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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The last time a newspaper took down a national government was 1974. But in the topsy-turvy world of Rupert Murdoch we could be looking at a reprise.

With Sunday's resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police or Scotland Yard, the noose is tightening around British Prime Minister David Cameron, he who proclaimed the now arrested former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks a "close personal friend."

Stephenson's resignation came because he had an extremely hard time answering that famous Watergate question -- "what did you know and when did you know it." The top cop had met for meals 18 times with News International executives and editors during the phone-hacking investigation.

Among those meal time companions was Neil Wallis, a former News of the World editor who became a Scotland Yard public relations consultant after leaving the paper.

There is no direct evidence, yet, that Cameron had direct knowledge or involvement in the phone hacking scandals. His closest connection is the hiring of Andy Coulson, another News of the World editor involve in the scandal, as the spokesman for his government.

But the parliamentary system is far less forgiving than our form of government. Cameron was directly elected by voters in one small district and rose to the top of his party and government, sort of like Sal DiMasi.

All it takes to topple his government is a vote of no confidence by his parliamentary foes. And Cameron formed a government in what now seems like an unholy alliance with the Liberal Democratic Party.

These latest events are making for some very hot times for Rupert Murdoch, who is now seeing his enemies digging up dirt -- both here and abroad. But with the Watergate image looming larger, you can bet that Murdoch is consulting advisers who know a thing or two about Richard Nixon.

You know, like Roger Ailes.

But Ailes' expertise can only go so far. This time, the press apparently has been working in collusion with the government instead of trying to dig out the truth.

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