If anyone isn’t familiar with the NewsCorp phone hacking scandal, here’s a quick rundown. Very popular British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International hired private investigators to break into the voicemail of several celebrities looking for stories. They were eventually busted. In investigations it has come out that they also:

  • Broke into the voicemail of a missing 13 year old girl, and deleted some voicemail to make room for new ones to come in. She was later found dead.
  • Broke into the voicemail of families of victims of the 7/7 train bombings in London.
  • Broke into the voicemail of families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Paid police for information that seems to have pointed to potential targets.

There’s more to it but that’s the big stuff. Newscorp has now shut down the paper and will likely otherwise get away with it, as the paper and some of its (definitely guilty) editors are looking at jail time.

Probably by coincidence, lol, the BBC ran a segment of their Witness series on the radio today about the Hillsborough Disaster, in which a bunch of Liverpool fans rushed the field in 1989, causing a human crush and killing 96 people. And that’s bad. But it got worse.

Shortly after the incident another Newscorp paper, the Sun, ran a front page article accusing other Liverpool fans of picking the pockets of the dead and injured, urinating on police, and harassing the paramedics. Here’s the thing, though: there’s no evidence of it at all. The BBC went looking for witnesses to support it, including to the commentators who were watching the match, and found nothing. Quite the opposite: following the crush, other fans were rushing out to try to help the wounded. Advertising boards were torn down to use as makeshift stretchers, and were giving first aid to the victims where they could.

Needless to say, it resulted in a boycott of the Sun, in Liverpool at least. It goes on to this day, in spite of an official apology that finally rolled in in 2004, and included further protests to the BBC for hiring the responsible editor as a commentator in 2007.

Anyway. The more you know about Newscorp, tabloids, and outright douchebaggery.

BREAKING NEWS EDIT: It was just announced that former PM Gordon Brown was a victim of the phone hacking, but from the Sunday Times… a different Newscorp paper. Someone is about to get seriously fucked.

MORE EDIT: This is getting good. They didn’t just get into his voicemail. They got legal and medical records too. As did the Sun. Newscorp isn’t getting out of this by shutting down a single paper anymore. I’ve got a schadenfreude hardon here.