As Scandal Rages, Murdoch Charges In

Hacking debacle could topple long-dominant British tabloids
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2011 8:22 AM CDT
Rupert Murdoch reads the last edition of Britain's News of the World as he arrives at the offices of his UK newspaper division on Sunday, July 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Pool)

(Newser) – With a $19 billion deal on the rocks, Rupert Murdoch is on the ground in London to face the phone hacking scandal head on. Reading the final issue of his News of the World tabloid, Murdoch arrived this morning at his UK newspaper headquarters even as opposition leader Ed Miliband called for the dismantling of Murdoch's bid to acquire BSkyB, reports the AP. With "the disgusting revelations that we have seen this week, the idea that this organization should be allowed to take over BSkyB without the criminal investigation having been completed... frankly that just won't wash with the public," Miliband said.

The scandal has toppled Murdoch from his longtime post as kingmaker and muckraker, and settled him squarely in the hot seat. Britain's tabloids are renowned for their mercilessness, notes the New York Times, and politicians have long courted them, fearful of their wrath. “Privately, MPs say all sorts of things, but most of them have kept very, very quiet about Rupert Murdoch until now,” says one journalism professor. “When you are facing the wrath of News International, you can bet they will turn up anything about you—whether it be true or just spun in a certain way.” The gloves are now off.

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