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Succumbing to enormous public pressure, Rebekah Brooks has finally resigned from News Corp. From the Telegraph:
Mrs Brooks, 43, was editor of the News of the World at the time that the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was allegedly hacked on behalf of the newspaper.
She had offered her resignation last week but it had been declined by Rupert and James Murdoch.
Today, following days of pressure fromDavid Cameron, Ed Miliband and major News Corp shareholders, she told staff: “I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation.
“While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.”
She wrote: “As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.”
My first thought is that Murdoch kept Brooks for so long in order to use her departure as a final gesture. There may have been an element of loyalty regarding the decision to not accept her resignation last week, but Rupert and James are no fools and must have know weeks ago that Brooks would eventually have to go. I’m not sure how much this does to dampen the public anger – probably not enough given the FBI is launching an investigation in the US over the alleged hacking of 9/11 victim’s phones and it appears there is more to learn about the corporations illegal activities.
Brooks resignation is probably the first of several more high profile departures from the company, and it may spell the beginning of the end. Ultimately, top level management and the Murdochs themselves must be held responsible for the terrible activities the News of the World and other News Corp publications may be guilty of. They can hide behind the Coulsons and Brooks of News Corp for a while, but ultimately will go down with their rapidly sinking ship when there is no one left to chuck over board.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.