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Rupert, check your letter box; you’ve got mail

The letter from Dick Smith to Mr Williams, CEO of News Limited in Australia that we published here under Murdoch Censorship Gives the Lie to ‘Freedom of Speech’ Claims went – to use a modern internet term – viral. Dick Smith has since been widely commended for having the guts to take the fight to one of the most influential, powerful, and many would say, ‘corrupt’ individuals in the world. It’s unheard of in this country for anyone to stand up to Rupert Murdoch. None of our politicians can do it. To do so would see the end of their political careers.

Dick Smith had nothing to lose. He’s successful in his own right and doesn’t rely on Rupert Murdoch to survive. But there are people whose careers are, or can be destroyed by Rupert Murdoch and they are also putting pen to paper. They all have something to lose. They all sacrifice their livelihood for having the courage to tell the truth.

I have found three such letters (of the dozens) written over the years. One from an Australian businessman – the typical Aussie battler; one from a British politician; and one from an American journalist. Let’s start with the Aussie, Michael Atwell, Managing Director of For Sale For Lease.

Mr.K.R.Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News Corporation.

1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036. USA.

Dear Rupert Murdoch,

I wonder if you are aware that one of your many companies which is in a monopolistic position in Australia is attempting to kill a number of small but progressive companies in the real estate sector? Companies that are saving Australians money when homes are sold? Companies whose progressive hardworking owners, working families, may well be bankrupted and broken by your actions?

BuyMyPlace, ForSaleForLease and PropertyNow are three internet based companies which have been successful in enabling home owners to sell their own homes and avoid the fees and commissions charged by traditional real estate agents. Realestate.com.au is by far the most important website available in Australia, by its own admission nineteen times the size of its nearest competitors. Mr. Murdoch you own Realestate.com.au. Your company is refusing to renew contracts for BuyMyPlace, ForSaleForLease, Property Now and a number of similar companies which will remove them from the market and strangle their livelihood. Why is this happening Mr. Murdoch? Could it be that these efficient progressive companies who save money for the average Australian are cutting into the wonderful income of the fat cats of the real estate industry? An industry which spends millions of dollars of their clients’ money placing advertisements in your newspapers? An industry which your company is trying to privately regulate to the benefit of traditional real estate agents, evidenced by the presence of two prominent real estate agents on the board of your company Realestate.com.au?

There will no doubt be an ACCC enquiry into the conduct of your company, and it may well be that in due time it’s actions will be judged harsh and inappropriate. In the meantime nearly one thousand Australians who are in the process of selling their homes will be significantly disadvantaged. Young working families who have done nothing wrong will lose their livelihoods, and the opportunity for Australians to follow the international trend known as FSOB, or for sale by owner, will suffer a severe setback in order to protect the sometimes exorbitant commissions of traditional estate agents.

It is very disappointing to witness your company using the considerable clout of your organization to strangle small progressive companies who are delivering a real advantage for average Australians. Mr. Murdoch there is still time for you to step in and prevent this grossly unfair action. Please do so.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Atwell

And next is this very damning letter from Tom Watson, the Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East (UK).

Mr Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and CEO
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of Americas
New York
NY 10036

18 September 2012

Dear Mr Murdoch,

As you know, I have been uncovering criminality at News International for several years. During which time, the company’s management has regularly asked me to provide evidence of its habitual criminality. I have resisted such requests, as I did not believe they were sincere. It was my belief that senior people at the company knew perfectly well about journalists being involved in phone hacking, computer hacking, bribery and blackmail. And that the company had no wish to deal with these problems – did not even see them as such – rather to know what evidence existed in order to destroy it, to muddy the trail, in short, to cover up. For these reasons, I have resisted passing on evidence to you, and have passed it solely to the law enforcement authorities instead.

Nevertheless, I am writing to you today because I believe it may be possible that that era may be drawing to a close. I believe it possible that you and the current executives at the company may have realised that it is now too late to cover up what has gone on at News International. Whether or not you, and your executives, knew about the widespread use within News International of the latest investigative technique to be revealed – burglary – I believe you may now realise that the flat denial and attempt to destroy evidence of previous days will no longer wash with anybody.

I have seen a document from the hard drive of private investigator Sid Fillery, a regular contractor at News International through his company, Southern Investigations. The document, entitled “Alex1.doc” refers to a request for a sortie into the home of a woman living in Ascot. The hard drive was seized by the police in 2002 and is still in their possession. I understand that it was reviewed by the police in 2010 and that an internal document at the Metropolitan Police states quite clearly that they believe the file shows a conspiracy to break and enter into private property. Further details are on the front page of The Independent today.

You might not also be aware that a number of high profile figures who were the victims of phone hacking also reported mysterious break-ins at their homes. The pattern is the same: the homes clinically entered but no valuables taken. My colleague, Chris Bryant was so concerned that his home had been covertly entered that he reported the matter to the police. I understand the Metropolitan Police dispatched Commander Yates to take the statement. I understand the file containing the statement has gone missing.

I have audio testimony from the undercover former police officer with intimate knowledge of Southern investigations who claims that the burglary of the homes of MPs was a regular occurrence.

I am also aware, through the lawyer of a hacking victim, that there is testimony from another former private investigator that he was regularly hired to break into the homes of individuals who were the subject of investigation by News International. At the present time the investigator is not prepared to speak out in public.

This evidence has come to light after the Leveson Inquiry has stopped taking evidence. I think it important that you make a public statement to clarify how you intend to deal with these startling new revelations and how you will assist the police with their investigation.

Shortly, I will also be writing to you confidentially about information I have received from a former employee of the company regarding the conduct of former News of the World journalist and now Sunday Times investigator, Mazher Mahmood.

If there is any integrity at all to your claims to want to clean up the corruption and criminality endemic in your company, perhaps you would act on the evidence I am adducing. Public re-assurance that this matter is being dealt with would be welcome.

I would be grateful for a swift reply to this letter.

Yours sincerely

Tom Watson

And finally one from American journalist Trish Nelson whose professional career would have been on tenterhooks since penning this letter:

Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive
News Corporation
1211 Avenue of Americas
8th Floor
NY, NY 10036

Dear Mr. Murdoch:

I am writing to you because I understand you own and control a large number of newspapers, television stations and other kinds of media outlets.

I have been sickened and saddened by the choices your news organizations have made to show, over and over, on TV, horrible, hate inspired images against President Obama, and people carrying signs with messages of violence.

You are taking advantage of a few sad, ignorant people, who don’t know any better, because they believe Fox News and people like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly care about them and are telling them the truth. They don’t understand that these people are just doing what they do because they are TV and radio personalities. The people in those crowds don’t understand that they are being used, and the ideas that they are supporting are actually harmful to them. This is not right.

Do you do this for the money? How much money do you and yours need? Are you trying to start full-blown civil unrest so that you can make even more money?

Do you have any idea what it is like out here, having to live and work alongside people who are so horribly misinformed about how the world works? Who actually believe Obama was not born in this country, who actually believe in death panels, who actually believe President Obama is the equivalent of Adolph Hitler and is someone to be feared? They get these ideas from your media organizations.

And it makes them dangerous and sick on an individual level.

Maybe you have the right to do whatever you want, but you are hurting people in our country, and I would like you and your stations to start showing some restraint before one of these individuals thinks they are doing the right thing by actually committing an act of violence.

Trish Nelson
Iowa City, Iowa

P.S. I would also be interested to know the reason why one million anti-war protesters did not deserve any TV time at all, but a few thousand tea-baggers and anti-Obama, anti-health care people deserve so much?

Rupert, check your letter box; you’ve got mail. Hate mail. The hate you spread is finally coming home to roost.

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  1. kate ahearne

    Yes, Trish Nelson has hit the nail on the head “… I would like you and your stations to start showing some restraint before one of these individuals thinks they are doing the right thing by actually committing an act of violence.’ I
    During the recent hunt for the Boston Bombers, Murdoch’s Washington Post behaved disgracefully putting a photo of two perfectly innocent bystanders all over the front page with the caption, “Bag Men’. Those two young men were lucky to escape with their lives, particularly in view of the fact that the two who were later identified by authorities as the actual bombers were both shot, one fatally.

  2. J.Fraser

    Australians must be forever grateful that former Murdoch CEO Hartigan declared that News Australia was not involved in hacking.

    Well actually Australians in their usual way are apathetic about being told that b/s, just as they are apathetic about the b/s that “Slick’ Abbott pushes out every day.

    Via the Murdoch empire.

  3. helenmarg

    If australian people only read News Limited so called MSM or watch Bolt ,Fox News , etc we have no hope of having a decent government. I do not agree with everything the government is doing but think of the appalling alternative.We have an opposition leader who can hardly string two words together while our Prime Minister Has been able to keep her calm under the most dreadful verbal attacks. Thank you again Michael

  4. mrharmony60

    Good one Michael. It was staggering to hear the CEO of News Ltd in Australia complaining about “privacy” issues, in relation to the Govts failed reforms on media regulation. Privacy? From the company that hacked into a dead schoolgirls mobile? In the UK, Murdoch has been found out. In Oz, it’s business as usual. Amazing.

  5. Truth Seeker

    Good one Migs, we need to scream it from the roof tops, how A vote for Abbott will install Murdoch as the real power over government. 👿

    My latest poem also tells a similar story “Abott’s War of Class”

    Abbott’s War of Class.

    Cheers 😀

  6. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    good one migs 🙂

  7. eleanawi

    Very good. There is an urgency to put a stop to Murderous Murdock et al. We must do all we can in the next few weeks to bring MSM to its knees. Thanks for passing my blog on. I appreciate it Michael.


  8. kate ahearne

    I’ve just had a look at Eleana’s site. Her most recent post is calling people to action, suggesting a social network style campaign. If you’re sick of doing nothing, it’s worth a look.

  9. Min

    Crash, thank you for bringing this to our attention..again. Never has Michael inferred that any hacking is condoned. The item you mention is “unauthorised access to” existing data which I would personally consider a lot different to phone tapping of private individuals. This is very liberal of me, but I consider the rights of the individual to be above that of organisations and of government.

    This is probably what I cannot understand about conservatives, how they can condone the interference and manipulation of individuals by big business. They condemn this when it is government but condone it when it’s the mega wealthy such as Murdoch.

  10. Crash Skeptic

    Min wrote:

    Crash, thank you for bringing this to our attention..again.

    Again? I don’t recall ever mentioning it before. Nor do I recall anyone here posting on it (which is hardly a surprise).

    Never has Michael inferred that any hacking is condoned.

    But you highlight hacking from 5 years ago (over and over and over and over again. And in a foreign country!)

    But you ignore a hacking case that is happening right now in your own country.

    Even more ludicrously, you use the fact that British journalists involved in hacking justifies new censorship oh sorry “media reforms” on right-wingers, but ignore the only hacking going on here was by left-wingers.

    Your bias is palpable. And you guys wonder why the general public doesn’t take you seriously…

    The item you mention is “unauthorised access to” existing data which I would personally consider a lot different to phone tapping of private individuals.

    Um Min, they weren’t “tapping” phones in Britain (which would normally refer to someone listening to a conversation in real time), they were illegally gaining “unauthorised access to existing data” which telco’s store. ie: voicemails and texts.

    Seriously, I know wordgames are the left’s stock-in-trade, but an electron microscope would be unable to locate the hair you are trying to split.

    And fortunately, neither will a magistrate…

    This is very liberal of me, but I consider the rights of the individual to be above that of organisations and of government.

    The database these guys hacked contain private info on constituents…

    This is probably what I cannot understand about conservatives, how they can condone the interference and manipulation of individuals by big business. They condemn this when it is government but condone it when it’s the mega wealthy such as Murdoch.

    Please name all the conservatives who believe it is acceptable for journalist to hack into peoples’ voicemail/texts illegally.

  11. Bill Morris

    So much of Trish Nelson’s letter is appropriate to Australia. Email a rewrite to all Australians particularly emphasising how MSM is taking advantage of people who don’t realise that they are being used, and the ideas that they are supporting are actually harmful to them because they believe people like Alan Jones and Piers Ackermann are telling them unbiased truth and don’t understand that these people are doing what they do just because they can, driven by their massive egos.

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