the trial, and all my live tweets, can be found at my Fothom Wordpress blog. There's also a Flipboard magazine and a Facebook Page. My Klout ranking is here.

More Journalism and Books

Various journalistic articles of mine are scattered throughout the web. There's some kind of portfolio at Muckrack. The most extensive reporting is for the Daily Beast and Newsweek, but there's more at the New Statesman, the New Republic, Aeon etc. I have two non fiction books published in the last year: The Fall of the House of Murdoch, available through Unbound or Amazon, and Beyond Contempt: the Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial, available via Canbury Press or also on Amazon. I am currently contributing to a new site for open source journalism, called Bellingcat, and advisor (along with Sir Harry Evans and Bill Emmott) to an exciting new crowdfunded journalism startip Byline

Getting in Contact

My generic email is my first name at peterjukes.com. That should get through to me pretty quickly. My Linked In profile is here. For non journalistic inquiries, for television stage and film, contact Howard Gooding at Judy Daish Associates. Examples of my television work can be found on IMDB. This links to the site for my forthcoming musical, Mrs Gucci. My radio plays can be found in various audiobook formats on Amazon and elsewhere.

 

Back to top