Daily Archives: July 16, 2011

Murdoch ‘Sorry For Serious Wrongdoing’ In Newspaper Ad Campaign

Huffington Post

New Corp chief Rupert Murdoch has published a signed apology for “serious wrongdoing” by the News of the World in a series of full-page newspaper adverts.

The ads appear in Saturday’s Daily Mail, Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Sun and Times.

Murdoch says in the advert: “We are sorry. The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself.”

A second advert is expected to appear in tomorrow’s newspapers in which Murdoch will outline the steps that News International will take to try and win back the public’s trust.

The advert says:

“We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out.”

“I realise that simply apologising is not enough. Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.”

“In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us. Sincerely, Rupert Murdoch.”

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International and former editor of the News of the World, resigned from Murdoch’s company on Friday. So too did Les Hinton, a senior News Corp executive.

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West Wing Week: 7/14/11 or “Our Heroes Are All Around Us”

The White House

This week, President Obama held meetings with bipartisan congressional leaders, awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, and discussed ongoing efforts to get our fiscal house in order and reduce our nation’s deficit at the White House. That’s July 7th to July 14th, or “Our Heroes Are All Around Us.”

Thursday, July 8th:

Saturday, July 10th:

Monday, July 11th:

Tuesday, July 12th:

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The week in one-liners: Boehner, Palin, Rummy

 

Politico   

The top quotes in politics this week:

“It’s going to get harder. So, we might as well do it now. Pull off the band-aid. Eat our peas.”— President Obama saying it’s time to pass the debt deal.

“Dealing with them the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-O.” — House Speaker John Boehner on working with the White House.

“I love Jell-O personally.” — Press Secretary Jay Carney joking around with reporters.

“I’m ready to answer the call.” — Fox’s Bill O’Reilly offering to broker the debt talks.

“I’m running.” — Alan Grayson declaring his next congressional run.

“I believe that I can win a national election.” — Sarah Palin teasing a 2012 run in an interview with Newsweek.

“She’s got a good family, she’s got a good husband, she’s got awesome support, she’s got God on her side, and I think people are envious of that.” — Bristol Palin talking about her mother.

“I don’t sign pledges — other than the Pledge of Allegiance and a pledge to my wife.” — Jon Huntsman refusing to sign the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge.

“It takes those of us with two titanium hips and a titanium shoulder a bit longer to get through TSA…” — Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tweeting about his airport pat-down.

“I thought that the topic was perfectly legitimate and I certainly would do it again,” Fox’s Chris Wallace defending the substance of the “flake” question he asked Michele Bachmann.

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Filed under Politico, Politico Top 10 Quotes of the Week

Waukesha County Clerk’s Latest Snafu Nearly a $1 Million Mistake

There is something quite rotten in the state of Wisconsin.  The following is just one more example…

Waukesha Patch

Embattled Clerk Nickolaus in hot water again after her office loses crucial letter.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus –already under investigation for a snafu in reporting votes in the state Supreme Court election  – is coming under fire from county leaders again after an error made by her staff nearly cost the county $1 million.

The latest controversy surrounds a crucial letter that Waste Management Inc. sent to Nickolaus’ office in May regarding the expansion of a landfill the company operates in Menomonee Falls.

The letter notifying the county of the expansion should have prompted the County Board to take action to join a local committee that will have oversight over the expansion. By joining the committee, the county also will receive $1 million from Waste Management over the next decade.

However, that May 9 letter was lost by someone in the clerk’s office – even though it was delivered via certified mail and signed by someone in that office.

After not hearing from the county, Waste Management on June 29 sent a second letter to the Nickolaus’ office – and a copy to another county department. It was that department – not the clerk’s office – that ultimately brought it to the County Board.

But by the time county supervisors received the letter, the July 10 deadline for joining the committee was just around the corner. So a hastily-called County Board meeting was held on July 8 – with supervisors showing up during the lunch hour to take action on joining the committee.

County Board chairman: ‘Another flaw’

“The letter was forwarded to someone, but nobody in the clerk’s office knew who that was,” County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer said. “Yet again, it’s another flaw in the process with that office.”

County Supervisor Pat Haukohl said it appears to her the letter just got “lost in the shuffle” in the clerk’s office when it came in. But she said a County Board committee on Monday is going to review the policies and procedures in the clerk’s office.

“I can’t place blame because I can’t know for sure what happened because I wasn’t there,” Haukohl said. “But I will say that it should have definitely, definitely been forwarded. I’m concerned because a letter of that importance should have received prompt and immediate attention.”

If the board hadn’t approved the resolution on time, the county would have lost the ability to appoint two members to the  committee, which negotiates and arbitrates with Waste Management about the landfill.

The committee also deals concerns about ground water, well contamination and wear on county roads used by trucks going to the landfill.

In addition, being on the committee means the county will collect about $1 million in fees to the county from Waste Management.

Nicklaus says lack of staff was the problem

In an e-mail to Patch, Nickolaus said she didn’t realize the letter was missing until the second one was mailed and brought to her attention by the other county department. But the clerk’s office has since changed policy to make sure certified letters don’t get misplaced again.

Certified mail will no longer be placed with interdepartmental mail, and any county departments receiving certified letters now have to come to her clerks’ office to pick them up and sign for them.

Nickolaus also said her staff was overworked because of its involvement in the recount of the state Supreme Court election. The May 9 letter was delivered when the clerk’s office was overseeing the recount.

“The office was under a lot of pressure and was very understaffed due to the recount,” she said. “A request was made to the county board chairman for his staff to assist, but (we were) not given the help requested. The pressure and lack of staff may have been the reason.”

But Dwyer isn’t buying that argument.

“I do believe the letter came during the recount process,” he said. “But when she has another person signing her name to say she received something, she should have had a process in place to know where that document is going.”

Because the county runs all resolutions and ordinance through committees before approving them at the County Board level, Dwyer said officials first called the joint committee meeting at 12:15 p.m. July 8 and then held a full County Board meeting at 12:30 p.m. in order to allow supervisors to attend during lunch breaks from their full-time jobs.

He said 23 of the 25 supervisors were able to attend the meeting and they approved the resolution and the appointment of two officials to the local committee for the landfill.

Nickolaus has been heavily criticized since the state Supreme Court election in April, when she made an error in reporting the results from Brookfield. Nickolaus did not include the city of Brookfield votesin her unofficial media report on Election Night — causing challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg to declare victory.

When the mistake was discovered, it was determined that incumbent Jusitice David Prosser won the election by about 7,000 votes, a figure that was upheld after a statewide recount.

The mistake prompted accusations of misconduct by Nickolaus, who is now under investigation by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

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Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal becomes U.S. political issue

It appears to me that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in the News International/News Corp scandal.  With the Obama administration’s FBI and Department of Justice poised to investigate the American side of any possible breaking of the law by Murdoch’s publications here, one can only imagine the blow-back from Fox News’ conservative commentators during this protracted election season.  Or, will they hold back on the usual vitriol tossed at Obama and his administration?  I certain it will be the former.

Politico

The spiraling crisis at News Corp.’s London tabloids, which on Friday claimed its first American scalp, is threatening increasingly to spill over into American politics.

The scandal has handed talking points to Democrats and a political cudgel to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, which is bracing for what’s become the usual battle with Fox News, whose evening lineup features some of the most powerful voices of conservative opposition, but whose corporate cousin is now being investigated by the Obama administration.

For News Corp., Friday seemed to mark a watershed moment in its position as a dominant – and often intimidating – media conglomerate.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the “ongoing investigation” into allegations that reporters for its defunct News of the World hacked into the telephone of September 11 victims in the United States. And a day after chairman Rupert Murdoch downplayed the scandal in an interview with his own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, two of his top lieutenants, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton – the paper’s publisher and a naturalized American citizen — were forced to resign, as the company pivoted from defiance to contrition.

Mainstream American politicians of both parties have generally avoided open combat with Murdoch, with Bill and then Hillary Clinton famously seeking to court him and reach an accommodation. Even Obama, who has warred openly with Fox at times, has more recently pulled back, even after seven-figure contributions to groups tied to the Republican Party were reported last year.

But Murdoch, wounded, suddenly appears mortal, and his enemies are emboldened.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes “is going to be hamstrung,” said Murdoch biographer and AdWeek editor Michael Wolff. Ailes “operates independently, but in this context he will not be able to operate independently: This is going to be in the hands of lawyers and higher PR officials, and it will not be about what’s good for Fox, it’ll be what’s good for News Corp. and for an ultimate settlement.”

A Fox spokesperson dismissed Wolff as a “gadfly” and didn’t respond to a question about the News Corp.’s scandal’s impact on the network. A New York Post spokesman referred questions to a News Corp. spokeswoman, who didn’t respond to an inquiry on the topic.

Read more here… 

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