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The FBI announced on Thursday that it will launch a probe into News Corporation, Fox News parent company, after the phone hacking scandal that has rocked the media world. Allegations have begun to surface that News Corp. hacked into private citizens’ voicemail including victims of 9/11. The public outrage has been loud and clear demanding an investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s giant media empire.
U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller, Barbara Boxer, Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg (all Democrats) have called for various investigations. “My bet is we’ll find some criminal stuff,” Senator Rockefeller told CNN. “This is going to be a huge issue.”
Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and asked for the Department of Justice to investigate New Corp. for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA.) Senator Boxer has also requested the FCPA to investigate.
Even some Republicans are beginning to throw Murdoch under the proverbial bus. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who is not known for his impartiality, wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller. In it, he compared Murdoch’s brand of “fair and balanced” journalism to a criminal enterprise. “According the recent reports, journalists working for the News of the World solicited a New York police officer to gain access to the content of private phone records of 9/11 victims,” wrote King. “It is revolting to imagine that members of the media would seek to compromise the integrity of a public official for financial gain in the pursuit of yellow journalism,” He also said the allegations, could merit “felony charges.”
News Corp. continues to do damage control. The company is no longer trying to acquire controlling interest in British Sky Broadcasting. In England, the public outcry over the hacking scandal was even more boisterous than in the United States. Parliament also voted unanimously to disapprove the takeover forcing News Corp. to abandon their bid. News Corp. will likely have to give up all of their U.K. newspapers now that most of their advertisers are jumping ship.