MEDIA MISSTEPS

Murdoch in Wiretap Fix

Even Rupert Murdoch may have a tough time getting out of this one. The Guardian reports that three of Murdoch's British newspapers paid more than £1 million, more than $1.5 million in U.S. dollars, to settle court cases that alleged his journalists hired private investigators who illegally hacked into the cell phone messages of "numerous public figures," including Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle MacPherson. The private investigators allegedly obtained confidential personal information, including tax records, bank statements and phone bills, though News Corp. claimed it had no ties to the investigators. Actors, sports stars, and cabinet ministers were all targets of the spying, according to The Guardian's investigation. Murdoch, meanwhile, maintained that he knew nothing about payments to the investigators. "If that had happened I would know about it," he told Bloomberg News. One News of the World editor was jailed for four months in 2007 for hacking into phones of members of the royal family's household.