Sky News reported today that News Corporation executives decided their bid for the remaining shares of the broadcasting company BSkyB had become “too politicized” to continue. The company cannot bid again for another six months.
Former Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor Bill Grueskin told The Wrap it is “inconceivable” that managers weren’t aware of the use of illegal tactics within News of the World. Grueskin didn’t stay at the Journal long into the Murdoch era, but had a good point nonetheless–News Corp.’s strategy of denying and covering up the phone hacking scandal runs antithetical to the handling of every other newspaper scandal in recent memory–and journalistic ethos in general.
The Jayson Blair, Janet Cooke, and Foster Winans scandals “led to a wrenching self-examination by the newspapers, laid bare for readers to see,” and The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal all recovered their credibility.
“There is evidence that systemic wrongdoing was financed and countenanced by high-level managers,” Grueskin told The Wrap. “All of them, so far, have emerged unscathed. And there appears to be little appetite by any News Corp. entity to investigate this.”
The appetite for investigation is only growing in the US. News Corp shareholders from Amalgamated Bank and several pension funds amended their existing lawsuit–stemming from News Corp’s questionable takeover of Shine–to include the corporate governance failures revealed in the past two weeks.
And a government accountability group, Saveourelections.org, has mounted a campaign to urge the SEC and FBI to investigate News Corp. under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Because News Corp. is headquartered in the US but has allegedly engaged in bribery and government interference abroad, they could be prosecuted under the law, which the Department of Justice has pursued aggressively and lucratively of late, according to Think Progress.