By Tess Lawrence | Contributing editor-at-largeDOES it really matter if Rupert used Saw Palmetto to increase his libido to service his young wife?
Does it really matter that despite industrial strength botox and other wrinkle spakfillers Rupert Murdoch still looks like a pantomime Dame and decades older than his Mother ?
You can't blame him for wanting to be Peter Pan for his Wendi.
Here's the headline. Came to me in a flash. "Linga Longa Denga" Gotcha!
Does it really matter that the late Professor John Avieson, who wrote a still unpublished and not entirely flattering biography of Sir Keith Murdoch, was warned by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at a social gathering that the book would never see the light of day as long as she lived?
Does it really matter if Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal in 2007 as marital insurance for his 'China Doll' (a more polite employee nickname than Chairman's Mao) to call her own in the event of his premature death or ejaculation as Chairman or in the event of clan ructions or corporate infarction?
Well yes, brothers and sisters. It matters. And it matters mightily.
Okay, the WSJ might not be the Taj Mahal, but it's up there in media mogul terms of journalistic prestige. Or was. Maybe now it will get its mojo back.
Of course, Rupert might have bought it for the former Deng Wen Ge (thank you Eric Ellis) to get back at the Bancroft family who'd owned it for 100 years, because just seven years earlier, the Journal published an article about Wendi he didn't like.
You know, like the obverse of the famous ad—he hated the company so much he bought it.
He has a reputation as a man who cradles grudges and who never forgets a slight.
But intercorporate rutting is a boardroom artform. I believe the Bancroft family is still represented on the Board.
This stuff is right up the rectal columns of stabloids like The Sun and The News of the World and the Murdoch media in general. Why shouldn't it be? What's good for the goose is good for the propaganda.
It IS news and it's fit to print. But whilst you'll read such things about celebrities and we of the great unwashed, you won't read it about Big Daddy.
You won't read about it in his newspapers. And you won't read about it in other papers that he might as well own by default and by virtue of an extended coterie of power and influence.
We forget that the rebirth of The News of the World under Murdoch was baptised in murder and mystery just as in the wake of its death throes, there is great sorrow and mystery at how the courageous whistleblower of the phone hacking scandal, journalist Sean Hoare was found dead in his Watford home on Monday.
Writing about him in yesterday's Guardian, investigative journalist Nick Davies, described Sean as "a lovely man".
Explaining why he had spoken out, he [Sean] told me:
"I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture. I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."
"He knew this very well, because he was himself a victim of the News of the World. As a show-business reporter, he had lived what he was happy to call a privileged life. But the reality had ruined his physical health:
"I was paid to go out and take drugs with rock stars – get drunk with them, take pills with them, take cocaine with them. It was so competitive. You are going to go beyond the call of duty. You are going to do things that no sane man would do. You're in a machine."
Nick Davies, it should be said, must rank among the more courageous of journalists in his relentless work to uncover and publish the truth about the News of the World Hacking Scandal.
I doubt that anyone in Australia would have easily published it here. And that is an indictment of the moral cowardice of our profession. Perhaps we will find greater courage now that the beast is wounded.
When one contemplates the blind and steadfast courage of the likes of Sean Hoare and lost lives of citizen journalists and correspondents in the frontline of war and terrorism, our comfortable and flaccid obeisance to a media tsar is a betrayal of all that we should hold dear and worthy.
I think of young journalists I know, who in the Bosnian war, daily risked their lives to keep radio stations and communications open for foreign reporters.
I think of Libya, of Egypt, of Pakistan, of Afghanistan and Somalia and Sudan and the wholesale slaughter of journalists in the Philippines and elsewhere.
I think of Iran. I think of revolutions perfumed with jasmine and blood and the stench of fear.
And I think of how easily we here and in Britain and the States, squander our freedoms. And how easily our silence is purchased.
And how often we do unto others that which we would never want done to ourselves.
And of how the Fourth Estate is so often barren ground. Of how truth and justice and compassion are spent seed upon its harsh surface.
It seems that Sean Hoare had a not untroubled life. But still he found in his heart and in his conscience a shared humanity that compelled him to knowingly jeopardise his life and most certainly his career to expose the truth to The New York Times and fine journalists like Nick Davies.
I am alarmed at how, almost immediately, police reports were filtering out stating there were no suspicious circumstances over Sean Hoare's death.
Given the indecent alliances between the police, News Corporation and politicians, asking us to have faith in anything any one of these groups does at the moment is too big an ask.
Like most, Sean had his demons, but even they could not mar his sense of justice. At least he exorcised one by telling us the truth and he has undoubtedly altered the global media landscape in doing so.
If you read Nick's full article here, you will get a better picture of both Sean and Nick.
Writing in Sunday's Independent, journalist Jonathan Owen backgrounded some unsavoury connections between the NOTW, private investigators and some interesting information about Rebekah of sunny Brooks animal farm.
Two former senior News of the World editors wanted for questioning by police
Detectives investigating phone-hacking allegations at the News of the World are keen to question two former senior journalists at the newspaper. Scotland Yard officers have been told the two, former executive editor Alex Marunchak and deputy news editor Greg Miskiw, were both key figures linked to the use of private investigators to access confidential information.
Rebekah Brooks appointed Mr Miskiw as the News of the World's assistant editor in charge of news, and it was he who employed Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the heart of the phone-hacking scandal.
....After examining documents taken from Mulcaire's home, police are anxious to question Mr Miskiw, who is living in Florida. His also featured in documents obtained by police following a raid on the Hampshire home of private detective Steve Whittamore, who was used by a large number of journalists to obtain information about public figures. Whittamore was later convicted under the Data Protection Act in 2005 at Blackfriars Crown Court of obtaining and disclosing information after passing information obtained from the police national database to customers.
Whittamore's network was investigated and broken up by the Information Commissioner, who discovered he was accessing sensitive information from the Police National Computer, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, British Telecom and a number of mobile phone companies.
The investigation, called Operation Motorman, showed 23 journalists from the News of the World hired Whittamore more than 200 times. The names include Rebekah Brooks, who allegedly commissioned access to confidential data from a mobile phone company.
Mr Miskiw is known to be a close friend of Mr Marunchak, a former crime reporter and senior executive at the NOTW. The two reportedly had mutual business arrangements including the importation of vodka from Ukraine. Mr Marunchak, who left the newspaper in 2006, claims to have been appointed as a special adviser to Ukraine's UK embassy in 1999.
Mr Marunchak is said to be a friend of a private investigator called Jonathan Rees who was employed by the NOTW to help provide reporters with illegally obtained confidential information. Rees was later jailed for falsely planting cocaine in an innocent woman's car but was re-employed by the NOTW's editor Andy Coulson after he served his sentence.[My emphasis]
Detectives also suspected Rees of bribing corrupt officers to supply information to the media. A surveillance operation was carried out on Rees including a bug being placed in his office. It was later revealed that among the hours of taped conversations were many between Mr Marunchak and Rees discussing transactions involving thousands of pounds for work carried out for the newspaper.
The gutless self-censorship in this country about Rupert Murdoch and his various media dealings is disgusting. We have yet to address our own media cankers.
How many Australian or UK newspapers have ever retold the undoubtedly bizarre and ripping yarn of the tragic story of Muriel McKay, who was mistakenly kidnapped instead of Rupert's then wife, Anna, a few days after Christmas Day in December 1969—the same year Murdoch bought The News of the World?
The hapless Muriel, wife of Alick McKay, then Deputy Chairman of News of the World (he wasn't made a Lord until 1976) was actually driving the Murdoch's Rolls Royce whilst the Murdochs were in Australia.
Alick McKay returned to his Wimbledon home to find the doors forced and Muriel missing.
In a saga that belongs on the 'tall tales but true' shelf, it transpired that two brothers, Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein, who were living beyond their means on a country estate and vainly trying to insinuate their way into a disdainful British establishment, apparently saw Rupert Murdoch being interviewed by David Frost and thought it would be a good idea to kidnap Anna for a ransom that would put an end to their financial woes.
The following documentary tells the whole tragic story:
The Jamaican-born brothers were subsequently caught and charged with kidnapping, murder and blackmail. Both were given life sentences. I understand that Nizamodeen Hosein is now back in Jamaica and have unconfirmed reports that Arthur Hosein is now out of prison and lives in England.
If ever there was a cold case begging to be re-examined, this is it; given the advances in forensic science and if there's anyone left at Scotland Yard.
Tragically, Muriel McKay's body still hasn't been found. It is said that her body was dismembered and fed to the pigs.
Lucky that the sub editor who wrote the infamous headline ‘FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER' was not on duty that day.