Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Murdoch's News International Unveils Christmas Treat for Children Hoping to Get Messages to Santa

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Rupert Murdoch's News International paid restitutions to seven more prominent figures in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that brought down the News of the World tabloid. In a statement released Tuesday, the company said it had settled claims brought by Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt, lawmaker Mark Oaten, model Abi Titmuss, theatrical agent Michelle Milburn, television personalities Ukrika Jonsson and Calum Best, and Paul Dadge, who helped rescue victims during the 2005 terrorist bombings in London. The scandal erupted after authorities discovered that journalists and private investigators on the Murdoch payroll had routinely hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, professional athletes and crime victims. Struggling to recover profits, confidence in leadership and public trust, CEO Rupert Murdoch announced today that his media empire would be giving back to society with a special holiday gift for the children of the world.

"This is a special time of year for the civilized world," Murdoch told reporters. "Children are trying to send letters to Santa or reach whomever brings Jew kids their presents on Chanukah. But not every child can be assured of seeing Santa at the mall or locating his personal contact information. So in honor of this festive season, we're going to make sure Santa gets their wish lists. And the best part is that children don't need to write letters, perch on the laps of Santa's helpers or pay some dubious website to forward their requests along."

No, the staff of News International are not psychic, but like Kris Kringle, Murdoch said, they know an awful lot about you.

With the collapse of News of the World, a significant number of information retrieval specialists, investigative journalists and private detectives have been left to languish in the dire jobs market. Murdoch sees his program as a win-win for both children and his newly unemployed workers. The initiative is being branded "Santa Knows When You've Been Bad or Good, and So Do We."

Marketing specialists from News International explained that the company's recently discharged sleuths "have been hired by St. Nicholas himself as special helpers to gather information about every child's Christmas list."

All a child needs to do is call a friend, relative, parent or virtually any other party via cell phone and simply describe what he or she wants most for Christmas. "The process works equally well using email, Twitter, texting and even photos of items," News International representatives said.

After children discuss their wish lists, Santa's helpers at News International immediately intercept the communications and forward them directly to a dedicated message center at the North Pole.

Murdoch said: "I can't think of a better way to show the public how committed we are to serving our world communities. It's absolutely free and eliminates doubts about whether Santa received the information he needed. And although there are a few celebrities and politicians out there who've been a bit naughty this year, we know Santa is a forgiving soul. We therefore urge those individuals to participate. We'll make sure their calls, emails and photos are processed posthaste."

(c) 2011. See disclaimers.

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