Perhaps there is a God, after all

UK prosecution threatens Murdoch’s U.S. broadcast licenses.

UK prosecutors are targeting the British branch of the Murdoch empire as a corporate defendant both for phone hacking and for systematic payoffs to police. A conviction could mean the loss of Fox’s U.S. broadcast licenses.

The destruction of Fox News would certainly be good for the country. It might even be good for the Republican Party. Any conservative who wants to challenge the principle that a criminal enterprise shouldn’t be allowed to hold great political power may be my guest.

Evil Empire 2 update, downgrade

A senior Met officer alleges systematic bribery of police by one of Murdoch’s British newspapers.

Clip from The Guardian:

Met deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers [JW: this is the third level in the hierarchy; her job is Head of Organised Crime] tells the Leveson inquiry there was ‘a culture at the Sun of illegal payments’. She also tells the inquiry of emails indicating multiple payments made to individuals amounting to thousands of pounds. In addition, she confirms that a system was implemented to hide the identities of those receiving payments.

The payees of the bribes were Akers’ colleagues, serving MET police officers; public officials by any standard.

The presumably hard evidence behind Akers’ allegations look like a smoking gun for the ongoing FBI investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by Murdoch’s US vehicle News Corp.

This could be even more fun than the kamikaze GOP attack on contraception.

Shamelessness and incompetence

Michael Walzer once said that there is neither profit nor honor in doing evil badly. How he foresaw the current leadership of the Republican Party must remain one of life’s mysteries.

Michael Walzer once said that there is neither profit nor honor in doing evil badly. How he foresaw the current leadership of the Republican Party must remain one of life’s mysteries.

The new, Murdochized Wall Street Journal editorial page, as if eager to demonstrate that the old page had not fully plumbed the depths of depravity, accepts the idea that – with the economic recovery in real peril and millions of actual people suffering badly from unemployment and underemployment – the primary goal of the Republicans in Congress should be defeating President Obama for re-election, even if the means are disastrous for the country.  But the editors scold the Republicans for blowing the theatrics of extending the payroll tax cut. (At least they’re more aware than some of my friends about who’s been winning the poker game, writing, “After a year of the tea party House, Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have had to make no major policy concessions beyond extending the Bush tax rates for two years.”)

Jonathan Karl of ABC News reports that the House Republicans are planning to climb down as soon as they figure out a face-saving way to do it.  Your mileage may vary, but I can’t see the face below as worth a single American job.