Is U.k. Hacking Scandal Murdoch's Watergate?
British columnists and media experts were suggesting Tuesday that the allegations that journalists at Britain's News of the World routinely hacked into the telephone conversations of celebrities and politicians could become for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp the kind of devastating scandal Watergate was for the Nixon administration. The scandal, which ratcheted up several notches on Sunday with an investigative account in The New York Times 's Sunday magazine, spread further on Tuesday with a report by Britain's Guardian magazine that Ross Hall, who transcribed "swaths" of hacked conversations for journalists at the NoW , was willing to talk to Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) and to a parliamentary committee investigating the hacking. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates acknowledged on Tuesday that Scotland Yard is taking a fresh look at the case, but he sidestepped questions about why police had not previously pursued numerous leads. On Tuesday, Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget's BusinessInsider.com headlined an article about the scandal, "What Did the Murdochs Know about Their Reporters' Phone-Hacking Tactics" and suggested that the investigations could eventually reveal that Rupert Murdoch and his son James were made aware of the illegal hacking but did nothing to stop it.