Congress Has Some Questions About News Corp.

More

Lawmakers pile on, asking the administration to investigate Rupert Murdoch's embattled media empire

Rupert Murdoch - Paul Hackett : Reuters - banner.jpg

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) joined Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday in asking Attorney General Eric Holder and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro to investigate whether News Corp. broke any U.S. laws.

The scandal over Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper in London has already cost his company British broadcaster BSkyB. Boxer and Rockefeller want to know if any of Murdoch's media holdings pulled similar tricks in the United States. They also want to know if it's possible to prosecute any of his executives under U.S. law.

The tabloid was closed after allegations that its reporters hacked into cell-phone voice-mail accounts of a young murder victim, politicians, and the royal family, and bribed police to get phone records of victims of the 9/11 attacks.

"The allegations, if true, may constitute a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits corrupt payments intended to influence any act or decision of a foreign official," Rockefeller and Boxer wrote in a joint statement.

"The reported allegations against News Corporation are very serious and indicate potentially thousands of victims and a pattern of illegal activity. It important to ensure that no United States laws were broken and no United States citizens were victimized."

Other senators soon jumped into the fray, including Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J). Lautenberg also wrote a letter to Holder and Schapiro asking for an investigation.

Outrage was not limited to Democrats alone. House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate.

The Federal Communications Commission oversees the licenses for the U.S. broadcast stations owned by News Corp., but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski indicated he was not going to get involved quickly. "There is a process going on in the U.K. and that is a U.K. process and I don't expect we will be involved in that," Genachowski said after a commission meeting Tuesday. An FCC spokesman said Wednesday Genachowski would not be commenting further.

Image credit: Paul Hackett/Reuters

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Strohm covers homeland security and intelligence for National Journal Group.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In