Murdoch's News Vultures

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard only vaguely about this News of the World phone-tapping scandal that’s currently blowing up in Rupert Murdoch’s face over there across the pond in Britain. I did a little checking on this yesterday and, in a nut, what went down is pretty fucking shocking and unbelievable.

I can boil it down for you with a quick explanation of why everyone is so pissed: A young schoolgirl named Milly Dowler disappeared and family and friends, fearing the worst and growing more desperate by the day, made repeated phone calls to the girl’s cell phone, all of which went unanswered, but all of which were somehow tapped by “journalists” from Murdoch’s News Corp. (the same company that owns FOX News), who were trolling for information, perhaps salacious details and probably the sound of the raw emotion of a mother or father searching for a lost child.

When the cell phone’s inbox got full, the jackals from News of the World hacked into the girl’s phone and deleted the existing messages, creating more room in the voice mailbox, leading family and friends to the [false, and thus all the more heart-breaking] assumption Milly may have been using the phone and might still be alive.

Alas, that was not the case. The girl had been kidnapped and murdered. While the case is nearly 10 years old, the killer was found and convicted last month and the phone-tapping story is only coming to light now. And it turns out Milly Dowler's family wasn't the only one violated by Murdoch's news vultures. News Corp. reporters also apparently bugged the phones of bombing victims and paid over $100,000 in bribes to London police officers for inside information on various sensational crime cases. The outrage runs deep and the Murdoch media empire is facing real problems over there in England.

And now the other shoe has dropped: After 168 years in publication, News of the World is closing up shop.

Good Lord, here's the whole horrific story on what Murdoch's malicious minions were up to. The scope of their phone-tapping malfeasant invasions of privacy is truly breathtaking, with victims ranging from the Dowler family to the loved ones of British war dead, from Members of Parliament to members of the Royal Family, from actress Sienna Miller to soccer star David Beckham. Conservative estimates say News of the World "reporters" tapped into the phones of more than 2,000 people over the years.

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