OLD Media Moves

WSJ editorial page needs to revisit News Corp. editorial

August 19, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Jack Shafer of Slate writes that The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board needs to think about writing another editorial about its parent company now that new revelations have come to light about its phone hacking scandal.

Shafer writes, “But revelations published by the Guardian on Tuesday give the Wall Street Journal editorial page plenty of reason to doubt Hinton. The U.K. paper reproduces a March 2, 2007, letter from confessed phone-hacker Clive Goodman to Murdoch’s HR department protesting his dismissal from News of the World by Les Hinton. Goodman, who had just been released from prison, asserts that the practice of phone-hacking ‘was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until reference to it was banned by the Editor [of News of the World Andy Coulson].’

“The Guardian also reports that Hinton was forwarded a copy of the March 2, 2007, letter ‘but failed to pass it to police and who then led a cast of senior Murdoch personnel in telling parliament that they believed [then News of the World Editor] Coulson knew nothing about the interception of the voicemail of public figures and that Goodman was the only journalist involved.’

“I find it inconceivable that Hinton, who fired Goodman and who headed a division that paid Goodman £230,000 in compensation in 2007 and £13,000 in legal expenses after it fired him (according to evidence unearthed by Parliament), would not know the contents of the letter.

“But I could be wrong—Hinton could be completely blameless in the phone-hacking scandal. I know it’s a thankless job for a newspaper to investigate itself, its former boss, or one of its corporate cousins. But it was the Journal editorial page that threw down the Hinton gauntlet. Now that there’s new evidence to doubt Hinton, will the editorial page examine it and reconsider its July 18 editorial?”

Read more here.

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