Tom Watson: News Corp operated like 'shadow state' -
Tom Watson: News Corp operated like 'shadow state'
"News Corporation is a "toxic institution" that operated like a "shadow state" in British society, according to a Labour MP who is the co-author of a new book about the phone-hacking scandal. Tom Watson, joint writer of Dial M for Murdoch, said that the book also featured allegations that Murdoch's News of the World set out to search for "secret lovers" or "extramarital affairs" of MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee in 2009. At a packed press conference, Watson, a member of the Commons culture select committee, said that the surveillance revelation – passed onto him by former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck – demonstrated how the Murdoch organisation tried to intimidate parliament. Thurlbeck gave Watson an on-the-record interview, with a witness present, in which he said the then News of the World editor, Colin Myler, told journalists on the Sunday tabloid to "find out everything you can about every single member". At the time the select committee was conducting its second inquiry into phone hacking, in the wake of revelations in the Guardian that the practice went beyond a single "rogue reporter" at the tabloid. The aim was to discover "who was gay, who had affairs, anything we can use," according to Thurlbeck, as quoted in the book. "Each reporter was given two members [MPs] and there were six reporters that went on for around 10 days." Thurlbeck told Watson that the investigations eventually "fell by the wayside" and that "even Ian Edmondson", the then news editor, "realised that there was something quite horrible about doing this". Watson, and his co-author Martin Hickman, an Independent journalist, said that they believed that pressure on MPs at the time influenced the decision not to compel Rebekah Brooks, who was then News International's chief executive, to give evidence before the committee." - Winckel from Bookmarklet
I still haven't made up my mind about him yet. - Halil