Andy Coulson, former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid News of the World and former communications advisor to the British government under David Camron, has been arrested on charges of corruption and intent to intercept communications. The claims stem from investigations conducted by the tabloid newspaper over five years ago when reporters allegedly hacked citizens’ telephones and paid the police to keep quiet about it. In response, Murdoch has closed News of the World. Is it an act of reconciliation or a move meant to confound police investigations?
What’s the Big Idea?
“James Murdoch may have made the official announcement but his father, Rupert, is almost certainly behind the decision to axe the News of the World. Bold, ruthless and imaginative, the decision has his special hallmark: in a crisis, don’t let things drift but do what your opponents least expect and thus wrongfoot them. That was how he killed the Fleet Street unions in 1986, luring them into a strike over job cuts and then, overnight, spiriting his papers away to a new print site at Wapping with the latest technology and new, secretly trained printers. None of his papers missed an issue.”