The phone hacking scandal now crippling Britain could hardly ripple with more intrigue if the whole affair involved Cuban-born burglars, 18-minute audio gaps and a deep-background source whispering “Follow the pound” from a parking garage in Darlington.

Let alone a shamed political strategist close to the nation’s leader who pronounces his surname “Colson.” (What’s that, guv’nah? That last similarity is actually true? Quick, someone get Gordon on the phone — no, not Liddy — Brown.)

PMs. MPs. CEOs. VIPs. And the NOTW. It’s an ever-escalating case that almost daily tosses us a new “hackronym.”

In a week in which the final “Harry Potter” film is enjoying global popularity, the only Rupert in the world who could so thoroughly steal the headlines (as it were) from Grint is Murdoch, the News Corp. baron who is scheduled to testify Tuesday before Parliament.

Every news cycle, it seems, brings another surreal discovery.

In a standard spy-thriller, our imperiled protagonist would ring up good ol’ Scotland Yard — except in real life, the entangled top cops there are stepping down faster than a Royal Albert Hall usher. Meanwhile, the whisteblower suddenly turns up dead and his expiration is briskly ruled “not suspicious.”

Even Sherlock Holmes might have trouble unraveling this tainted crossword-puzzle of a case.

And then there is Murdoch’s daughter-like figure Rebekah Brooks, the freshly arrested former News of the World editor whose address reportedly was very near Hackers Lane — and whose 2009 wedding guests included the founder of Carphone Warehouse.

Bugger it! You couldn’t make this stuff up, even if you were a tabloid journalist.

With your ear to a hacked phone line.

So now it’s the cartoonists’ turn to bring some satirical perspective to Hackergate. From David Horsey’s version of “The Media Empire Strikes Back” to the Taiwanese-based animators at NMA who depict Murdoch as a “radioactive” Aussie shark, here are Nine Eye-Catching News. Corp. Cartoons.

And naturally, we allow the last word to a nearly 80-year-old Australian native and media legend.

No, not Rupert Murdoch. Rather, countryman Pat Oliphant. He always seems to have his ear to the ground — just not to the receiver.





. (MIKE LUCKOVICH/Atlanta Journal Constitution)


. (STEVE BREEN/San Diego Union-Tribune)




. (ALAN MOIR/Sydney Morning Herald, AUSTRALIA)




. (NICK ANDERSON/Houston Chronicle)


(PAT OLIPHANT/Universal Uclick)