Editors at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World are snorting at The New York Times Magazine‘s investigation of phone-hacking at the gossip tabloid.
The Guardian wrote through The Times‘ article today, and checked-in with News of the World managing editor Bill Akass. He said assertions made by The Times — namely that everyone at the News of the World knew about the illegal practices — are “unsubtantiated.”
“We reject absolutely any suggestion or assertion that the activities of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire, at the time of their arrest, were part of a culture of wrongdoing at the News of the World and were specifically sanctioned or accepted at a senior level in the newspaper,” said Mr. Akass.
We’re interested to know more about “specifically sanctioned.”
According to one News of the World reporter speaking anonymously in the story, everyone at the paper knew about the use of phone-hacking. “The office cat knew,” the reporter told The Times.
Given that Andy Coulson, the News of the World editor running the paper during the violations, tried to distance himself from the problems by feigning innocence during testimony before the Parliament (reporters told The Times that he was absolutely in the loop and on board with the phone hacking), whatever Mr. Akass says is pure damage control.
If he really wants to get back at The Times, we recommend a News of the World-style investigation of The Times. Bill Keller, change your voicemail password.