Murdoch eats humble pie

A protester rushed at Rupert Murdoch as he gave testimony to British lawmakers Tuesday, setting off a scuffle and spattering Murdoch with what appeared to be white foam in a foil pie dish in a shocking interruption of a hearing into the phone hacking scandal that’s rocked the media baron’s global empire.

After more than two hours of testimony, a man in a plaid shirt appeared to run toward Murdoch before being struck by his wife Wendi Deng.

Police in the back of the committee room were holding an apparently handcuffed man with white foam covering his face and shirt.

The foam also appeared to have hit Murdoch’s suit.

Murdoch and his son James had sparred with the committee, the older man reeling from tough questioning before recovering his composure and rebuffing his interrogators with flashes of his legendary toughness.

Murdoch (80) banged his hands on the table and said the day was the most humble of his life, becoming flustered when committee members peppered with him questions and turning to his son James for some answers.

He recovered later in a tense question-and-answer session with lawmakers, pushing back with firm denials of wrongdoing.

Murdoch said he was “shocked, appalled and ashamed” at the hacking of the phone of a murdered schoolgirl by his now-shuttered News of the World tabloid. He said he had seen no evidence that victims of the Sept. 11 2001 terror attack and their relatives were targeted by any of his papers, adding he didn’t believe the FBI had uncovered any evidence of that in a recently launched inquiry.

Murdoch said he was not responsible for the hacking scandal, and his company was not guilty of willful blindness.

He repeatedly batted away questions about operations at the News of the World by saying he wasn’t really in touch with the tabloid or didn’t know what was going on there.


The value of the Murdochs’ News Corp added around $1.5-billion while they were being grilled, trading 3.8% higher at $15.54. The stock has taken a battering over the past couple of weeks, shedding around 17% of its value, or around $8-billion. — Sapa-AP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Judge trashes entire lockdown regime as constitutionally flawed

The high court ruling will delight gatvol South Africans but is unlikely to stand the test of time

Eusebius McKaiser: Two important lessons to learn about racists

The racially intolerant act to keep black people in “their place”, some even while claiming they're allies
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday