Les Hinton is the chief executive of Dow Jones and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, the most prestigious and valued media holdings of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation media empire. Hinton is implicated as a key player in at least the cover up of illegal break-ins involving hundreds of voice mail accounts belonging to news worthy British citizens high and low. Hinton was chairman of News International, the parent company of Murdoch's London tabloids and newspapers (including the Times of London), at the time of the illegal activities and police investigations. (Image)
What Happened Under Hinton's Reign?
UPDATE July 15 Dow Jones CEO - Wall Street Journal Publisher Les Hinton Resigns - CBS News, July 15
The Sky is Falling
Cameron had to weigh his close relationships with News Corporation and key executives against the political oblivion of allowing a favorable deal for Murdoch on BSkyB. The much reviled Rebekah Brooks is the former head of the News of the World, shut down just this week as a result of the scandal. Brooks and Cameron appear to be very close. They take regular horseback rides together in the woods near Brooks' country estate and Cameron attended a Christmas party at the Brooks estate, something he was criticized for in the British press. Of interest, despite broad based demands that Brooks be relieved of her current duties, chief executive of News Corporation's News International, Murdoch refused to consider letting go of the long time employee.
The UK woes of News Corporation reach across the Atlantic to the United States as Les Hinton's role in the phone hacking/information jacking scandal grows. As the saying goes, he knew or should have known that this was going on, something he denied.
How much credibility would Mr. Hinton have if asked this question:
Has there been any phone hacking/information jacking by News Corporation publications in the United States?
Who would believe a "No" answer to that question if Hinton's handling of the internal investigation of News of the World hacking/jacking is further discredited? It is a fact that Hinton failed to discover all but one of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of illegal intrusions into voicemails, etc. that occurred when he conducted his internal investigation, completed in 2007.
Hints About Hinton
Ms. Hogue is very diplomatic. Review the Guardian video and testimony transcript at the end of this article. You will see what the Murdoch empire is all about. His key executives reflect the enterprises darker purpose. Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News International, admits to paying police for news information through 2003. She doesn't seem to think that it is illegal to do so. Les Hinton denies that he found any illegal phone jacking other than the reporter that the Murdoch paper gave up. Apparently he was unaware of the very long list of individuals indicating illegal snooping was a common affair. Hinton is followed by News of the World Editor from 2003 through 2007, Andy Coulson, who was arrested recently and is now in police custody for crimes related to this scandal. Without blushing, Coulson states that he never approved of illegal phone surveillance. If these are Murdoch's best, just imagine his worst.
Note; "The Sky is Faling" section updated, July 11
Also see by Michael Collins in Economic Populist:
News Corporation executives deny any knowledge of
or participation in illegal voice mail and other phone tapping
before United Kingdom government inquiries.
Rebekah Brooks - News of the World Editor 2000-2003, Currently CEO, News International
Brooks: We have paid the police for information in the past.
Les Hinton - Former chairman of the board News International 2004-2007. Currently CEO Dow Jones and Company (which includes the Wall Street Journal)
Q: Have you carried out a full rigorous internal inquiry and are you absolutely convinced that Clive Goodman was the only person who knew what was going on?
Les Hinton: Yes I have and I believe that he was the only person but that investigation continues under the new editor.
Andy Coulson - News of the World Editor 2003-2007. Currently under arrest, in police custody.
Coulson: We never condoned the use of phone hacking nor do I have any recollection of incidences when phone hacking took place.