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George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

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George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:32

George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

George Clooney has come on to direct “Hack Attack” for Sony Pictures, delving into the hot-button topic of celebrity privacy scandals.

The pic will be an adaptation of journalist Nick Davies’ account of the British phone hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. The adaptation will be produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov through their Smokehouse banner for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”

Over six years, Davies investigated News Corporation and its subsidiary, News International; his book shows how their habit of hacking into the voicemail messages of elected officials, celebrities, and even ordinary British citizens and the victims of terror attacks was wide-ranging and ongoing. The resulting scandal would not only mark the end of News of the World after 168 years of continuous publication, but spur a government inquiry that would bring to light some of the most unthinkable of business practices.
Michael De Luca will oversee the project for Sony Pictures. Shooting is scheduled to start next year.

“As the son of a journalist, George has a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives – whether that’s for good, as in “Good Night, and Good Luck”, or for bad,” said De Luca. “With ‘Hack Attack,’ George will explore the dark side of that world, a business where all of the rules of journalism are broken in the race for an easy and ever-larger payday.”

“The Monuments Men” grossed $154 million worldwide including $78 million domestically. Clooney most recently wrapped production on the Disney pic “Tomorrowland” directed by Brad Bird.

He is repped by CAA.


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George Clooney, Sony Dial Into Rupert Murdoch’s British Tabloid Phone-Hacking Scandal

BREAKING: The son of a journalist, George Clooney chronicled a high-water mark for the craft, when Edward R. Murrow stood up to Red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy in Good Night, And Good Luck. Clooney will next direct a film covering the opposite end of the spectrum. He’ll helm for Sony Pictures an adaptation of the Nick Davies book Hack Attack, a dissection of the British phone-hacking scandal that became a commonplace news gathering technique within Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov will produce.

Over six years, Davies investigated News Corp and its subsidiary, News International, in a book that showed how they gained an advantage over their tabloid rivals by hacking into the voicemail messages of elected officials, celebrities, and even ordinary British citizens and the victims of terror attacks. When it was finally uncovered — the low point came when journos hacked the phone and deleted messages in missing 13-year-old schoolgirl Missy Dowler, who later was found murdered — the results were seismic. 

The 168-year-old tab News Of The World folded, and a government inquiry aired the unsavory business practices and was a giant embarrassment to Murdoch as celebrities including Hugh Grant went public with how their privacy had been compromised for salacious tabloid stories. The book was published August 12.
“This has all the elements — lying, corruption, blackmail — at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,” Clooney said in a statement. “And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.” The film will start production next year.

Said Sony production president Michael De Luca: “As the son of a journalist, George has a sharp interest in the role journalism plays in all of our lives — whether that’s for good, as in Good Night, And Good Luck, or for bad. With Hack Attack, George will explore the dark side of that world, a business where all of the rules of journalism are broken in the race for an easy and ever-larger payday.” De Luca will oversee it.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:38

Great News.....I believe that George will be in his element making this film !!

Yahooooo 

I wonder if he will use the real people whose phones were hacked ? They all gave evidence at the huge inquiry...it made fascinating live TV viewing
 at the time here in UK and worldwide I believe.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by LornaDoone on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:40

Well working on a film about a Brit event will mean he'll be able to film in England.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:47

Wow! This one is right up his alley. I'll bet it will make his swipe at the DM look like child's play. I can't wait to see what he does with it.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:50

Review of the book by Nick Davies.....


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Hack Attack review – Nick Davies's gripping account of the hacking affair

Nick Davies lays bare the phone-hacking saga and the 'pitiless regime' headed by Rupert Murdoch

When Nick Davies watched Andy Coulson in the dock waiting to be sentenced last month, he felt a twinge of sympathy for the man whose downfall, among other things, he had worked so hard to achieve. It was the anniversary of the publication by the Guardian of the Milly Dowler story, but that was not what came to Davies's mind. Instead, he recalled the tape recording made by David Blunkett exactly 10 years ago this weekend.

"I remember Blunkett's voice," writes Davies in Hack Attack, his gripping account of the phone-hacking scandal, "full of panic and fear as he pleaded for his privacy; and the sheer mechanical coldness of Coulson as he insisted on his right to convert this man to a headline. I remember all the others who suffered the same fate, left behind like roadkill as Coulson roared off into his gilded future."

It is the heartlessness with which the News of the World and the Sun broke people's lives to push newspaper sales and enforce Rupert Murdoch's writ that is so shocking and why it is now difficult to feel much sympathy for Coulson. Davies might also have remembered in that moment the hypocrisy of the people who worked on those papers, the fact that Andy Coulson, a married man, had a long affair with his boss, Rebekah Brooks (the demonic pillow talk between these two was sadly never properly explored in the court case), and that former News of the World journalists, while setting about their victims in the paper, described some of their own office parties as "a model of drug-fuelled sexual adventures".

One lesson of this book is that when people such as Coulson, the News of the World's news desk editor, Greg Miskiw, or the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, looked in the mirror they suffered not a trace of unease about their behaviour, whether it was straight hypocrisy, lying, bullying or wrecking someone's life. This was not a matter of law but one of morality, and to that degree all the defendants in the recent trial, and many more who were never charged, are guilty of serving a pitiless regime that went unchecked for decades.

This book is important, not simply because it is written by a superb reporter who took on a seemingly invulnerable criminal conspiracy, or because it is, even after Leveson and the months of evidence in court, the best account we have of the phone-hacking scandal and the attendant police corruption and cover-ups. It is, as well, the story of modern Britain and how its standards and politics have been degraded by one man's ruthless acquisition of power. Davies has laid it all bare in an exciting, clear and honest narrative and, even after all that has been written by me and many others about Murdoch, it is difficult not to feel a sense of renewed rage. The board and shareholders of Time Warner, the subject of an $80bn cash and stock offer by Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, would do well to read Hack Attack, if only for the message that the man who says he is for competition is in fact a destructive monopolist.

But Murdoch could not have done it without our help – the audience that tolerated the plummeting standards led by Kelvin MacKenzie at the Sun in the Thatcher years, or the institutions that allowed so much to go unpunished. Parliament, the police and the press regulators were for the most part fearful, supine or just bent and that was why Murdoch came within a whisker of capturing BSkyB and even more influence in British national life.

Quite apart from those inside News International – James Murdoch, the comically brattish son, or Rebekah Brooks, who claimed that the Guardian's coverage "had substantially misled the public" and the affair "would end with the Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger on his knees begging for mercy"– there were many willing helpers on the touchline: Boris Johnson, a lunching companion of Brooks, who called the Guardian's reporting "codswallop", Alex Salmond, who offered to lobby for the Sky takeover, Jeremy Clarkson, who gave Brooks constant succour, and the rightwing media columnist on the Independent, Stephen Glover, who wrote of Davies that he was "the sort of journalist who can find a scandal in a jar of tadpoles".

The point about Davies and, for that matter, Alan Rusbridger is that they go after really big fish that would terrify Glover – WikiLeaks, phone hacking and the NSA/GCHQ story in just the last few years. Incidentally, Davies is fascinating about what drives an investigative reporter; in his case, it was mistrust of authority after having been hit a lot as a child. Who knows what pushed the Labour MP Tom Watson to stick his neck out, or the lawyers Charlotte Harris, Mark Lewis and Mark Thompson to line up against Murdoch's power and legal resources, which, by the way, Davies believes had a real impact during the trial. They all have something of a rebel streak in them, but also a decent certainty that they were dealing with liars and bullies who had to be stopped.

Hack Attack deserves a lot of praise and success. It is a masterly summary of the hacking affair, as well as the ingenuity and persistence that lead to great journalism. If there is one quibble I have, it is with the subtitle – "How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch". Because it hasn't yet. Reorganisation of the parent company, News Corp, following the Dowler revelations caused a 23% rise in the company's share price and an increase of $9.5bn in the family's wealth. Enriched rather than humbled by the scandal, Murdoch reaches for even more power in the United States and it looks as though nothing is going to stop him.


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Sep 04 2014, 06:20; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Nicky80: Added text)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:53

LornaDoone wrote:Well working on a film about a Brit event will mean he'll be able to film in England.  

Or Berlin Barbelsberg studios again  Yahooooo Let me dream please

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:53

LizzyNY wrote:Wow! This one is right up his alley. I'll bet it will make his swipe at the DM look like child's play. I can't wait to see what he does with it.

Yes so agree....can't wait for this movie... Really amazing news  alien

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:54

Wow again! I went to the hacking scandal trial at the Old Bailey, have loads of info on this. Maybe I'll give him a ring............imagine he'll film it here. Can't wait!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:04

..........bet he didn't go to Fox for finance and backing!!!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Doug Ross on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:09

Smart move, George. In that way, you won't be away from Amal.
I like this project

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:10

Thanks Nicky....I've now ordered the book 
for my Kindle !

As the book was only published last month I'd imagine that George & Grant have been closely involved with Nick Davies saying....
"YESSSS....That's for Us !!"


I can't wait to hear more about it and I'm impatient to see the film already !!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:12

party animal - not! wrote:..........bet he didn't go to Fox for finance and backing!!!


I think he'd just have to stand in Trafalgar Square with a banner and a loud hailer....
and the funds would come rolling in by the shed load !

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by melbert on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:13

You must invite him for tea Joanna!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:17

Joanna wrote:Thanks Nicky....I've now ordered the book 
for my Kindle !

As the book was only published last month I'd imagine that George & Grant have been closely involved with Nick Davies saying....
"YESSSS....That's for Us !!"


I can't wait to hear more about it and I'm impatient to see the film already !!


Last month only ...I guess George and Grant knew long before the book was coming and waited for it. Not sure how it works but it is great to see so many movie projects coming and this one is my favorite....

That was a big scandal...wasn't one tabloid to be forced to shut down? Don't remember which one it was. Oh I'm sure Murdoch will not be amused hehe

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:20

Yep, the News of the World. Rag, but the largest circulation Sunday paper in the UK. At one point it had a circulation figure of 26 million. Also known as the News of the Screws

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:36

Nicky....
Can you do me a great favour....with your tidy organised  mind skills please ?

I've lost touch with George's future film projects now and would welcome maybe a thread listing which new ones are known about.
 If possible in chronological order please.

Maybe there's already a thread listing them ? In that case can you direct me please ? Thank you.
My poor old head is a bit fuddled, LOL.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:40

melbert wrote:You must invite him for tea Joanna!


LOL....He'd love to meet Millie I'm sure !

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Sevens on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:42

Joanna, I think the order is: Our Brand is Crisis, Hail Caesar, Money Monster, Tomorrowland coming out(BTW George is likely to attend next month's NYCC to present it), and directing this Hack Attack.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Sevens on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:44

I really hope it would get a great script, not George and Grant again... hope it would be the writer for Argo. Besides George's tight schedule seems not to allow him to do the writing.


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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:51

Thank you very much Sevens !  Thumbs up!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Sevens on Wed Sep 03 2014, 21:59

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The Playlist analyse why it would suit George

George Clooney To Direct Drama 'Hack Attack' About U.K. Tabloid Phone Hacking Scandal


George Clooney's directorial career so far has been somewhat hit and miss. "Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind"? Interesting, but very flawed. "Good Night And Good Luck?" Cracking, and Oscar-nominated for its troubles. "Leatherheads?" More or less a complete washout. "The Ides Of March?" A solid political drama. "Monuments Men?" Disappointing. It's almost like he's obeying the "Star Trek" odd/even rule, and that means we're due for a good one next time around. And the megastar has chosen what it'll be.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney's planning to direct "Hack Attack," an adaptation of journalist Nick Davies' book about the News Of The World hacking scandal. In case you missed it, the case saw the revelation that journalists at the News Of The World, a 168-year-old British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, had been illegally hacking into the voicemails of politicians, celebrities and even murder victims and terrorist survivors. The ensuing inquiry lasted for months, and saw a number of journalists, including the paper's former editor Andy Coulson, then a senior staffer to Prime Minister David Cameron, sent to prison, while the paper was closed by Murdoch in a desperate face-saving move.

It's a killer story, full of colorful characters, from Murdoch to, uh, Hugh Grant, who was a victim of hacking and became an outspoken opponent of the paper, and it's a good fit for Clooney, both due to his professional interest in old-school political thrillers, and his personal interest in privacy (he recently attacked another British tabloid, the Daily Mail). The star commented to the trade ""This has all the elements – lying, corruption, blackmail – at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London. And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”

Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov are making the film through their Smokehouse banner, with Sony backing the project. Clooney will direct, and we assume that he and Heslov will again be writing the script, though that's unclear at this point. Shooting will begin next year, so look for this to be an awards contender when it lands (likely in 2016). One imagines that the actor won't be taking a part himself, but we're already spending our time imagining who he'll be casting as Murdoch, Grant, Rebekah Brooks et al...


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Sep 04 2014, 06:22; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Nicky80: Added text)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by amaretti on Wed Sep 03 2014, 22:11

Sounds interesting . Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Sep 03 2014, 22:39

An excerpt from the book about Rupert Murdoch.........Fascinating


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The pervasive power of Rupert Murdoch: an extract from Hack Attack by Nick Davies

In this first extract from his new book, the reporter who broke the phone hacking story looks at Rebekah Brooks’s 2009 wedding – and how it was a perfect display of the nature of Rupert Murdoch’s hold on British life

On a bright Saturday afternoon in the middle of June 2009, in the rolling green downland of west Oxfordshire, there is a wedding party. Several hundred men and women are gathered by the side of a great lake, 350 metres long, crowned at the far end with an 18th-century boathouse disguised as a Doric temple. The sun pours down. The guests sparkle like the champagne in their gleaming flute glasses. The bride arrives to the sound of Handel’s “Rejoice!”, written for the arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Among the onlookers, two men lean their heads towards each other.

“So what do you make of all this?” one asks quietly.

“It is a statement,” says the other, in an equally discreet whisper, “of power.”

The man who wants to know what he should make of all this is a senior member of Gordon Brown’s Labour government, one of a small group of ministers scattered through the gathering. Alongside them is a group of other senior politicians from the Conservative opposition, including its leader, David Cameron. The other man in the whispered conversation is a famously aggressive national newspaper editor, a creator of storms, a destroyer of reputations – and just one of a substantial collection of editors, former editors, political editors, political consultants, newspaper executives, TV presenters, political lobbyists, political PR specialists and political correspondents, all now pressed together by the lakeside. This is a gathering of the country’s power elite, and yet the power that is being stated here is not that of the guests.

As the Christian wedding blessing begins, there is an extraordinary interruption. A large car with dark windows arrives at the top of the slope that leads down through the trees to the lake and, instead of halting there with all of the Bentleys and Mercedes (and the chauffeurs slowly baking in the sun), it ploughs on down the hill, its engine horribly loud, its presence horribly wrong, and when several hundred heads turn to understand the commotion, they see the doors of the intruding vehicle open to reveal the familiar form of the prime minister, Gordon Brown, arriving late.

Brown starts to move among the guests, but his body language screams his discomfort. He shakes hands, offers a rictus smile and moves on, obviously ill at ease and out of place. Other guests watch and conclude that he simply does not want to be here. He has just attended the Trooping the Colour ceremony. He is due back in London to meet President Bush. But the fact is that he had to be here, to show respect.

An alien intruder would assume naturally that this respect is being shown to the bride and groom. The groom is Charlie Brooks – easy-going, clubbable, a trainer of racehorses and a liver of the good life, a man who only a few weeks earlier had explained to Tatler, the posh socialites’ magazine, that he liked nothing better than to wake up in the morning in his two-bedroomed, taupe-painted converted barn with his bride-to-be by his side, and for the two of them to fly off to Venice for lunch at Harry’s Bar, followed by some sightseeing and shopping by the canals, and then to fly back to London for dinner in the famously elegant surroundings of Wilton’s oyster bar in Jermyn Street. A perfect day. Charlie is from old English money – nothing flash, nothing vulgar, just solid, comfortable, horse-loving, home counties country folk.

But, for the most part, it is not the amiable Charlie who catches the eye in this gathering. His bride captures far more attention. Rebekah is beautiful, with her red hair falling in crazy corkscrews around her elfin face. She is also charming – really quite famous (among this power elite) for her ability to make anybody feel that she is their special friend, that she is part of their team, always ready with a favour, always willing to confide. She is particularly good with men, her fingers resting gently on their forearm and her gaze resting direct on their eyes. Not quite sexual, not quite romantic, but so intimate that a well married, conservative kind of man, several decades older than her, reflects that sometimes he finds himself sighing and wondering whether “maybe, if things had been a little different, maybe we would have been together”.

This is Rebekah who was so close to Tony Blair when he was prime minister that Downing Street aides recall Blair’s wife, Cherie, finding her in their flat and hissing privately: “Is she still here? When is she going?”; Rebekah who then effortlessly transferred her affection to the next prime minister, Blair’s great political rival, Gordon Brown, who showed his own affection for her by allowing his official country residence, Chequers, to be used one night the previous summer for an all-girls pyjama party and sleepover to mark her 40th birthday; Rebekah who now spends her weekends swapping canapes and gossip with Brown’s newest political rival, David Cameron, who could possibly be prime minister within a year, and who is said to sign off his notes to her with the words “Love, Dave”. Everybody (who is anybody) is Rebekah’s friend.

There are those who say that this is not entirely natural, that they have seen her, for example, on the eve of an important dinner, studying the table plan like a schoolgirl actress with her script, spending several hours revising until she knows all the names and the partners’ names and the children’s names and the personal interests and the important topics; and then she goes out and performs. And everybody feels so special. Some say that, in truth, Rebekah has no friends at all, only contacts; that all these charming conversations she holds with all these guests are really nothing more than transactions; that all of her relationships are simply a means calculated to attain an end for “the World’s Number One Networker”. Her obvious and immediate end would be journalistic. She is the editor of the Sun, the biggest-selling daily newspaper in the country, and, of course, she wants contacts, to give her the stories she needs to succeed. So, in these transactions that pass as conversations, clearly she has more than her charm to offer. She also has power – the power to make and break a reputation; quite an incentive for those who are offered her friendship.

And she will break as well as make: she is famous not only for her charm but also for her tornado-like temper. Some at the Sun remember the morning she woke up to discover that the rival Daily Mirror had beaten them to a particular story, and how she expressed her feelings by walking into the office and targeting the news desk with a well aimed missile, hastily identified as a heavy glass ashtray. One of the guests at this wedding, who has been close to her for years, says that here in Oxfordshire Rebekah is a country wife, riding horses and organising shooting parties, but in London, where the real transactions take place, she is “the beating heart of the Devil”.

The word that follows Rebekah around is “ambitious”. Most of the journalists who have worked for her love her. In the language of Fleet Street, she has earned the highest accolade – she is “an operator”. When she wants a story, nothing will stand in her way. Years ago at the News of the World, she once dressed up as a cleaning lady to infiltrate the office of the Sunday Times and steal their story. But some of those who know her say that it is not really journalism that moves her – that she knows exactly how it works, how to pull in a story and turn out a headline, but that she has no real love for it, no pulse of excitement at the very idea of it. They say that, for Rebekah, journalism is simply a ladder reaching from her not particularly well-off middle-class origins in a village in Cheshire, up through her first humble jobs in various newsrooms, then rapidly up the next few rungs to the editor’s office at the News of the World, and then to the editor’s office at the Sun – and then higher and higher, as far as the eye of her ambition can see. This summer day in 2009, she is still only 41, still climbing. For her, they say, the power of an editor is simply a mechanism for acquiring still more power. “Where there is power,” says one of those who acts as her friend, “there is Rebekah.”

And yet, any intruder who imagines it is the power of Rebekah Brooks that is being stated here today has entirely missed the point. She is merely an avatar. It may not be immediately obvious, but the man with the real power is the elderly gentleman, aged 78, with the avuncular smile and the clumsily dyed orange hair, chatting quietly in the crowd. He is entirely undistinguished in this gathering, but it is he who has raised Rebekah up the ladder of her ambition, and it is his presence that makes the simple, central statement to the members of this power elite: “You need to be here.” He is one of a small global group who have reached that special position where they are commonly identified simply by a first name. It may be Rebekah’s wedding, but this is Rupert’s day. Since 1979, no British government has been elected without the support of Rupert Murdoch. Between then and this wedding, all those who have been prime minister – Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown – have consistently cleared their diaries and welcomed him to the inner sanctum of their governments (and then disclosed as little as possible of what passed between them). It is certain that other national leaders have done the same, in Beijing and Washington and Canberra, and in numerous capitals across the planet. This is the current state of the democratic deal: each man has one vote; this man has power.

The fact of the power is clear. Even here, at the wedding, it colours every move around him. At one point, for example, Tony Blair’s former media adviser, Alastair Campbell, strolls up to David Cameron and tells him that, although naturally he hopes Cameron will lose the general election that is due next year, he would support the Conservative leader if, on winning office, he tried to do something about the press. Campbell starts to unwind a well rehearsed speech about the mendacity and negativity of so much political coverage, and Cameron focuses and is in the process of saying that he does think that newspaper behaviour has got even worse, when suddenly he catches his breath and freezes, like a schoolboy spotted by the teacher, as Rupert materialises at his shoulder, smiling. When Murdoch smiles, respectable politicians burst with appreciation.

Why? That is less clear.

Outsiders often misunderstand the power of a man like Rupert Murdoch. They look at him and they see the very model of a media megalomaniac. Certainly, by fair means and foul, with cleverness and cunning, he has built a vast media organisation – News Corp – with more than 800 subsidiaries and total assets worth some $60bn. He and his family trust directly own 12% of the shares (although a subtle legal manoeuvre means that they control 39.7% of the votes). On this day in June 2009, News Corp owns one of the world’s big six film studios, Twentieth Century Fox; one of the world’s 20 biggest book publishers, HarperCollins; and what was once the world’s most-visited social networking site, MySpace. But, most important of all, News Corp owns TV channels and newspapers.

Murdoch creates media triangles. Country by country, he has bought a downmarket tabloid (the Sun in the UK, the New York Post in the US, the Herald Sun and the Telegraph in Australia); then he has found himself a quality title (the London Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Australian); and alongside them, he has locked in a TV network (BSkyB, Fox in the US, Foxtel in Australia). Each triangle in its own way is the foundation of great wealth and political power.

News Corp’s reach is enormous. Through News International, it owns the four titles that together capture 37% of Britain’s newspaper readers; plus 39.1% of the BSkyB satellite TV business, beaming movies and sports and the Sky News channel into 10m homes in the UK and Ireland. It supplies 60% of Australia’s daily papers and 70% on Sundays. Its TV holdings have spread across Europe (west and east), across southern Africa and into Latin America. Its Asian TV network, Star, reaches all of India and China, most of the rest of Asia and now, through Star Select, the Middle East, too. News Corp’s TV channels broadcast movies made by its own studios and then reviewed by its own journalists in any of its hundreds of magazines. News Corp broadcasts sports whose rights it owns, played by sportsmen whose teams it owns, in games whose results are published by newspapers it owns.

Seeing how Murdoch has hoarded media outlets like a miser gathers gold, outsiders often imagine that he behaves like a caricature media boss, who jabs a finger in the face of the dependent politician and dictates “how things are gonna be if they wanna stay healthy”. In this version of events, the mogul forces the government to cut a deal. He agrees not to attack the government’s policies (and not to expose the grubby personal secrets of its members); in return, the government agrees to reshape its policies to suit the mogul’s ideology; the mogul then whips his compliant reporters into line, and they produce the political propaganda he requires; the government rewards the mogul with lucrative favours for his business.

And yet government ministers, special advisers and civil servants who have dealt with Murdoch, and executives, editors and journalists who have worked for him, tell a different story. The difference between the two stories is itself a clue to one part of the mogul’s method. Those who know him say that this is a man who loves information: he uses his journalists as a network of listeners; he taps up every contact for the inside story; he collects political gossip; he is given secret briefings by intelligence agencies; and he has made a fortune out of selling news. But with his own life, and particularly with his business life, he is well walled and secretive: the outsiders are there to be misled.

The insiders say that his use of power is far subtler than the outsiders imagine. They say first of all that there is something very deep that drives him very hard – maybe, some suggest, that he grew up believing that he could never be good enough for his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, a towering patriarch who built businesses and broke opponents; and so, all his life, Rupert has been compelled to make his own business bigger and bigger, as though one day his dead father might finally signal that it was enough. With that in mind, they say that his primary interest in politicians is not political; it’s commercial. He may be a highly political animal, they say – obsessed with the details of life in the corridors of power and personally possessed of some extremely right-wing opinions – but what he most wants from politicians is favours for his business. He’ll betray his own principles, he’ll embrace politicians for whom he has very little respect, just as long as they have the power to help the company get bigger.

In practical terms, this comes down to a repeated demand to be freed from regulation. He and his senior journalists all sing from the same song sheet on the virtues of deregulated free markets, in the UK and the US and Australia, wherever Murdoch owns outlets: theirs is the world’s loudest voice calling for the state to be cut back to make way for private enterprise. They do this as though it were simply a point of political philosophy. Clearly, however, it is a matter of overwhelming commercial interest for a businessman who wants to expand, to beat competitors and to dominate the very markets whose freedom he so often proclaims. Democratic governments across the world create regulators to speak up for the public interest – to protect their markets against the power of dominant corporations, to stop them crushing the competition or setting unfair prices or otherwise abusing their position. Repeatedly Murdoch has had to find ways to beat them, and to sideline the public interest in order to advance his own. Legal fences obstruct him – so he looks to friendly politicians to quietly open gates and wave him through.

The outsiders may assume that this involves striking a deal. The insiders again say it is subtler than that – not so much a deal (finite, static, a conscious agreement) as a somewhat cynical relationship (each side pretending friendship but seeking advantage, both offering a little more than they hope finally to give, neither side ever quite sure of the outcome). And that special relationship, they say, is born and brought up and free to flourish in places like this wedding.

Here, beside this lake, Murdoch and his executives and senior journalists enjoy the first privilege of power: that they are given for free the kind of access for which unscrupulous lobbyists will pay fat packets of cash. The prime minister, his likely successor and their respective followers queue up to hear his views, to pick up the signals, to understand what he wants, to send him their own signals, to bond. Some 46 million voters in the UK might like that kind of access to their leaders, but it is this foreign billionaire – who does not even have the right to vote in the UK – who enjoys it and the special relationship with governments that it brings.

So he moves among the wedding guests, casual and relaxed, chatting quietly. He does not display his power in any overt way – no bodyguards, no sitting apart and holding court like some silver-screen godfather. There is no hint of threat or enforcement. Effortlessly, and with some charm, he harvests the respect of those around him. But …

Ultimately, of course, there is something else at work here. It is not respect. It is fear. It is a curious fact that Murdoch holds no fear for ordinary people: most could not care less about him; the few who do care, tend to hold him in contempt as a model of avarice with his seven homes around the globe and his annual income touching $22m. But among those who play the power game, certainly, beneath the courtesy and the conversation, there is a quiet fear.

That, in turn, is a little to do with his character. He can show his charm, he can tell a blue joke to the lads, but the truth is that many of those who shake his hand can see the snarl behind his smile. An Australian associate recalls what happened one day when he suggested to Murdoch that he might like to rebuild bridges with a businessman with whom he had argued and who had since seen his business empire collapse. As he remembers it, the snarl pounced out as Murdoch explained: “I didn’t like talking to that cunt when he had money, and now he’s broke, he can get fucked.” One member of this powerful gathering recalls a much gentler but equally revealing comment from the Queen, who asked about Rupert’s son, James, and then added, sotto voce: “The father is awful.”

The man’s character, in turn, is at the heart of his approach to business. Rupert Murdoch is a man who will crush an opponent like a beetle beneath his boot, and he will do it for one simple reason – for News Corp. One of the guests who is closest to him says: “Rupert does not discriminate – he does not care about anybody more than he cares about the business. That includes himself, his kids, his political allies. The business comes first. His plan is “kill or be killed”. Every single corporate battle that he’s fought over the last 50 years, he’s gone head-to-head to win. You have to win. You don’t acknowledge that politics is a higher power. You don’t yield to the law of the land. You don’t submit to any higher code than your own.”

Notoriously, in 1975, Murdoch abused his position as a newspaper owner to support a plot that ousted the democratically elected prime minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, who had dared to wander away from the mogul’s path. Murdoch is the man who threw 6,000 men out of work when he broke away from the printing unions in London; who dumped his own citizenship as an Australian in order to become an American so that he could own more than 25% of a TV network; who pushed the Daily Telegraph and the Independent to the edge of destruction in a UK price-cutting war which doubled the circulation of The Times; who adopted Christianity like a new suit and then dumped it when he tired of it.

But above all, the fear is generated by the people he hires to work for him. “He loves thugs,” as one of his senior executives puts it. Roger Ailes at Fox TV; Kelvin MacKenzie at the Sun; Col Allan at the New York Post; Sam Chisholm at Sky TV: they all came out of the same box, marked “bully”. And when Murdoch’s men bully, their victims really feel it. All these members of the power elite have seen what Murdoch’s news outlets can do, using their stories in the same way muggers in back alleys use their boots, to kick a victim to pulp. “Monstering”, they call it – a savage and prolonged public attack on a target’s life, often aimed at the most private and sensitive part of their existence, their sexual behaviour, inflicting maximum pain and maximum humiliation.

Very often, this will have nothing to do with Murdoch’s own manoeuvres; it will simply be a matter of filling news space at the expense of some hapless individual who has caught the tabloid eye. Most journalists will refuse to do it, just as most men would refuse to be torturers. But some of those who carry press cards are like the droogs in Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange: they kick their victims because they love it. It sells newspapers, it pays well, it’s fun.

A monstering from Murdoch’s droogs is a terrible experience. If the damage they did were physical – visible – the courts could jail them for years. As it is, they inflict grievous emotional harm, the kind of injury from which some victims simply never recover. Indeed, there are some who have been left suicidal by the experience. It can come out of nowhere, picking on some off-the-cuff statement or some tiny detail that has caught nobody else’s eye, least of all the victim’s, and suddenly the violence begins. It can be completely arbitrary in its choice of target. If Miss Muffet abandons her tuffet because of the approaching spider, the droogs can choose to attack her for cowardice; or to attack the spider for indecency and threatening behaviour.

Once it starts, the monstering cannot be stopped by the victim. If the spider says he meant no harm, he was simply looking for somewhere to sit, then “an unrepentant spider last night threatened to spread his regime of fear”. Apologising will not work – “a humiliating climbdown”. Nor will refusing to apologise – “an increasingly isolated spider”. There is no end to the potential angles. The droogs will call everybody who ever sat next to the spider until they find somebody else who didn’t like him. They will comb through arachnophobes everywhere, in search of alarmist quotes and calls for action. They can keep it going for days. A little distortion here, some fabrication there. The fact of the focus is itself a distortion: the relentless return to the same victim, the desire to destroy that corrupts normal editorial judgement. Often, other newspapers and broadcast bulletins will join in, so that simple commercial competition encourages the hunt for a new angle. The spider is helpless – if he speaks out, he fuels the story; if he stays quiet, the story tramples him.

Eventually, the monstering stops, usually because some new target has arrived; or because the target has been destroyed. Sometimes, even destruction is not enough. In his diary, Alastair Campbell recalls the ferocious monstering that was given to the then transport secretary, Stephen Byers, in the spring of 2002, which continued even after he had resigned: “It’s like they get a corpse but then are disappointed there is nothing left to try and kill, so they kill the dead body too.”

The fear of this monstering generates power far beyond the relatively small number of victims who are attacked. All those in the power elite are prone to fear Murdoch, because none can be sure that they will not be next to be kicked by the tabloid boot. They all saw what happened to the former Labour minister Clare Short. Several times she criticised the Sun’s use of topless women to sell the paper and found herself denounced to millions as “killjoy Clare”, “fat”, “jealous”, “ugly”, “Short on looks”, “Short on brains”. At various points, the paper offered readers free car stickers (“Stop Crazy Clare”); sent half-naked women to her home; and ran a beauty contest to ask their readers whether they would prefer to see her face or the back of a bus. Separately, the News of the World ran two bogus stories suggesting she was involved with pornography; tried to buy old photographs of her as a 20-year-old in a nightdress; and published a smear story that attempted to link her to a West Indian gangster.

Her fellow Labour MP, the former Anglican priest Chris Bryant, provoked the full wrath of the Murdoch papers when he trapped Rebekah Brooks into admitting that her journalists had paid police officers for information at the media select committee hearing in March 2003. Immediately afterwards, Bryant was warned by a reporter from the Sun that “they will get you for that”. They got him a little bit a few months later when he told the House of Commons that he opposed the idea of a referendum on the new EU constitution and found the Sun telling its readers that he was a “Euro fanatic” who thought they were too stupid to vote. They got him more severely that December when the Mail on Sunday exposed his sex life, complete with an embarrassing photograph of him wearing only a tight-fitting pair of briefs, and Brooks at the Sun and Andy Coulson at the News of the World joined in a vicious monstering. Brooks made it very clear that this was personal, sashaying up to Bryant at a subsequent Labour party conference to deliver a sharp dig at his sexuality, calculated to remind him of the embarrassment of one of his former colleagues who had been accused of cruising a London park for gay sex: “Oh, Mr Bryant, it’s after dark. I’m surprised you’re not out on Clapham Common.”

The punishment was equally harsh for the American writer Michael Wolff. In March 2009 he found himself on the receiving end of a thorough monstering by the New York Post when he was working on a biography of Murdoch. By some unexplained means, the mogul’s people had laid hands on an unpublished typescript and started to send clear warnings that the boss was not happy with some its contents. Wolff recalls a senior executive calling to ask him to make changes before the book was published.

“What will you do if I don’t?” Wolff asked.

“Then we will not support the book.”

“How bad is that?”

“It could be bad.”

And it was bad. The New York Post discovered that Wolff had been having an affair, and ran stories on 2, 3, 6, 25 and 30 March, and 3 and 9 April, publishing along the way a secondary story that accused Wolff of evicting his mother-in-law from her apartment, as well as a cartoon of Wolff in bed with his lover, portraying the Jewish writer in a style which might reasonably be described as antisemitic.

At its worst, everybody in the power elite has heard that the punishment can amount to crude blackmail. They have all heard the stories about how Murdoch editors have safes containing dossiers of evidence about the private lives of politicians and competing businessmen; and that Murdoch and his people agree to suppress these gross embarrassments in exchange for yet more favours. There are specific rumours – about a senior figure in British sport who is said to have complied with Murdoch’s plans for TV rights when he was informed that the Sun was ready to tell its readers that he had had sexual relationships with young men; and about a middle-ranking Labour politician who is said to have spoken up on behalf of Murdoch’s UK newspapers after journalists obtained a video of him having sex with a prostitute while the prostitute’s husband watched. It is true that the sports administrator and the Labour politician offered their support to Murdoch. Whether they did so out of fear of the dossiers – or whether the dossiers even exist – is not so clear. The power is in the belief and in the fear it engenders. Which is widespread.

Certainly, many have come across a gentler version of this, something more like whitemail – a favour done rather than a threat made. There are senior politicians, police officers and others who know that senior Murdoch journalists have privately put in a word for them, to help with a promotion, to defuse some threat. Most of the wedding guests know that Rebekah worked a clever piece of whitemail with the deputy prime minister John Prescott when, as editor of the News of the World, she got hold of the story that many years earlier Prescott’s wife, Pauline, had given up a baby for adoption. This had happened before the Prescotts had met, but now the long-lost son had made contact. Prescott pleaded with Rebekah not to publish the story until his wife and her adult son had had a chance to get to know each other. She agreed – a decent act, and one that earned her a sense of indebtedness from Prescott who later, when his family were ready, opted to take the story to her at the Sun, where she had become editor. Favours are valuable currency in the corridors of power.

The power to conceal or reveal sensitive personal information turns out to be just like the power of the bully in the school playground. The bully need only batter one or two children for the fact of his power to be established: fear will then ensure that the others do all they can to placate him. In the same way, the really big power that Murdoch is said to wield – that he can swing the result of elections – does not have to be entirely real. What matters is the fear that it could be real. Far safer to be an ally, or even to join the shuffling queue of current and former members of the power elite who take his money, writing columns for his newspapers or selling their memoirs to HarperCollins: the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; the daughter of the then leader of the Chinese Communist party, Deng Xiaoping; the former Conservative leader William Hague; the former Metropolitan police commissioner Sir John Stevens; the former Labour minister David Blunkett; the former Downing Street press adviser Alastair Campbell; the former Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Andy Hayman; and so on and on.

Nobody is sure whether an aggressive newspaper really can decide the outcome of a national ballot. The newspapers like to claim that they can; politicians claim not to believe it; psephologists argue about the impact of news on voters and the distribution of any newspaper’s readers among the swing voters in marginal seats that dictate results. In the best-known UK case, Kelvin MacKenzie’s Sun in 1992 bloodied its toecaps all over the political career of the then Labour leader Neil Kinnock, and loudly claimed to have won the election for the Conservative leader, John Major. MacKenzie’s claim was widely seen as unfounded, if only because of his notorious estrangement from the truth.

There is no doubt that the droogs can cause grievous political harm. A cynical newspaper that targets a political party – in or out of government – can inject it with chaos. All debates become splits, all problems become crises, all changes become climbdowns, all setbacks are humiliating, all successes are ignored. It can change the news agenda so that on any day, the party or government is diverted into managing some crisis that the newspaper has manufactured. It can ruin reputations, with falsehood as easily as with truth. It can wreck the public debate of whole subjects by pumping it full of distortion. (Britain’s relationship with the European Union, for example, has been fundamentally shaped by a relentless sequence of notoriously false stories about the EU supposedly banning the British army, Scottish kilts, pints of beer, bent bananas, charity shops and Christian teachers, as well as supposedly suffocating daily life with an imaginary set of petty regulations.) The impact is like the effect a screaming brat has on a family: the family may not break up, but ordinary life becomes impossible.

Murdoch controls his company’s money with obsessive care, checking daily “flash reports” from every subsidiary to ensure they are sticking to the budget he has laid down for each of them. But very little of the editorial distortion in his empire comes directly from him. He intervenes in the round by requiring his outlets to work within the boundaries of policies that will favour businesses like News Corp: cut taxes, cut welfare, cut government, cut regulation – all the essentials of neoliberalism. From time to time, he directly intervenes in particular stories – to help an ally, to promote his business, to reflect some random personal bias. His senior journalists admit privately that this is unacceptable – a clear form of editorial corruption – but they insist that he intervenes far less often than outsiders imagine. The vast bulk of Murdoch’s news output, including the huge majority of any falsehood and distortion, is simply the spontaneous product of his highly commercialised newsrooms. It sells.

In the same way, very little of the aggression needs to be directed by Murdoch himself. The fear is all. In the balance of power, a government wins easily over a newspaper group with its vast budget, its military and police, its bureaucracy and all the limbs of the state. But in the balance of fear, the outcome is the opposite. The government lives in fear of what the mogul might do to its collective standing (and perhaps to some individual reputations) by causing chaos in its coverage. The mogul has little to fear from the government. For the most part, politicians will step round him and, in the unlikely event that they do attack, he has the ultimate sanction: he can sell up and leave, avoiding everything they throw at him, taking his investment and his jobs with him.

The point about real power is that it does its own work, particularly among those who deal in power. Nobody in the power elite needs to be told. They all recognise the mogul’s power and, with few exceptions, they do everything they can to pacify him, to ingratiate themselves. The mogul, for the most part, does not have to make threats or issue instructions. He just has to show up. Not even that – he just has to exist, somewhere in the background. Everybody understands; the fact of power is enough. If there’s a bull in the field, everybody steps carefully. The fear gives him access; the access gives him influence. Real power is passive.

• Andy Coulson’s reign at the News of the World: the second extract from Hack Attack

• Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch is published in the UK by Chatto & Windus on 31 July, priced £20. Buy it for £16 at guardianbookshop.co.uk. It is published on 12 August in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Sep 04 2014, 06:25; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Nicky80: Added text)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Thu Sep 04 2014, 00:22

Have you got the book yet pan ?
My copy is awaiting my eyes, upstairs on my Kindle !   LOL

Nite nite all

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Sep 04 2014, 00:31

Oh, cheating, Jo!

Going to buy it tomorrow. However did you guess!?? Very excited - right up my street....

And the connections and links continue (see my Assange post....)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Thu Sep 04 2014, 03:12

It will probably be a good movie, considering its pedigree, but I think George needs to break out of his mold a bit.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by LornaDoone on Thu Sep 04 2014, 03:47

Ladies Please post the articles not just the links.  Too often the pages you link to become no longer available and later COHers end up with blank pages or comments that page cannot be found.

If you copy and paste the article in your post it helps to avoid that.

Thanks.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Missa on Fri Sep 05 2014, 01:42

The movie sounds pretty good (though the title is terrible), but I'm not sure George is the best person to adapt and direct it.  There's a high likelihood of the self-righteous son-of-a-journalist showing up to write and direct this, which could make it a nightmare.  If it's just great storyteller George, no worries.  I think the fix is to make sure someone else adapts the screenplay.

True confession:  I'm not a huge fan of George's screenplays.  I think he's miles better as a director when working with someone else's story.
(i.e., Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). hidingbehindsofa

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Sep 13 2014, 08:43

Piers Morgan on phone hacking movie: 'George Clooney should play me'

Piers Morgan has proposed that George Clooney should play him in the upcoming movie about the News International phone hacking scandal.

Clooney is signed up to direct the film, which is based on journalist Nick Davies's book Hack Attack, and bookmakers are currently taking bets on who will be cast in the lead roles.
When asked who he would like to play him in the movie, Morgan told Digital Spy: "I hear Brad Pitt fancies it. Pitt would be the aesthetically correct person to play me.

"But I suspect Clooney will want a run at me. I've always got on with George and I'm sure he's thinking, 'What can be better for my career right now than playing Piers Morgan in a movie?'"


Clooney has described the film, which centres on the shutting down of the News of the World, as a story of "lying, corruption and blackmail".

"Nick Davies is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honour to put his book to film," said Clooney.

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Hack Attack

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Sep 13 2014, 15:26

Here's that wit Piers Morgan, formerly Editor of the Daily Mirror, and questioned about the hacking scandal, with a tongue-in-cheek gossipy piece about casting in the film........

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Brad Pitt Eyes Lead Role in George Clooney's Phone Hacking Scandal Movie
           
Piers Morgan, a former Daily Mirror editor who was entangled in a controversial phone hacking scandal, reveals actors who could possibly play him in "Hack Attack", a highly-buzzed film based on the legal trouble. The ex-"Britain's Got Talent" judge reveals two names in an interview with Digital Spy.

Morgan spills that Brad Pitt, who is actually named as one of the victims in the phone hacking, is interested to star in the true-story drama. However, the British journalist thinks George Clooney who is already set to sit behind the lens for the project will be a more fitting choice to play him in the film.

"I hear Brad Pitt fancies it. Pitt would be the aesthetically correct person to play me," the TV host spills, before adding, "But I suspect Clooney will want a run at me. I've always got on with George and I'm sure he's thinking, 'What can be better for my career right now than playing Piers Morgan in a movie?' "

The film is based on The Guardian journalist Nick Davies' book. Clooney said the movie would depict the story of "lying, corruption, blackmail" in the scandal that involved Rupert Murdoch's news empire. He gushed, "Nick Davies is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film."


Last edited by Nicky80 on Sat Sep 13 2014, 22:04; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Sep 13 2014, 15:31

Thinks Our Hero should play him.......!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Sat Sep 13 2014, 18:54

Oo Gloriana......I hope George doesn't play Morgan.....
YUKKIE.....

Actually, I'd like all the "famous celebrity folk" involved in the phone hacking to play themselves in the film.
It would add that touch of authenticity to it I think.

After all George used the real people, by video of course, in GN&GL to great effect.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Doug Ross on Sat Sep 13 2014, 21:07

Even in Up in the air there were people who really had lost their job.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Sep 13 2014, 22:01

Merged thread as the Piers morgan article was already posted here.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sun Sep 14 2014, 02:41

Does anybody remember K Street, George's first foray into producing for television (actually, cable)? It was a show about politics and lobbyists, and used actors as well as real political players. It was a show ahead of its time in a lot of ways. Anyway, it makes me think that George will pull this material off well, considering the experience he's gained in the ten or so years since this show (it lasted for one season). But I don't think he should write it or have a major acting role.



Just get him a good script and the right actors. He will kick ass directing this.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Sep 14 2014, 03:08

Mm. I really hope so.     Still a HUGE current story here .......involving so many at the very top of the establishment..........

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Hugh Grant on George, 'Hack Attack' and the Daily Mail

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Oct 09 2014, 14:55

Hugh Grant on George Clooney versus Daily Mail: 'He's on our side'


Hugh Grant makes a return to the big screen this week in The Rewrite, a romantic comedy that reunites him with Music and Lyrics director Marc Lawrence.

Grant plays a Hollywood screenwriter whose fallen on hard times and takes up teaching at an East Coast university. Digital Spy caught up with Grant to discuss inspirations for the role, what he gets recognised for most and the best piece of advice he's ever had.



George Clooney's a good egg and on our side. I was emailing him about taking issue with the Daily Mail. He's a good bloke and brave.




The British actor, whose 2011 New Statesman article proved to be something of a landmark moment in the News of the World phone hacking scandal, also discussed his email exchanges with George Clooney about their shared frustrations with the Daily Mail.

Clooney will direct Hack Attack, a film based on Nick Davies's book on the NOTW scandal. Could Grant potentially play himself in the movie? Find out about this and more in our video interview above.

The Rewrite opens in UK cinemas on October 10.


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Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Oct 09 2014, 21:06; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Hugh Grant on George's new project and more

Post by Sevens on Thu Oct 09 2014, 14:57

The star of The Rewrite, a rom-com about an off-the-boil screenwriter forced to take work as a teacher, tells Catherine Shoard how the internet has shrunk his attention span, his son's love for butter and why showbiz is like steroids. Grant also speaks about emailing George Clooney in shared dislike for the Daily Mail, and what he feels about George Clooney's plan to make a movie based on Nick Davies's book about the Leveson inquiry
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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Thu Oct 09 2014, 15:05

Poor sound quality unfortunately.
I hope Hugh and other's play themselves in
Hack Attack.
I get a feeling they'd enjoy that !

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by melbert on Thu Oct 09 2014, 15:43

PA-N posted the same thing here:

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Oct 09 2014, 15:53

Oh dear. I was wondering if it should be on the Mail thread or the Hack Attack one, but couldn't find the latter!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Oct 09 2014, 20:53

Merged threads

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Oct 09 2014, 21:00

Thank you, Nicky!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Oct 31 2014, 19:57

George Clooney finds a writer for his phone hacking movie

Having already directed a film about the crusading, high-minded aspects of the journalistic profession with Good Night And Good Luck, George Clooney plans to look at the seedier side of the job with Hack Attack, a film about the phone-hacking scandal that enveloped British tabloid News Of The World—along with owner Rupert Murdoch—for years before the 168-year-old publication was forced to close in 2011. As previously reported, the movie will be based on a bestseller of the same name by The Guardian reporter Nick Davies, whose employer reported on some of the more damning aspects of the scandal when it was still ongoing. And to adapt the book, Clooney and Sony Pictures are now eyeing Anthony McCarten, the writer behind the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything.

The scandal was a complicated, years-long affair, so whoever ends up adapting the book will need to be able to sort through a mess of facts and perspectives. News Of The World and some of its sister publications were accused of rooting around in the private files of everyone from celebrities and the royal family to relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and the parents of murder victims. While that’s all very serious, there’s even room for comedy, as the allegations eventually led to a comedian trying to smash a “foam pie” into Murdoch’s face during a Parliamentary hearing. McCarten is currently getting [url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_theory_of_everything_2014/?search=the theory of every]good marks[/url] for his work on The Theory Of Everything, so he may be the man for the job.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Joanna on Fri Oct 31 2014, 22:45

"And to adapt the book, Clooney and Sony Pictures are now eyeing Anthony McCarten, the writer behind the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything."

So nothing is settled yet about the writer.

As I'm currently reading the book I'm thinking
"how can this be transferred into a film ?"

It's a brave choice for the two G's IMO.

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George Clooney Was the Only One Who Saw the Sony Hack Coming

Post by hathaross on Tue Dec 09 2014, 23:14

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The debilitating, often humiliating Sony hack has pretty much screwed over most anyone who's ever had anything to do with the company ever. But when the time comes to lay blame, lay it not on George Clooney. For as with everything else in life, George Clooney had the upper hand. His prophecy by email lies below.


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The message came from yesterday's leak of Sony exec emails, where we found George Clooney's prescient words nestled amidst the data dump, bearing a wisdom no one was ready for. At least, Amy Pascal, Sony Picture Entertainment's co-chairman, certainly wasn't; she just laughed off George's "you're probably going to get hacked at some point so I'm just gonna say some shit" message as a fun little joke.
Just like the fun little jokes made by Nostradamus himself.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by amaretti on Tue Dec 09 2014, 23:25

Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Dec 10 2014, 00:15

This is great!!

He's talking about 'Hack Attack' and half the commentators don't seem to have any idea........

Ps Love his ellipsis.......!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Sevens on Wed Dec 10 2014, 02:02

George is funny! I love using ellipsis too...
It reminds me of his new directorial project immediately when
hearing about the hack attacks happened in Sony.
This film is gonna be interesting.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

Post by Sevens on Wed Dec 10 2014, 03:06

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what a drama....
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Re: George Clooney to Direct Movie About U.K. Phone Hacking Scandal

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