Audit Notes: The Murdoch Lobby at Work, Davies in America, Audit Radio

Roger Cohen, author of one of the worst Murdoch apologies of the hacking scandal, heads to David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks’ neck of the woods to file a good column on the affair and what it shows about News Corporation’s entanglement with the government:

Some weeks before Cable’s sidelining, James Murdoch visited another Liberal Democrat member of the cabinet, Chris Huhne, the secretary of state for energy and climate change. The ostensible reason — get this! — was that News Corporation had become the first carbon-neutral global media company. Perhaps the folks over at Fox News Channel who love to trash global warming, laud Big Oil and sabotage attempts to forge a serious U.S. energy policy should take a “fair and balanced” look at their parent company.

Murdoch began by telling Huhne all about News Corporation and environmental sustainability — yada yada — before getting to the crux. It was important that the BSkyB deal go through swiftly. Delay was unacceptable. Referring the bid to a competition commission was unnecessary and would take forever. Huhne listened before explaining the obvious: Not his dossier.

I’d say this encounter gives a fair taste of the tone of the dozens of meetings over the past year between News Corporation honchos and the prime minister, the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Hunt and other cabinet members. Hey, it was all in the family, Cotswolds Cosa Nostra, whether near Chippy, where Cameron has a house, or not.

If you haven’t yet, go read Jay Rosen’s piece on how Murdoch views and uses News Corp.’s publications more like lobbying arms than like news organizations. Check out my related post on News Corp.’s culture while you’re at it.

The Guardian’s Nick Davies has come to America to report on whether Murdoch’s publications engaged in activity here that resembles what happened in the UK, Ad Week reports:

Here’s Rupert Murdoch’s worst nightmare: Nick Davies, the tenacious investigative reporter for the Guardian who has broken much of the Hackinggate story, comes to the U.S. in search of News Corp. crimes and coverup.

Well, it’s come true. Davies arrives in New York today. He’ll be there until Friday, and then he’s going to Los Angeles in pursuit of hacking-type practices that might have been carried out on U.S. soil by Murdoch’s U.S. reporters, by his U.K. reporters working in the U.S., or by private detectives hired by News Corp.

Better yet, here’s our hero himself, on Twitter:

Appeal for help. I just arrived in New York. Who can tell me truth about Murdoch in the US?

Now that’s going through the front door. Love it.

— I talked to NPR’s “On the Media” this weekend about false objectivity and the press coverage of the debt-ceiling debate.

Have a listen here or read the transcript here.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,