Keith Rupert Murdoch the Australian American media mogul and the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation banged his hands on the table and said the day was the most humble of his life, becoming flustered when committee members showered him with questions and expected some answers from his son James as well.
All of this reportedly surfaced after a “News of the World” reporter was jailed two years ago for hacking phones.
At the time, the company tried to brush in under the carpet by reportedly having paid a million pounds for out-of-court settlements.
On Tuesday, a protestor rushed at him as he gave testimony to British lawyers proving to interrupt the hearing of the phone hacking scandal that has shaken the baron’s global empire. The man rushed at him after Rupert gave two hours of testimony, only to be struck by his wife Wendi Deng. The police have reportedly arrested the man soon after his act.
Murdoch aged 80, said he was “shocked, appalled and ashamed” at the hacking of the phone of a murdered schoolgirl by his news tabloid News of the World which has run into trouble. 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. Murdoch said he was not responsible for the hacking scandal, and his company was not guilty of intentional blindness.
Murdoch also told the committee that he didn’t believe the FBI had uncovered any evidence of hacking Sept. 11 victims in a recently launched inquiry. He said he did not hover over the News of the World because it is such a small part of his company and interacted with the editor of the paper only once a month, since he used to concentrate more on issues with the editors of the Sunday Times in Britain and the Wall Street Journal in the U.S.
James Murdoch also apologized for the scandal, stating that “these actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to.”
The scandal caused the resignation and arrest of Rebekkah Brooks and the resignation of Wall Street Journal publisher Les Hinton.
It is essential that Murdoch stops the crisis from spreading to the United States, where many of his most lucrative assets — including the Fox TV network, 20th Century Fox film studio, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post are based.
CNN host and former News of the World editor Piers Morgan on Tuesday contributed to Twitter on comments by his former boss in front of the U.K. parliamentary committee. Nothing unusual in Rupert’s desk-whacking,” Morgan said. “He did that in every meeting I ever had with him.”