Deepening News of the World Scandal Threatens Murdoch’s $12B TV Deal

bjbjLULU JIM LEHRER: The News of the World
scandal in Britain took new turns today. The Rupert Murdoch tabloid is shutting down on
Sunday, amid allegations that reporters hacked into phones of murder victims and the families
of slain soldiers. Today, police in London arrested three people, including former editor
Andrew Coulson, who once worked for Prime Minister David Cameron. And Cameron himself
faced new questions. MAN: No further than this line, ladies and gentlemen. Agreed? MAN:
Agreed. MAN: Agreed? GARY GIBBON: Police officers entered Andy Coulson’s home at lunchtime to
remove his hard drive and other potential evidence. The prime minister in Number 10
had just given one of those press appearances Andy Coulson used to manage for him. DAVID
CAMERON, British prime minister: Good morning, everyone. GARY GIBBON: Instead of standing
in his traditional place, at the back of a hall watching David Cameron speak, Andy Coulson
was heading for a South London police station, where he was arrested and questioned on suspicion
of conspiracy to hack phones and on suspicion of bribing police officers. DAVID CAMERON:
I made a decision to employ Andy Coulson. He had resigned from the News of the World.
He said at the time he didn’t know what was happening on his watch. He should have known
what was happening on his watch. He paid the price. He resigned. GARY GIBBON: David Cameron
hired Andy Coulson in opposition to run his press operation barely five months after Mr.
Coulson has resigned as editor of the News of the World and the paper’s royal correspondent
was jailed for phone hacking. MAN: Didn’t you turn a blind eye as to what every single
person knew; you couldn’t be an editor or deputy editor of that newspaper without knowing
what was going on? DAVID CAMERON: There had been what I thought at the time was what looked
on the surface of it a proper investigation had taken place, where someone had been imprisoned.
And, so, it seemed to me that, because he had resigned for what had happened, which
he said he didn’t know about, it was reasonable to offer that person a second chance. GARY
GIBBON: David Cameron said that the scandal dogging the Murdochs and News International
was a wakeup call to politicians, who had turned a blind eye to newspaper malpractice
because they wanted newspaper support. DAVID CAMERON: Over the decades, on the watch of
both Labor leaders and Conservative leaders, politicians and the press have spent time
courting support, not confronting the problems. Well, it is on my watch that the music has
stopped. And I’m saying loud and clear that things have got to change. GARY GIBBON: Although
the prime minister said he wanted the current self-regulation by newspapers to be replaced
by something independent, it wasn’t clear just how much the relationship between political
leaders and newspapers would change. For the first time, David Cameron distanced himself
from his friend and neighbor Rebekah Brooks, former News of the World editor, now News
International executive, still, to many, defying gravity as she keeps her job. DAVID CAMERON:
It has been reported that she offered her resignation over this. And, in this situation,
I would have taken it. GARY GIBBON: By the end of the press conference, Andy Coulson
was inside Lewisham police station in South London being questioned. At another police
station, police pulled in the former royal correspondent of the News of the World, Clive
Goodman, who served a four-month sentence for phone hacking. This time, they were questioning
him on suspicion of making illegal payments to police officers. Police are said to be
even more concerned about a massive deletion of data belonging to News International, which
they think they will never be able to retrieve. JIM LEHRER: That report was by correspondent
— ITN correspondent Gary Gibbon. urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags country-region urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
place urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags City JIM LEHRER: The News of the World scandal
in Britain took new turns today Normal Microsoft Office Word JIM LEHRER: The News of the World
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