Saudi Prince Alwaleed said “Brooks had to go” and Murdoch said Amen
It seems that the 7% stake of the Saudi Prince Alwaleed in Murdoch’s Newscorp gave him the right to change the rules of the gigantic media corp’s game. Was Murdoch desperate financially or driven by his uncontrollable desires to control every media establishment around the world when he reached out for the Saudi Prince pocket
to cement with him a partnership that ended up with Murdoch being forced to abandon one of his most loyal employees, Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch’s most senior newspaper executive in Britain and his close confidante, when she was forced to quit News Corp on Friday 15 just hours after being urged to step down by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who said Rebekah Brooks ‘had to go’ following her role in the saga over the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Murdoch’s global media empire.
Murdoch repeatedly backed Brooks to remain as chief executive of the company’s British newspaper arm, despite her gravest offences that were alleged to have occurred. Yet as soon as the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed said Brooks “had to go” Murdoch said Amen. She was forced to resign. This incident talks a great deal about how loud the voice of money is and how fragile the relationship between the owners of media projects and their loyal employees. Obviously journalists like Brooks contributed hugely to the wealth of her employer, but this seems not to immunize her from becoming a scapegoat as soon as a scandal was exposed.
Most media establishment will be happy with their employees breaching the law as long as this is done carefully and can go undetected, but as soon as the scandal is in the open, only the employees have to pay the price of corruption of media establishments.
The public have to thank the Guardian for its persistence to expose this huge story of corruption, its indications and its effects on the future of the press and the attempts to democratise the media. This saga teach us about how important it is to have a competing diverse media, that will eventually keep an eye on irregularities in journalism practices and work as an ethical monitoring force on each other, to maintain the traditions of trusted media.
“Ethics to me is very important, definitely. I will not tolerate to deal with a company that has a lady or a man that has any sliver of doubt on her or his integrity,” Alwaleed said. But was the decision to give up on Brooks driven only by ‘ethics’ or the fact that Rupert Murdoch’s New York-based media company tumbled 4.6 percent to A$15.19 in Sydney on Tuesday and the stock lost $1.27, or 7.6 percent, to $15.48 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading on Monday, the biggest drop since April 2009, the fourth straight decline in the company’s closing price, cutting its market value by 15 percent to $41.2bn.
Brooks said: “Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.”
I have always believed that underestimating the intelligence of a good journalist or misjudging her/his abilities is not a good idea, I am sure if Brooks believes she is a good journalist she will find a way of clearing her name, but this might involve making a hole in the ship she was sailing on, but this will end up with many having to explain why they have wet clothes, should they survived the drowning attempts altogether.
If Brooks was the only guilty person in this unfortunate saga, she would have been sacked immediately and from the very beginning. I do not believe that any media professional would jeopardise his/her professional reputation unless they have the green light from the top. Let’s wait and see, maybe the Gurdian will keep running its investigations, hopefully it will be able to find out whose finger was pressing the green light for Brooks and other journalists to violate the personal rights of vulnerable individuals to make more money out of their misery.