Phone hacking scandal: Is this Britain’s Watergate? Is this the beginning of the end for Rupert Murdoch?

Excerpt from UK Independent, “Hacking scandal: is this Britain’s Watergate?

“David Cameron was forced to cut Rupert Murdoch and his newspaper empire loose from the heart of government yesterday as he tried to deflect public anger about his failure to tackle the phone-hacking scandal.

Mr Cameron turned on Mr Murdoch’s son James, saying there were questions “that need to be answered” about his role during the phone-hacking cover-up, and criticising him for not accepting the resignation of News International’s chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

He also admitted that his desire to win support from the company’s newspapers had led him to turn “a blind eye” as evidence grew of widespread illegality at the News of the World.”

I still won’t bet against Rupert Murdoch yet. But I am asking, “Is this the beginning of the end for Rupert Murdoch?

* Guardian UK LIVE update report, (warning: this Guardian link is giving me some strange warning in Chrome, I hope it is not hacked!) “News of the World phone-hacking scandal – latest updates – Reaction and developments as Rupert Murdoch is due to arrive in the UK as the phone hacking crisis threatens to turn into a crisis for his global media empire

* NYT (and yes, New York Times is owned by Murdoch), excerpt from “Phone Scandal Poses Defining Test for a Murdoch Son” (emphasis added),

“On Thursday afternoon, James Murdoch assembled senior executives in the top-floor boardroom in the News Corporation’s London headquarters and told them of a momentous decision: to shutter the 168-year-old tabloid at the center of a deepening phone-hacking scandal and the original heart of the Murdoch media empire in Britain.

Hours earlier, he had prevailed on his father, Rupert, and his chief lieutenant, Chase Carey, in a phone call from London to Sun Valley, Idaho, where they were attending a conference, according to two people briefed on the matter. Under pressure to quell the scandal and preserve a lucrative deal for a pay-television company, James Murdoch argued that closing the newspaper was necessary to restore respect to the company, they said. [Kempton's note: I would have probably made the same decision. But the decision may have been too late with the accumulated "bad" stuff that were done over the years all exemplified by this phone hacking scandal.]

Now James Murdoch faces a new test as he jockeys to one day run his father’s company and salvage the biggest deal in the Murdochs’ history, a $12 billion takeover of British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB. With the scandal mushrooming as two former employees were arrested and new charges surfaced that executives had tried to obstruct investigations, he could emerge as the company’s decisive new leader, or as the tainted son who mismanaged one of the greatest crises the family business has faced.”

Update:

Interesting read from Guardian, “Rebekah Brooks: A ruthless, charming super-schmoozer – The meteoric rise of News International’s chief executive, from showbiz reporter to Rupert Murdoch’s closest ‘daughter’

Guardian, “News International phone hacking memos passed to police – 2007 memos appear to show phone hacking more widespread than previously thought and that NoW paid police for information

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