Some bad news for News International: an investigation launched after the phone hacking scandal came to a head over the summer suggests that the illegal practice spread much further than originally thought, the BBC reports.
In all, almost 30 News of the World employee names were written in the notes of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who was arrested and convicted of phone hacking for the now-defunct British tabloid. Mulcaire also wrote The Sun and the Daily Mirror in his notes, which the BBC reports might suggest Mulcaire did work for those papers, as well. A Trinity Mirror spokesman told the BBC that “the company has no knowledge of ever using Glenn Mulcaire.”
Robert Jay, who is a government lawyer for the inquiry — originally launched by British Prime Minister David Cameron — said Monday that “it would not be unfair to comment that (phone hacking) was at the very least a thriving cottage industry.”
This latest news comes at a time when 58 percent of the British public say they don’t trust UK newspapers anymore, according to a PBS survey. And one-in-four Americans say the phone hacking scandal has eroded their trust in British media outlets, The Guardian reports.
But there’s at least one place where Rupert Murdoch’s media empire say they clearly haven’t broken the law: Australia. According to an internal survey, News Limited — News Corporation’s Australian imprint — found “no evidence of illegitimate telephone surveillance or payments to public officials.” Phew! But just to be safe, the company will adopt a single code of ethics, the Hollywood Reporter reports, and even make its employees adhere to it.
James Murdoch, in a second appearance before Parliament last week, again denied that he misled the committee, which prompted one Guardian writer to label the News Corp. heir apparent “the most forgetful manager in the world.”
The Leveson inquiry, where Mulcaire’s notes were detailed, has more than 50 individuals and organizations as “core” participants — including author J.K. Rowling and actor Hugh Grant — and the first witnesses are due to appear November 21. The BBC has a helpful breakdown of the investigation here.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com