Friday, 8 July 2011

NOTW shuttering: Stroke of an evil genius?

The real reason Murdoch has shuttered The News of the World remains unclear. There are a bunch of possible motives. Here's probably the juiciest explanation:

Liquidation: The stroke of an evil genius. Alison Frankel, a law reporter at Reuters, suggested that the shuttering offers News Corp. the opportunity to destroy records relevant to the phone hacking scandal in advance of a more aggressive investigation by Scotland Yard: “According to British media law star Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent (whom The Times of London has dubbed “Mr Media”), Rupert Murdoch’s soon-to-be shuttered tabloid may not be obliged to retain documents that could be relevant to civil and criminal claims against the newspaper – even in cases that are already underway. That could mean that dozens of sports, media, and political celebrities who claim News of the World hacked into their telephone accounts won’t be able to find out exactly what the tabloid knew and how it got the information. News of the World is to be liquidated, Stephens told Reuters, it ‘is a stroke of genius -perhaps evil genius.’ Under British law, Stephens explained, all of the assets of the shuttered newspaper, including its records, will be transferred to a professional liquidator (such as a global accounting firm). The liquidator’s obligation is to maximize the estate’s assets and minimize its liabilities.”

The wonderful Adam Curtis has weighed in on Rupert Murdoch. It's a telling account of how Murdoch came to loathe the 'decadent elites' after they rejected him. Make a cup of (English) tea and have a read here. Without wanting to give away the conclusion, I will reveal it ends with this:

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