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Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's Peter Hart said he "may have hoped that....clos(ing) down News of the World" would make the story "go away, but (it's) getting bigger by the day if not by the hour."
Even prime ministers aren't immune, according to London Independent writers Oliver Wright and Nigel Morris, headlining on July 16, "Revealed: Cameron's 26 meetings in 15 months with Murdoch chiefs," saying:
Since becoming UK prime minister, David Cameron met with Murdoch "executives no fewer than 26 (times) in just over a year...." In fact, Rebekah Brooks, News International's chief executive and former NOTW editor "is the only person (Cameron) invited twice to Chequers (UK prime ministers' private country house since 1921), a privilege not extended even to the most senior" cabinet members.
Eight months ago, Murdoch's son James (his heir apparent as News Corp. chairman and CEO) was also a Chequers guest, as well as NOTW editor Andy Coulson, arrested this week "in connection with police corruption and phone hacking...."
Moreover, documents revealed that News International executives and editors had 15 private meetings with Cameron since May, showing the grip Murdoch has on British politics, able to make or break aspirants in print or on air. In fact, veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner calls him "a cancer on the body politic" because of his influence on electoral outcomes.
According to former Times of London editor/Murdoch employee Simon Jenkins:
"There's no doubt it's been hugely damaging to" his UK interests. However, rivals like The Guardian, BBC, and other news organizations exploited it out of proportion, hoping to capitalize advantageously. So did Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame), calling the scandal another Watergate.
At the same time, Conservative MPs like Zac Goldsmith said, "(p)oliticians have suddently started to distance themselves from Murdoch....Other times (members) of both major parties craved his attention in the most groveling fashion."