07.10.11

6 Celebrities Against Rupert Murdoch

Star hacking victims are celebrating the demise of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, whose final edition hit newsstands Sunday. From Steve Coogan’s fiery takedown to Hugh Grant’s undercover operation, watch six celebrities speak out.

Roseanne Barr: Murdoch's 'Going Down'

Roseanne Barr might be nuts, but her gripe with Rupert Murdoch over alleged hacking is no joke. The comedienne accused the NewsCorp CEO of tapping her phones and having people go through her garbage in an appearance on Chelsea Lately Tuesday. "Just being in the eye of a hurricane—that's what it felt like," the actress said of her time as a target. Barr has since recovered from the incident and wants NOTW to know it, "Now here I am sitting here and that guy's going down!"

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Steve Coogan: ‘Misogynistic, Xenophobic’ Tabloid

Actor Steve Coogan didn’t mince words when expressing his “delight” at the closure of News of the World. In an interview on BBC2’s Newsnight, the comedian and phone-hacking victim—and, as he noted in the debate, not a politician—blasted the tabloid for adhering to its “morally bankrupt” standards till the bitter end. Calling it a “wonderful day for the press” and a “small victory for decency and humanity,” Coogan criticized former deputy features editor Paul McMullan on air for hiding behind the notion of the free press. Watch the delightfully explosive seven-minute argument below. Plus, Coogan’s eulogy for the “misogynistic, xenophobic, single-parent-hating, asylum-seeker-hating newspaper.

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Hugh Grant: The Bugger Gets Bugged

Actor Hugh Grant, one of the most vocal celebrities against News of the World, has some tape-recorder skills of his own. After finding out from former editor Paul McMullan that his phone had been hacked, Grant went back to McMullan and secretly recorded a conversation, later published in the New Statesman. In this interview with the BBC, both gentlemen give their side of the story. “You can’t believe that an actor who’s very well known would lower himself to such tactics,” McMullan says sarcastically. Plus, Grant explains why the News of the World closure is a cynical maneuver to save high-ranking editors and accuses British Prime Minister David Cameron of being in bed with Rupert Murdoch.

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Max Mosley: News of the World’s Cynical Move

Former Formula One racing head Max Mosley sued News of the World in 2008 for publishing pictures and video of him in what the paper branded a “sick Nazi orgy” or a “five-hour, five-prostitute sadomasochistic” sex party. Mosley said shuttering the tabloid is a cynical move by the company to save the editors, because those at the top of the paper “undoubtedly” knew about the deplorable practices. He promised that the end of News of the World is only the beginning of a greater judicial inquiry that will uncover the unhealthy influence of the Murdoch empire on the British government.

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George Michael: ‘Dodgy’ Practices

News of the World, pop star George Michael has a message for you: Your reign of terror is over. Last year, information about the singer’s DUI arrest was obtained by the tabloid after his phone was hacked, the Associated Press reported. With headlines like “George Had Crack in the Toilet,” we can understand why Michael was ecstatic that the paper and its “dodgy” techniques were kaput. Rest assured, George, you won’t have to worry about careless whispers anymore.

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Jonathan Ross: You Can’t Do That!

Is the closure of News of the World purely a cosmetic move because the tabloid’s name has been sullied? That’s what popular British TV and radio presenter Jonathan Ross believes. Ross, who thinks that, generally speaking, the paper was “not nice,” explains why he’s not shocked about the fallout from the scandal. He also offers some advice to journalists about hacking: “You can’t do that! It’s against the law.”

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