Rupert Murdoch should fire Rebekah Brooks for failing to create a culture where reporters respected the law
In shuttering The News of the World, the Murdochs, for the moment, have tried to divert attention from the big question: who within News Corp is culpable?
If the news stories are true—that as many as 4,000 (!!) celebrities, politicians, sports stars, and regular people had their phones illegally hacked over a period of nearly a decade—then that culpability is likely to run high into News International, the UK holding company for the Murdoch news properties ( including The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun) and perhaps into the global media conglomerate, News Corp.
And, if British authorities actually have the courage to conduct a rigorous investigation without fear or favor, then two likely high-up targets are Rebekah Brooks, editor of The News of the World before assuming her current job as head of News International, and James Murdoch, who is News Corp's deputy chief operating officer with special responsibility for UK activities.
Had News Corp acted like a normal corporation, it would have undertaken an internal investigation at least five years ago when The News of the World was revealed as hacking Prince Williams phone, leading to the jailing of its "royals" reporter. How widespread was the practice, who was responsible, how bring the practice to an end? Of course, News International and News Corp did nothing of the sort.