CREW Calls for Congressional Investigation into News Corp.
Washington, D.C. –Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on the House and Senate to investigate whether journalists working for Rupert Murdoch’s News International (NI), owned by News Corp., have hacked into the voicemail of Americans.
Despite claims by NI executives that the phone hacking scandal enveloping Murdoch and his media empire was confined to the now-defunct News of the World, new evidence shows other Murdoch papers used the same tactics. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was repeatedly targeted for more than a decade by other Murdoch publications.
Further, a former New York City police officer claims he was offered money by News of the World journalists to retrieve the phone records of 9/11 victims and their families.
“It is becoming increasingly clear this scandal was not perpetrated by a few rogue reporters, but was systematically orchestrated at the highest levels of News Corp.,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “If Mr. Murdoch’s employees can be so brazen as to target the British prime minister, then it is not unreasonable to believe they also might hack into the voicemails of American politicians and citizens.”
NI executives repeatedly have claimed only a few “rogue” reporters at News of the World were involved in the hacking. In 2007, Les Hinton, one of Mr. Murdoch’s closest advisors and now the chief executive officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, testified – it now appears untruthfully – before a parliamentary committee that the hacking was limited to a single reporter. Fox News and the New York Post are also owned by News Corp.
“Given the ever-increasing number of Murdoch publications involved, combined with the allegation that News Corp. journalists sought access to the voicemails of 9/11 victims and their families, America cannot leave this investigation entirely to the British. Congress should immediately initiate its own inquiry,” said Ms. Sloan. “Politicians in Washington may not be able to agree on much these days, but at the very least they should be able to agree that efforts to hack the phones of those killed in the worst terrorist attack in American history merits thorough public hearings.”