So, Rebekah Brooks has finally resigned

This is obviously a good thing, and the right thing. Her position was untenable, and as I’ve blogged before – whether she knew what was going on in the newsroom when she was editor of the News of the World is irrelevant. She was in charge, and needed to take responsibility.

However, I can’t help but worry that this is a still all part of a bigger tactical game being played by News Corp. Wait til Friday to resign – fewer journalists working over the weekend, less time to make more of the story. Time it for the morning the BBC journalists are on strike, so the largest news organisation in the country can’t really handle the story (Murdoch will do anything he can to stuff the BBC, won’t he). Have the replacement CEO all lined up – this isn’t a spontaneous act this morning, it’s clearly been planned for a few days.

But most importantly – distract.

The media will spend all day chasing the ‘Rebekah Brooks resigns’ story.

Meanwhile the FBI investigating News Corp, links between a former NOTW employee and the commissioner of the Met Police, the news that Jean Charles de Meneze’s relatives may have had their phones hacked – all get shunted down the pecking order.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Murdoch announced they were hiring a global PR company to handle the crisis yesterday either.

So I think its important that everyone keeps the pressure up. That politicians keep asking the questions, and bloggers keep posting things as they hear them.

And we talk about the things we think are important. Not the stories that News Corp or the Murdochs decide they’ll let us have – to stop us talking about the rest of it.

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  • Jack Holroyde 15th Jul '11 - 11:14am

    As far as I recall, the right thing is not to authorise the bribery of police and wallowing in the grief of others.

  • However, I can’t help but worry that this is a still all part of a bigger tactical game being played by News Corp.

    Have any of their actions to date suggested that their tactics, whatever they are, are working? They’ve jettisoned every non-blood relative involved and things are still getting worse and worse. The police and FBI investigations may not be the number one headline, but these have huge long term ramifications, particularly if people are charged and convicted. Likewise the forthcoming select committee appearances where, attendees can be in seriously trouble if they lie, as is apparent they have done in the past.

    Then there is Cameron & Coulson, I don’t think that is a subject that the electorate are going to be allowed to forget. If Coulson is convicted, if Cameron was warned (the Guardian have all but accused him of lying when he said he wasn’t) then he’s facing challenges to his leadership from his colleagues who (perhaps rightly) fear he is now harming his party’s chances of winning the next election. And he has to share a government with the Liberal Democrat who are busy painting themselves whiter than white, which also helps to make Cameron look very grubby indeed.

  • Simon McGrath

    Lets also remember that just like Gordon’s Browns absurd claims it is entirely possible that a lot of this is untrue (such as hacking the 9/11 victims familes in the US.)

    The only claim that The Sun and NI denied was that they accessed GB’s son’s medical records by hacking/blagging, an allegation he hadn’t made in the first place. They made no comment on the allegations he did make (excepting Rupert, but frankly these days, apart from David Cameron, who would trust a senior NI figure to tell the truth)

  • Seeing as NI titles have been telling us for many years about how soft British jails are, and its well known that US jails are not a very safe place, perhaps the Murdochs whatever citizenship they are claiming this week should stay put in the UK.

  • Daniel Henry 15th Jul '11 - 3:45pm


  • Murdoch’s tactics are neither brilliant nor incompetent. They just rely on taking what look like big steps backwards which are actually small or reversible, on hunkering down in the face of the storm, on lying big time about humility, and on expecting to recover everything once the heat is off. Lots of people have used such tactics. When carried through with determination and single-mindedness, as Murdoch does, they usually work in the end.

    The politicians who toadied to Murdoch for years, and reversed their positions this month, can of course reverse those positions again, if they need to do so.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, that will include Clegg, unless – as with the NHS – the party imposes its own will on its “leader”.

  • Steve Wilson 16th Jul '11 - 11:16am

    Good news. We should soon have a squeaky clean press.

    I had a horrible dream last night where it was actually other newspaper groups like Mirror Group and Associated Newspapers that were actually responsible for more transgressions, but everyone chose to ignore them. Imagine if that happened.

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