Hollywood has been noticeably silent over the News of the World phone hacking scandal that has Rupert Murdoch’s media empire backpedaling. Reuters says our town is “gloating silently” over the affair, due to the fact that Murdoch’s Fox Television network and 20th Century Fox film studio employ more than a few people ’round these parts.
But there are more than a few people in Hollywood who have every reason to cheer the paper’s demise. Media Matters compiled a nice roundup of Hollywood’s past clashes with NOTW. Included in the list is this fascinating little yarn. When actor Hugh Grant wore a wire during a discussion with a News of the World reporter a few months ago, this is what he was told:
So I was sent to do a feature on Moulin Rouge! at Cannes, which was a great send anyway. Basically my brief was to see who Nicole Kidman was shagging – what she was doing, poking through her bins and get some stuff on her. So Murdoch’s paying her five million quid to big up the French and at the same time paying me £5.50 to fuck her up . . . So all hail the master. We’re just pawns in his game. How perverse is that?
Kidman, incidentally, is reportedly the godmother to Murdoch’s two youngest daughters.
Also on the NOTW front, Carl Bernstein and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen were on To The Point yesterday, talking about the News of the World scandal and Rupert Murdoch’s journalistic legacy. Listen here.
Previously on FishbowlLA: A Look Inside News of the World