The New York Times continues to frolic in the News Corp(se) meltdown, staying on the story like Brown on Williamson.
From Saturday’s edition:
2007 Letter Clearing a Tabloid Comes Under Scrutiny
When the News of the World phone hacking rumpus first got traction four years ago around the emails of one reporter who accessed cellphone messages of royal household staff members, parent company News International got a London law firm to scratch out a one-paragraph letter that “said senior editors were not aware of the reporter’s ‘illegal actions,’ which helped convince lawmakers that hacking was not endemic at the tabloid.”
But . . .
That letter has taken on new significance since it emerged in recent weeks that those e-mails, while not pointing to wider knowledge of hacking, did contain indications of payoffs to the police by journalists in exchange for information.
Another Saturday Times piece hit closer to home:
Precautions at New York Post as Tabloid Inquiry Expands
Employees of The New York Post, Rupert Murdoch’s irreverent and hard-charging city tabloid, were told Friday to keep any documents that may pertain to the kind of illegal activity that has led to arrests and a widening investigation at the News Corporation’s British newspapers.
An e-mail to Post journalists on Friday afternoon said News Corporation lawyers had ordered them not to discard anything that relates to any unauthorized access of personal data or payments to government officials.
Priceless message to employees from Post editor Col Allan:
“As we watched the news in the U.K. over the last few weeks, we knew that as a News Corporation tabloid, we would be looked at more closely. So this is not unexpected,” he wrote. “I am sorry for any inconvenience.”
Yes, terribly inconvenient not to destroy incriminating documents.
Also inconvenient: this Sunday Times piece:
British to Expand Inquiry Into Murdoch Media
LONDON — Scotland Yard will expand its investigation of The News of the World and its parent company, police officials said Saturday, adding a new inquiry into possible instances of computer intrusion to the current accusations of phone hacking and payments to police officers.
The new investigation was opened after an examination of “a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy” received since the Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, reopened inquiries in January into possible crimes by newspaper employees, a statement said.
Excellent! More grist for the Times mill.