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street of shame
Rebekah has to call in the lawyers again
Not phone hacking, Issue 1392
rebekah brooks.jpg
CORP VALUES: Rebekah Brooks, who has a new role in News Corp, acted swiftly over the online interview with a former News of the World hack
ONCE and future Murdoch henchwoman Rebekah Brooks’s new role back in the News Corp fold remains unspecified, with the company announcing last month that “discussions are ongoing” regarding a digital job. But in the meantime she continues to scrupulously rebuild her reputation following all that unpleasantness around her cover-up of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

Last week crowdfunded news website Byline.com ran an interview with Graham Johnson, the former News of the World and Sunday Mirror reporter, who ‘fessed up to his own phone-hacking last November and received a two-month suspended jail sentence.

‘I think she’s a bully’
Asked “How much did the top people at News International know about phone hacking?”, Johnson (see Eyes passim) replied: "I don’t know about Rupert Murdoch, because I’ve never met him. He’s an elusive figure. But I do know Rebekah Brooks. I think she’s a bully, she’s a corrupt figure, and she’s a bullshitter. And I’m convinced she did know about phone hacking. That’s based on my opinion and from speaking to people who knew her.”

Brooks did, of course, admit in the dock last year that she had been aware of internal claims and police suspicions that phone-hacking had been more widespread than News International admitted from September 2006 onwards, and that she had for several years overseen a “damage limitation strategy” to prevent such claims becoming public. But the jury found her innocent of any involvement in the practice itself, as well as all the other charges against her – and she was swift to tell the website this, in the form of a letter from her solicitors, Kingsley Napley, pointing out what a grave libel it had committed.

Byline – which only launched three weeks ago and relies on pledges from readers to fund its journalism – felt obliged to comply with the lawyers’ demands that the offending paragraph, and indeed all reference to Brooks in the piece, be removed. So luckily for Rebekah, no one will ever know about it now.

More top stories in the latest issue:

TWO BEARDS, ONE AIM
The Standard’s support for the Tories cements a growing bond between proprietor Evgeny ‘Two Beards’ Lebedev and Boris Johnson.

INDEPENDENT DETERRENT
The Indy’s decision to endorse the coalition – unknown to its own political hacks even – leaves staff and readers fuming about, er, ‘independence’.

LADY BOTHERMERE
The Mail silences two high-profile columnists – Heffer and Hitchens – for being too anti-Cameron. But the proprietor’s wife won’t be complaining.

TELEGRAPH TURMOIL
Confusion at the Telegraph as one branch of the Barclay family supports Ukip… and another sneakily emails readers urging them to vote Tory.

TACTICAL ERROR
The Telegraph’s guide to tactical voting seemed admirably even-handed – until readers got to Scotland where the Caledoniphobia was rampant.

MAIL DROP
Who is the top media executive with erectile dysfunction who is rowing with his ex over custody of a dog? The MailOnline for one won’t be saying!

ROYA REPORTING
Sunday Times pays thousand to send freelancer Roya Nikkhah to cover Prince Harry’s New Zealand trip– despite all the ‘Roya’ scoops that weren’t.

To read all these stories in full, you can buy the latest edition of Private Eye - or subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale:
26th May 2015.
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Private Eye Issue 1392
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For all these stories you can buy the magazine or subscribe here and get delivery direct to your home every fortnight.
Next issue on sale: 26th May 2015.

Private Eye Issue 1391
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