1. Rupert Murdoch trashy tabloid crosses line; advertisers flee
North American readers will recall the furor over Donald Trump’s embarrassing allegations that Obama had not been born in the USA. After a twitterstorm, advertisers pulled out from his show Celebrity Apprentice. I imagine they’ve flocked back by now but the same thing is now occurring across the pond.
A Rupert Murdoch tabloid, News of the World, allegedly accessed, and possibly paid for, illegally hacked voicemails from the police. The voicemails included of folks whose relatives have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also of murdered school girl Milly Dowler, and others.
As this has come to light, big advertisers such as Ford, Mitsubishi, Sainsbury (the UK equivalent of Safeway), Lloyds of London are distancing themselves by withdrawing their advertising.
Rupert Murdoch’s terse response is:
Recent allegations of phone hacking and making payments to police with respect to the News of the World are deplorable and unacceptable.
I have made clear that our company must fully and proactively cooperate with the police in all investigations and that is exactly what News International has been doing and will continue to do under Rebekah Brooks’ leadership.
We are committed to addressing these issues fully and have taken a number of important steps to prevent them from happening again.
I have also appointed Joel Klein to provide important oversight and guidance and Joel and Viet Dinh, an Independent Director, are keeping News Corporation’s Board fully advised as well.
2. Portugal’s credit rating is downgraded to Junk status. Portugal had borrowed money from the EU and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) but it is looking unlikely that they will be able to meet the targets spelled out in the loan agreement.
3.Facebook launches VideoSkype. If that doesn’t redefine communications, I don’t know what does. Does anyone besides me remember rotary dialing?