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British Paper Loses Advertisers, Closes Amid Scandal

There’s reporting, there’s investigative reporting, and then there’s rampant hacking of voicemail boxes belonging to abductees, rape victims and their family members. The British tabloid press is famous as one of the sleaziest on the planet, which is unsurprising given that it sustains itself on vicious personal destruction, aggressive paparazzi tactics and thinly-veiled lies. For all those who wondered how long this can continue, there is now an answer: popular tabloid News of the World, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, will be closed by its parent company after a grandiose scandal that involves hacking, invasion of privacy, perjury and bribes.

The story broke when Scotland Yard found that employees of the newspaper illegally gained access to the voicemail of Milly Dowler, an English schoolgirl who was kidnapped and murdered by serial killer Levi Bellfield in 2002. Even worse, the “reporters” deleted several messages to free up space, in order to allow new messages to be left for them to listen to. This act destroyed potentially-valuable evidence, in addition to giving the girl’s family false hope that she may be alive.

The hacking didn’t start with this case, and didn’t stop there. The so-called journalists made a practice of hacking voicemail, including that of dead soldiers. Investigators are looking at 4,000 individuals whose voice mail may have been illegally accessed by News of the World employees. Moreover, the newspaper paid up to 100,000 pounds in bribes in exchange for confidential information to 3-5 Scotland Yard officers, which may have included detectives.

The paper’s wrinkled Australian boss issued strong statements in support of Rebekah Brooks, chief editor at the time of the hacking, but when major advertisers like Ford started to pull out, the writing was on the wall. The paper, established in 1843 as a blue-collar scandal rag, will meet an end that befits a scandal rag on Sunday, July 10th.

Report from Koons Ford, your top New and Used Ford Dealer in Maryland.