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Murdoch Named PATRIOT Act Architect to Mop Up Paper's Eavesdropping Scandal; 'News of the World' to Close

One of Murdoch's UK papers is in trouble over hacking private cell phones, including one belonging to a murder victim--and some familiar US faces may be part of the coverup.

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The Journal did, however, disclose that it has paid settlements to several celebrities whose phones were hacked by the News of the World, and that those settlements were part of the work of a management-standards committee "overseen by News Corp. board members Joel Klein and Viet Dinh," who are also "deal[ing] with police." Dinh, while an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, "played a key role in drafting the administration's USA Patriot Act," according to the Washington Post.

Where are the Watchdogs?

While the good-journalism watchdogs and groups are paying keen attention to the more sensational aspects of this latest Murdoch scandal, only scant attention (Media Matters being the exception) is being dealt to the Journal's abysmal editorial standards regarding full disclosure and political involvement. The hacking of individual phones constitutes an horrific breach of individual privacy, and the News of the World's reporting makes a travesty of the idea of journalism ethics.

Yet the double-dealing of the Wall Street Journal -- its failure to disclose its executives' involvement in either the British phone-hacking scandal or the American political group from which at least one receives compensation -- corrupts the political culture of the United States. It's almost like somebody's afraid of Rupert Murdoch.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief. Follow her on Twitter: