It is difficult to make the activities of Fox News and his Dominion Vote fiasco seems tame by comparison, but another of Rupert Murdoch’s media companies seems to have it. How about an information operation that gets its scoops by piracy members of the royal family?
To explain, Prince Harry revealed this week that his brother Prince William received a nice settlement after suing a number of British tabloids for hacking into his mobile phone in the early years. Harry is currently pursue the publisher of these newspapers, News Group Newspapers, which is also owned by Rupert Murdoch (Tough week for Murdoch media, yeah?). The apparent revelation about William’s settlement was revealed in a witness statement which Harry submitted to the High Court in London this week as part of his own trial.
It is well established that hacking activities were carried out by News of the World, a now defunct NGN newspaper. In fact, the newspaper’s former royal affairs editor, Clive Goodman, was sent to jail in 2007 for hacking into royals “several hundred” times in an effort to generate exclusive scoops.
The Duke of Sussex has accused NGN of targeting him with tactics similar to those used against his brother, including phone hacking, at various times between 1994 and 2016. NGN tried to have Harry’s case thrown out, citing a deadline to file a lawsuit that he says has expired.
Whether or not Harry succeeds with his costume, the statement he provided this week contains many explosive quotes, including his characterization of NGN as a deceptive group of “criminals”:
“When I think of the fact that NGN senior executives not only knew about and condoned phone hacking as a practice at both News of the World and The Sun, but also actively sought to cover it up through concealment and destruction deliberate evidence on an industrial scale, my immediate thoughts are that this makes them criminals, not journalists, and the Fourth Estate is too important and rightly powerful for criminals to impersonate journalists running series.
“They lied under oath, perjured themselves in the process and proved they were above the law. Everyone seems to be afraid of them, especially politicians.
There are more than a few people who seem to agree with these sentiments. Indeed, the royal brothers aren’t the only ones who have sued NGN for allegedly targeting them. Among other litigantsromantic comedy favorite Hugh Grant is is currently suing The Sunanother NGN newspaper, alleging hacking into his phone in the early 2000s. The newspaper denied the allegations.
News of the World, the NGN newspaper accused of hacking Harry and William, is not here to take on the music. The newspaper was closed in 2011 after it was made public that its reporters had hacked the cell phone of a missing schoolgirl, Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. In the fallout from the episode, Rupert Murdoch ended up having to pay Dowler’s parents millions of dollars in compensation, and the public outcry that followed led to the newspaper’s permanent closure.