Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers has paid out more than Â£1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists' repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.
The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures and to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.
Cautioning that "the rest of the story just gets more lurid," Howard then updates with what he deems a "shocking look into the way that Murdoch and his accomplices operate" on this side of the Atlantic–namely, through absolutely shameless toadyism:
Varney: The story that is really buzzing all around the country, and certainly right here in New York, is that the News of the World, a News Corporation newspaper in Britain–
Murdoch: No, I'm not talking about that issue at all today.
Varney: OK. No worries, Mr. Chairman. That's fine with me.