You mess with Murdoch … you mess with the whole family. ABC News puts a spotlight on the reaction of Wendy Deng Murdoch to an attack on her husband, News Corp mogul Rupert Murdoch, as he and his son James testified before a Parliamentary committee earlier today:
A Parliament hearing into hacking by News Corp. journalists erupted into chaos Tuesday as CEO Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man with what appeared to be a pie.
Wendi Deng Murdoch, his wife, rose from her seat behind her husband to protect him and took a swing at the intruder. The man was taken away from the scene and the committee temporarily suspended the hearing.
Hopefully Mrs. Murdoch landed that slap. Regardless of what one thinks of Murdoch’s politics or business practices, it hardly constitutes an act of courage to sneak up on an old man and assault him, with a pie or anything else. In fact, it’s basically an expression of utter impotence, just as much as the glitter attacks seen of late.
At the hearing itself, Murdoch declined to take responsibility for the actions of his employees in the phone-hacking scandal:
“Mr. Murdoch do you accept you are ultimately responsible for this whole fiasco?” asked Jim Sheridan, a member of Parliament.
“No,” replied Murdoch, explaining that those he hired and trusted and the people who they hired and trusted were responsible. He mentioned Les Hinton, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, who resigned on Friday. Hinton and Murdoch have worked together for 52 years, including while Hinton was chief executive of News International, Murdoch’s British newspaper publisher. …
In answering a query about his hands on-off approach when it comes to his newspapers, Rupert Murdoch said that he “lost sight of maybe” the News of the World because it was so small in the general frame of the company. He explained that the editor he is in most touch with is the editor of the Wall Street Journal because they work in the same building. The News Corp. headquarters is in Manhattan.
Rupert Murdoch said he works a 10 to 12 hour workday, but he was not aware of all the details of News of the World, which comprises less than 1 percent of his entire company.
No one is “responsible” for criminal actions except the criminals themselves. That would include anyone who aided and abetted criminal activity, and especially those who conspired to commit it or have it committed on their behalf. If evidence arises that Murdoch falls into those categories, then he’d be responsible for his own actions as part of that conspiracy. Otherwise, Murdoch is only guilty of making bad hiring decisions and not exercising enough control over the staff at one of his properties, which is bad enough as it is.
The Boss Emeritus warns that News Corp had better start cleaning up its act:
Heads are rolling in the News of the World hacking scandal aftermath. As they should be.
Several editors and London police officials have resigned. More are undoubtedly on the way. A former NoTW reporter-turned-whisteblower who suffered from drug and alcohol addictions has now tragically turned up dead — compounding a global media tragedy that has shaken countless murder victims’ families, terror victims’ families, celebrities, and politicians whose cell phones were allegedly illegally rifled through in pursuit of salacious gossip and tabloid fodder. …
As a proud Fox News contributor for the past 10 years, I have come to News Corp.’s defense countless times and will continue to do so when critics distort the facts and wage unfair attacks.
This is not one of those times. There is no defense for this godawful fiasco. …
Hacking is a serious crime and grave privacy invasion. PERIOD.
Yes, it is painful to see a great media champion/entrepreneur and a great media empire — of which NoTW was just a tiny sliver — under fire. The glee and double standards of News Corp. haters on both sides of the pond are hard to stomach.
But there is no one to blame for this other than those in News Corp. who let the scandal fester, and whose inaction handed critics all the ammunition they are firing now. These are the lumps and now every single rank-and-file employee and contributor at News Corp. is being forced to suffer them.