Rupert Murdoch faces revolt from his own staff…after journalists angry at the arrest of five senior colleagues accused the company of throwing them to the wolves.
The 80-year-old media mogul is due to fly into Britain this week to address workers at his Wapping plant and reassure them of his commitment to his remaining UK newspaper titles. But he is likely to receive an angry reception after five more journalists on The Sun were arrested as part of Operation Elveden – the police investigation into allegations of bribery.
The arrests early on Saturday morning were the second batch in a fortnight and sources close to the investigation have indicated that they are unlikely to be the last.
Journalists at The Sun yesterday accused the company’s Management Standards Committee (MSC), which handed a huge amount of information to detectives, of allowing a “witch-hunt” to take place.
One angry journalist said the MSC were behaving like “reptiles” in order to protect the reputation of Mr Murdoch’s parent company in the United States.
Ten senior journalists on the paper have now been arrested and bailed as detectives probe allegations that they illegally paid police officers and other public officials for information. But staff at the paper said many of the allegations were “pathetic” and related to matters many years ago where reporters had bought drinks for contacts in the pursuit of legitimate stories…
One source at Wapping said: “There is a real feeling of anger, deepening anger but also defiance about what is going on. But there is not the mood for a strike, as people are loyal to the paper but perhaps not the people who run it…”
It has also now emerged that the Sun’s parent company News Corp could face an investigation by officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law allows American companies to be fined hundreds of millions of dollars for illegal activities overseas.
It would be pleasant change in political practices on the part of governments in both the US and UK to offer Murdoch something more than a powder puff spank on his poo-poo. He probably owns more politicians in the British Parliament than Exxon-Mobil does in the US Congress.