CNN's Howard Kurtz admonished officials at Sky News, a News Corp.-owned British news channel, for "saying they reserve the right to break the law" after it emerged that officials there acknowledged hacking into private emails.
Officials at the News Corp. channel confirmed this week that on at least two occasions, reporters illegally hacked into private email accounts.
Sky News head John Ryley made clear that the hacking was authorized and said that they "stand behind these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest." Kurtz on Sunday called that justification "bloody rubbish."
In an April 6 Huffington Post column, Media Matters executive vice president Ari Rabin-Havt explained how the latest development in the News Corp. hacking scandal further validates concerns that the company suffers from a culture of corruption:
The Sky case is particularly interesting because for the first time, the company has admitted that hacking was not only approved of, but in fact officially sanctioned by the management of the channel. John John Ryley, the head of Sky News, told reporters, "We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest." Ryley continued: "Material provided by Sky News was used in the successful prosecution, and the police made clear after the trial that this information was pivotal to the case."
Regardless of intentions or the criminal behavior of a target, it is not in the realm of a private entity to determine which laws to follow and which to ignore. It's because of this hubris, which runs up and down the News Corp. ladder, that the company has landed in this place.