(Reuters) – It was one of many strange moments in a hearing rich in absurdity. As British lawmakers questioned Rupert Murdoch last month over whether his News of the World journalists broke the law by hacking into mobile phones, the 80-year-old Australian-born boss of media giant News Corporation began to reminiscence about his late father.
Member of Parliament Damian Collins tried to get the hearing back on track, but Murdoch, sitting beside his son James, the head of News Corp’s non-U.S. interests, continued: “That just addresses the question of it being a family business. I would love to see my sons and daughters follow that route — if they are interested.”
What Murdoch’s children are interested in may no longer matter.
Tag Archives: David Cameron
From THE INDEPENDENT:
The extraordinary access that Cabinet ministers granted Rupert Murdoch and his children was revealed for the first time yesterday, with more than two dozen private meetings between the family and senior members of the Government in the 15 months since David Cameron entered Downing Street.
In total, Cabinet ministers have had private meetings with Murdoch executives more than 60 times and, if social events such as receptions at party conferences are included, the figure is at least 107.
On two occasions, James Murdoch and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks were given confidential defence briefings on Afghanistan and Britain’s strategic defence review by the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox. A further briefing was held with Ms Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and the Sunday Times editor John Witherow.
From The Washington Post:
LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday said James Murdoch, scion of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, should be recalled by Parliament to address allegations he misled lawmakers in his testimony on Britain’s phone hacking.
Further upping the pressure on James Murdoch, 38, an opposition lawmaker called for a police investigation into whether he lied.
LONDON — Pressure intensified on Rupert Murdoch’s media empire Friday after his son James was accused of misleading British MPs, as rival newspapers became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal.
Prime Minister David Cameron is also facing the worst crisis since he took office last year, amid questions over talks he had on Murdoch’s failed bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB and his hiring of an ex-Murdoch editor as his media chief.
James Murdoch was accused of lying to British MPs this week when he said he he had not seen an internal email which suggested hacking at the tabloid was widespread before authorising a settlement.
Carrot Top Rebekah Brooks was arrested Sunday on suspicion of phone hacking and bribing police. This might be why:
(Reuters) – “It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again.” That’s how one former reporter describes the News of the World newsroom under editor Rebekah Brooks, the ferociously ambitious titian-haired executive who ran Britain’s top-selling Sunday tabloid from 2000 to 2003.
From Business Spectator:
The abrupt change in News Corp’s tactics as [it] tries to bring some semblance of control to the maelstrom it is experiencing in the UK hints at a longer-term problem for Rupert Murdoch and his succession plans.
On Wednesday News withdrew its undertaking to spin off Sky News from BSkyB enabling the UK government to refer its proposed bid for the pay television operator to its Competition Commission and ensuring that any final decision on the bid would be deferred for at least six months and probably closer to a year.
That appeared designed to avoid any immediate decision on the bid within an atmosphere of extreme hostility towards News and therefore to preserve the potential for another tilt at BSkYB once the heat eventually dies down.
(Reuters) – Les Hinton was adamant. Asked in 2007 by a British parliamentary committee whether the News of the World had “carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry” into the use of illegal phone hacking by the newspaper and was “absolutely convinced” it was limited to a single reporter, Hinton did not hesitate.
“Yes, we have,” the then-executive chairman of News of the World’s owner News International told the select committee, “and I believe he was the only person, but that investigation, under the new editor, continues.”
Four years on, Hinton may have serious reason to regret those words.
From THE INDEPENDENT:
David Cameron was given a personal guarantee by Rupert Murdoch that Andy Coulson was safe to take on as his Downing Street press chief, The Independent on Sunday learnt yesterday, as the fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal threatened to escalate into all-out war between the UK’s two most powerful men.
The Prime Minister had already cooled relations with the 80-year-old press baron on Friday by saying that his son, James Murdoch, has “questions to answer” over News International’s handling of the scandal. The Battle of Wapping 2011 will be intensified by the revelation that Mr Cameron was told by Mr Murdoch twice that, despite fears over Mr Coulson’s connection to the phone-hacking scandal, there was no problem with the former editor.