How the WSJ Covers its Boss

Via Columbia Journalism Review:

Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, unsurprisingly, hasn’t done a whole lot of digging on the News Corp. hacking scandal. Or perhaps it has dug, but it’s been so far behind on the story that it hasn’t been able to advance it.

But today it has a scoop on the hacking scandal—one that implicates a non-News Corp. paper, suggests in the lede that bribing cops may not have been unusual, and raises questions about a man who will help determine the professional and, possibly, the legal fate of James Murdoch, Son of Rupert.

What’s the scoop that “suggests that the practice may not have been unusual,” as the WSJ writes in its lede? That twelve years ago, a Sunday Mirror reporter testified in a libel case that he paid a cop £50 (about $82 at current exchange rates) for a story tip.

To put that in context, which the Journal utterly fails to do, recall that Murdoch’s News of the World paid a minimum £100,000 ($163,000) in bribes to police officials, according to The Guardian. That, of course, and perhaps 4,000 cases of phone hacking—crimes, folks—plus the payment of hush-money settlements and other cover-ups involving figures at the highest levels of News Corp., the Journal’s owner.

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