Murdoch Hit By New Scandal
Rupert Murdoch was reportedly flying to London on Sunday following the latest bombshell in the continuing scandal involving his British newspapers -- the arrest of five senior journalists at The Sun , Britain's largest circulating daily newspaper (2.7 million copies). They included the newspaper's deputy editor, chief reporter, chief foreign correspondent, picture editor, and a reporter. Police also arrested three others, a police officer, an official of the Ministry of Defense, and a member of the British armed forces. All eight were charged with suspicion of corruption, and it was understood that the charges related to the possible bribery of officials by the Sun's staff. Editors of the newspaper had conspicuously attempted to put some distance between themselves and their counterparts at News of the World , the Sunday gossip tabloid that Murdoch shut down last year in the wake of revelations that its reporters had routinely hacked into the voice mail of celebrities and politicians. Even as News International, the umbrella group for Murdoch's newspapers in the U.K., was doling out million-dollar settlements to the victims of the earlier scandal, News International's Management and Standards Committee, set up internally to investigate possible wrongdoing and to report it to police, was presumably turning over the latest evidence regarding the Sun journalists. That brought charges from members of the newspaper's staff that the arrested men were being "thrown to the wolves," according to the London Independent. In a memo to the newspaper's staff disclosing the arrests, News International CEO Tom Mockridge said on Saturday, "Today we are facing our greatest challenge." However, he assured them that the company has no plans to shut down the Sun as it had the News of the World . "You should know that I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper." Editor Dominic Mohan added, "I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times ... Our focus in on putting out Monday's newspaper." Separately News Corp issued a statement saying that it would provide legal representation to those arrested. It added however, that it is "committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law."