Pressure grows for US legal investigation of Murdoch empire

Pressure is growing on Rupert Murdoch in the US. The Attorney General is facing calls - including from a senior Senator - to investigate "all entities controlled by News Corp".

Pressure is growing on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire on the other side of the Atlantic. The Attorney General, Eric Holder, is facing calls – including from a senior Senator – to investigate “all entities controlled by News Corp”.

A petition is being organised by the Center for American Progress Action Fund through its Think Progress blog. CAPAF is run by John Podesta, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton and co-chair of President Obama’s transition team. The petition says:

“We are writing to express our concerns of potential corrupt practices by News Corporation.

“Specifically, there are credible reports that News Corp subsidiaries bribed police offers to obtain information about former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and others. Further, there are reports that News Corp subsidiaries hacked into voicemails of politicians, celebrities, and murder victims. Some of this activity may have even occurred on U.S. soil. Although initial reports focused on the U.K. paper News of the World, recent reports suggest that this disturbing conduct extended to several other News Corp properties.

“Given the seriousness of these allegations, we ask that you immediately begin an investigation of all entities controlled by News Corp, including domestic subsidiaries such as Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.”

Meanwhile Senator Jay Rockefeller, an ally of Obama and Democratic chairman of the Senate Commerce, released a statement reported by the Daily Telegraph:

“The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals – including children – is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics… This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken US law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated.

“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe.”

Earlier this week, the Telegraph reported that News Corp could face a bill of $100 million for US investigations into alleged payments to police officers under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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