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August 2011


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News of the World: Murdoch’s UK Scandal Warns the US Media


BY BEHROUZ SABA The News of the


World, to most people outside the United Kingdom, is an unknown commodity. Some may have heard of it as a “British tabloid” to be dismissed along with its


gossip-mongering


counterparts. Yet the Sunday weekly, which is slated to have its last press run this weekend, was first published in 1843 and has enjoyed a circulation of 4 million, one of the largest in the U.K., where people still read newspapers and heed their endorsements of political candidates.


Troubles for the paper started when


it was revealed that its staff had hacked cellphones to gather first-hand news, and things snowballed with further revelations that bribed police sources had provided the paper with some of the phone numbers. The hacked numbers were first believed to include those of top athletes and other celebrities. Yet additional reports indicated that phone messages of murder and kidnapping victims as well as families of Britain’s fallen soldiers had also been illegally intercepted.


The newspaper not only had cozy


relationships with the police, but with 10 Downing Street as well -- the infamous residence of the British Prime Minister.


The editor, Andy Coulson, now free


on bail after his arrest, who presided over the paper when the hackings occurred, was also the spokesperson for current British Prime Minister David Cameron until earlier this year.


All of this begins to make even more


distasteful sense when one considers that the News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, whose British holdings also include The Sun, The Times, the Sunday Times as well as 40 percent of BskyB, which is the largest provider of satellite pay TV in all of Britain. (Murdoch’s recent bid to gain full ownership of BskyB is now said to be in jeopardy.)


Murdoch and his media


organizations have been instrumental in bringing every British prime minister to office since Margaret Thatcher, including Labor Party’s Tony Blair who garnered the media mogul’s personal backing.


It is no wonder that Murdoch’s


employees, seeing Britain’s so many politicians of consequence in their boss’s back pocket, considered themselves above the law and impervious to prosecution. They began to work as part of a corrupt governmental apparatus rather than its media watchdogs.


These days the British media


thunder with words of indignation from the very politicians who are so deeply beholden to Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, who is now at the helm of News Corporation.


Cameron, taking “full


responsibility” for having employed Coulson, is employing a high-minded rhetoric. “This scandal is not just about some journalists on one newspaper,” he said. “It’s not even just about the press. It’s also about the police. And, yes, it’s also about how politics works and politicians, too.”


The Hampton Roads Messenger 3


NBA Referees Make Huge Splash in Williamsburg for Inaugural Referee Camp


Veteran NBA Referees Derrick Stafford and Derrick Collins spent their first visit to Hampton Roads speaking to youth and sharing their skills and experiences with referees from all over the United States


Williamsburg, Va. James Murdoch addressed the


News of the World employees in a message which is posted on the newspaper’s Website. It reads in part, “So, just as I acknowledge we have made mistakes, I hope you and everyone inside and outside the Company will acknowledge that we are doing our utmost to fix them, atone for them, and make sure they never happen again. . . . Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper. . . . This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World.”


The British have had more than


their share of political scandals large and small, with the more sophisticated or cynical among them smiling and shrugging off the current deluge of headlines. The entire affair is certain to blow over, they believe, soon to be replaced by another shocking set of news bulletins.


The events in Britain, however,


constitute a clear warning for the United States, where News Corporation owns the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, 20th Century Fox, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and HarperCollins Publishers. Fox News has already had a pronounced impact on coarsening and cheapening the quality of political debate in America, compelling such rivals as CNN and MSNBC to hire loudmouths of their own in a shouting match that benefits no one.


While it is doubtful that News


Corporation will wield quite the same power it has in the United Kingdom, it has nevertheless worked its way seamlessly into the American news industry whose numerous corporate affiliations, special- interest debts and political allegiances make it far from the impartial institution as envisioned in the Constitution.


federal government’s three branches, the K Street lobbyists and a formidable gathering of representatives from powerful national media, creates an incestuous environment which promotes cozy relationships between jornalists as well as those within the governmental and lobbying organizations they are supposed to watch.


– Veteran NBA referees Derrick Stafford and Derrick Collins held a successful referee camp in Williamsburg, Virginia and desires to return in 2012. By all measures of success, the inaugural D&D Referee Camp was a great victory. Held at Bruton High School in Williamsburg, the July 8 – 10 weekend kicked-off with the two NBA referees, Derrick Stafford and Derrick Collins spending time with and sharing their experiences with the youth of Bruton High School and their families. Their message: “Don’t Foul Out in Life.”


“For those of you on the football


team who must work out twice a day, you may not like it, but you do it anyway because you want to be good” said NBA Referee Derrick Stafford. “Your schoolwork is no different. You have to do your homework so you can be a good student and graduate.” Stafford and Collins spent an hour with an audience primarily of student-athletes and their parents and siblings. The message was heartfelt and real. According to Bruton High School Principal Vicky Corlett, the message was exactly what the students needed to hear. “I am so glad our students got the opportunity to hear from experts, that in order to be the best you have to work hard. It was truly an honor to host the inaugural D&D Referee Camp.”


D&D Referee Camp was designed


for those who wish to improve their officiating skills. It offered referees of all levels, the opportunity to learn what is needed on and off the court in order to elevate a career as a referee. The hosts, Derrick Stafford and Derrick Collins have over 32 years combined experience as referees, including NBA finals and NBA playoffs. Referees from all over the US, including Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia received the unique opportunity to work with Collins and Stafford one-on-one to take their careers to the next level. Focusing on the 3-man crew technique, each attendee was able to review their performance along with Collins and Stafford. As a special bonus, attendees will also get the opportunity to receive continuous personal support


Washington, D.C., as the seat of the Eddie’s Crabhouse FROM PAGE 1


Today, it is all the more important


for the reading and viewing public to constitute the ultimate watchdog, particularly in these days of proliferating citizen journalists online. The finely honed messages of political power centers and special interests delivered through the corporate media should be balanced by efforts of smaller organizations as well as individual citizen journalists to seek and publish the truth.


thing that has kept Johnson-Clayton so busy these days. Committed to higher education, many are familiar with Johnson-Clayton’s outstanding efforts in raising money for her alma mater, Norfolk State University. Through her non-profit, the Eddie’s Crabhouse Scholarship Fund (ECSF), Johnson- Clayton has successfully raised over $80,000 for the school, making major donations to Norfolk State’s school of business as well as giving scholarships to dissevering NSU students.


Johnson-Clayton uses many


techniques in raising money for ECSF, like having employees ask Crabhouse customers if they would like to round their total up to the nearest dollar to support the cause, but, ECSF’s biggest fundraiser is the NSU 5k Walk/Run


throughout their basketball season from the NBA Refs themselves.


Camp participants also received


a special session on “Best Practices for Injury Prevention” presented by Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist Dr. Travis Lee of Portsmouth, Va. “The mistake is often made that only the players have to be physically fit and can have injuries” stated Dr. Lee during his distinctive presentation “but referees run approximately five to six miles per game and is subject to the same types of injuries as any other high-performance athlete.”


The visiting referees had the


opportunity to officiate fast-paced, high intensity, high level games played by camp sponsors, Hampton Roads’ ABA basketball team, the Seven City Knights. In addition to the Knights, teams from Richmond, Lynchburg, Williamsburg and local All-Star Military and Recreational Champs from Lafayette and Gloucester received the chance to play in front of the NBA Refs. “This weekend was basketball at its best” said ABA Mid-Atlantic Division Chairman and Seven City Knights Owner Lawrence Taylor. “It allowed us to introduce our local, talented players to NBA referees in addition to showing them the difference between professional and recreational basketball playing levels.”


New and exciting experiences


in addition to training and guidance were definitely on the agenda for this high-impact weekend. According to camp co-founder Derrick Collins, “Williamsburg is beautiful and provided a great foundation for D&D Referee Camp in Virginia. Returning next year is a no-brainer. We loved it!”


for Excellence. The 5th Annual Walk/ Run is Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 and begins at 8:30 a.m. at Norfolk State University, 700 Park Ave., Norfolk, VA. The entry fee is $25 before August 16, 2011 and $30 thereafter and includes a complementary crab feast that will take place after the race. This event is fun for the whole family and 1st and 2nd place race winners will receive prizes. Every year, the individual who raises the most money also receives a prize. To participate in, fundraise for or sponsor this event, call (757) 472-5777 or visit www.ecsfcollege.org.


Eddie’s Chesapeake Bay Crabhouse


& More is a pillar in its community and knows the many benefits of supporting an area that has so generously supported them over the years. If every Hampton Roads business adopted the same philosophy, one could only imagine the positive effect it would have on the region.


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