Tuesday, August 16th 2011, 10:15 AM
It's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover-up.
A shocking letter from the reporter at the heart of News Corp.'s hacking scandal says the illegal practice was openly discussed by editors despite company claims no one knew.
The letter by disgraced royal correspondent Clive Goodman was sent four years ago to top company officials after he spent time in jail for hacking royal family voicemails.
"This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor \[Andy Coulson\]," stated the letter, which was obtained by the Guardian.
It also said that Coulson had offered to let Goodman keep his job if he did not name any other names as he went down.
Goodman wrote the letter to appeal his ultimate dismissal saying he kept up his end of the bargain and he expected News Corp. to do the same.
The letter surfaces just as British lawmakers said Tuesday they will likely bring James Murdoch back to testify about the scandal that has rocked his father's media empire.
A parliamentary panel said it had no plans, however, to bring News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch back to answer further questions.
The father-son duo testified last month that they had no knowledge of widespread phone hacking at their News of the World scandal rag. During the hearing, the elder Murdoch was hit in the face by a cream pie.
"There seems to be a question as to whether James Murdoch himself misled the committee," said committee member Tom Watson. "We have not reached a conclusion on that."
The scandal has persisted for years after it emerged in 2007 that the sleazy tabloid had hacked into the voicemails of celebrities, athletes and members of the royal family.
But public revulsion reached fevered pitch earlier this year, when it became known that reporters at the paper had hacked into the phones of murder and terrorism victims, as well as slain soldiers.
The scandal has also tarnished Prime Minister David Cameron after he hired Andy Coulson as his spokesman despite his role in the phone hacking affair.
Coulson later resigned and has since been arrested.
With News Wire Services
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/08/16/2011-08-16_news_of_the_world_reporters_bombshell_letter_says_phone_hacking_was_widely_discu.html#ixzz1VOGAGkqZ