It has obviously come as a tremendous shock to Rupert Murdoch and his senior executives to discover his company’s biggest-selling newspaper, the News of the World, has been systematically and illegally hacking the private voicemails of public figures for years.
Not least because it suggests the absence of a vital piece of equipment Murdoch and his News Corporation executives have for decades steadfastly maintained they use on an everyday basis in running their global media company.
Crikey understands the search for the missing device is now a matter of high priority within the Murdoch empire. James Murdoch, son and heir apparent, is said to be masterminding the international search for the vital piece of equipment, assisted in Australia by his brother Lachlan, who developed a familiarity with the devices when he studied ethics at Princeton University.
The big concern within News Corp, according to company insiders, is that failure to immediately locate the instrument will create a disastrous impression that the company has been operating — possibly since its inception in the early 1950s — without it.
The pursuit coincides with another News Corp derby — the race to keep hundreds of potential litigants whose phones have been hacked (including a former deputy prime minister) out of the British courts.
May we suggest a much more straightforward approach — a metal detector could be just the thing to find that missing moral compass.