Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
Judith Regan, the tough-talking former book publisher and editor and television producer, has accused an executive at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation of encouraging her to lie about her affair with Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, in order to protect the presidential aspirations of Kerik's friend, Rudolph Giuliani:
In the civil complaint filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Ms. Regan says the company has long sought to promote Mr. Giuliani’s ambitions. But the lawsuit does not elaborate on that charge, identify the executive who she says pressured her to mislead investigators, or offer details to support her claim.
In fact, the allegation about the executive makes up a small part of a much broader array of claims concerning what she says was her improper removal from a job atop one of the more commercially successful book publishing operations.
This story quashes any doubt which candidate the folks at NewsCorp are rooting for in the next election. Not that the revelation is particularly surprising. Giuliani is a close friend of Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News, NewsCorp's loss-leading marquee cable channel. With Rudy in the Oval Office, FNC's conduit into and out of the White House propaganda shop would be assured for four more years.
On a much more salacious level, even in the continuum of recent revelations of GOP adulteries --- think Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter, Rev. Ted Haggard and publisher Richard Mellon Scaife, who funded the Arkansas Project to dig up dirt on the Clintons' marriage --- Regan's affair with Kerik was particularly sordid. While Kerik was hooking up with Regan, he was simultaneously having an affair with another woman, all while his wife was pregnant:
Thereafter, she told friends that he had begun to harass her, and that she hired a bodyguard for protection. Kerik's lawyer denied the harassment claim.
Kerik made headlines last week when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and lying to the IRS. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. In December 2004, Giuliani recommended Kerik to be Bush's secretary of Homeland Defense, but Kerik quickly withdrew his name, saying he'd once hired an illegal alien.
As Keith Olbermann pointed out on MSNBC's "Countdown" last night, Regan better have strong evidence --- an audiotape, for example --- proving that the NewsCorp official pressured her to keep quiet about her affair with Kerik. Otherwise, it's hard to game out why she would put her credibility, such as it is, not to mention $100 million, on the line.
Here's some video on the Judith Regan story: