The reporter who broke Britain's phone-hacking scandal probes the media industry's corrupt nexus of power and propaganda in this searing exposé. Guardian journalist Davies (Flat Earth News) recounts his investigation of the Rupert Murdoch tabloid News of the World and the illegal "dark arts"—including hacking into the voice mail of celebrities, politicians, and ordinary crime victims and bribing police officers for information—that it used to unearth salacious scandal stories. His narrative, studded with new revelations about Fleet Street's spying techniques, flows like a breathless thriller. Helped by secret sources with codenames like "Lola" and "Jingle," he struggles to tease out information, and is obstructed by the stonewalling News, by Scotland Yard officials with chummy relationships with the News who withheld explosive evidence of its misconduct, and by other media organizations that dismissed and attacked his reporting. Daviese paints a lurid, gossipy picture of Fleet Street, especially Murdoch's newspapers, whose rabid pursuit of sex and dirt, he argues, serves not just to sell papers but also to smear opponents and sway politics in favor of Murdoch's business interests. Davies's vision of an Orwellian media tyranny goes over the top—he likens the Murdoch regime to Animal Farm's pigs-turned-oppressors—but this is investigative journalism at its most riveting and provocative. Photos. (Aug. 12)
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014 Release date: 08/12/2014 Genre: Nonfiction
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