?This the most humble day of my life? the media mogul Rupert Murdoch told the parliamentary committee. Both the Murdoch?s are grilled by the U.K. parliamentary committee on Tuesday in London. They both look calm and a collected, too calm in my view.
Rupert Murdoch refused to appear before the committee until he was forced by a summon. This proves the importance of the phone scandal in Britain
The spotlight on Mr. Murdoch comes at an already difficult time for News Corp., which is dealing with criminal probes in the U.K. and the U.S. into the alleged misconduct by employees of its News of the World newspaper, which it recently shut amid the scandal. In addition to investigating the interception of voice mails, U.K. police are probing allegations that the tabloid’s employees made corrupt payments to police in exchange for information.
Early questions from the committee focused on how and why company executives had misled parliament and what News Corp. had done to investigate how widespread wrongdoing was. Mr. Murdoch, frequently pausing before responding, answered many questions by saying he wasn’t aware of various matters.
1 million pound payout
As Labour lawmaker Tom Watson quizzed Rupert Murdoch at the start of the hearing, James Murdoch tried to intervene. After a long pause. ?Nope,? he replied, when asked if he?d been informed of a 1 million pound ($1.6 million) payment to a phone-hacking victim.
The senior Murdoch looks very angry though he doesn?t show it. There are times when he is answering questions and hitting the table with the side of his hand, as he is trying to justify his answer.
Rupert Murdoch said he didn?t feel responsible for what had happened at the News of the World. Asked whom he blamed, he replied: ?The people that I trusted to run it, and then maybe the people that they trusted.? Which leaves a question open.
He said what happened at news of the World was wrong! And he is sorry that they have lost the trust of the readers.
?Editor feed back
The thing that is still baffling law makers is that how come the senior Murdoch was unaware of the happening at the estranged news paper even though he spoke to the editor every Saturday.
It is still unclear why the editors did not mention anything about any of the payouts which range from 20,000 pounds to 1.6 pounds. In being grilled further he said the editor would just talk about any exclusive stories and being a ardent football fan, football news would be discussed.
?The relationship with the Media and the politicians is always cropping up during the session.
Labour MP Jim Sheridan asked Rupert why he entered No. 10 Downing Street by the back door after David Cameron became U.K. prime minister last year.
He made a joke saying that ?I do as asked.? Thus evading the question.
He also confirmed that he did not guarantee and support to any political party.
It was alleged that the News of the World was closed to safe guard Rebekkah Brooks, and when questioned if hen regrets the closure, Senior Murdoch simply said ?I am sad that those former employees are unable to find jobs?
Though this is the first time both the Murdochs’? have been called to testify at a parliamentary committee they seem to be well prepared. Actually they were asked if their legal advisors prepped them for today, for which the younger Murdoch, James said that ?we were told to tell the truth and that is what we are doing.?
We it seems they are!
Invoice and cash payments
?When questioned by Therese Coffey ?a conservative MP regarding James knowledge of the cash payments and invoices, he replied in the negative, but this did not deter the MP. She went on to ask how such a large amount of money be unaccountable for? Is it because it was hidden in the books or was it paid out as petty cash? ?Well it seems that the journalists of the News of the World are given large amounts of money when asked about.
Throughout the session, the younger Murdoch comes to the aid of the senior when he is flabbergasted with the question.