It sure looks like a family affair as each Murdoch comes to the rescue of the other.
The junior Murdoch went to the seniors rescue many times. The help was mutual. When Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders asked James if he was familiar with the term ?willful blindness?. Which had come up during the Enron case, it means intentionally putting oneself in the position of not being aware of facts. James replied he was unaware of the term but the senior quipped in that he is well aware of the term and he the senior says that ?we were not ever guilty of that?
More questions were asked about the credibility of the employees hired and also the legal proceedings which the company was embroiled in. additional information were required from the Murdochs? regarding outside councels and advisors.
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.
The hearing resumed after a short break.
The value of the Murdochs’ News Corp. added around $1.5 billion while they were being grilled, trading 3.8 per cent higher at $15.54. The stock has taken a battering over the past couple of weeks, shedding around 17 per cent of its value, or around $8 billion.
The Murdochs? over and over again apologized for the way News of the World?s behavior.
The elder Murdoch denied that the closure of the News of the World was motivated by financial considerations, saying he shut it because of the criminal allegations.
There has been speculation that Murdoch wanted to close the Sunday newspaper in order to merge its operations with the six-days-a-week Sun, which some have speculated will re-launch as a seven-day publication.
However when questioned about this aspect. James replied saying that the company has decided that it has more pressing matters to resolve and this is not the time to look into such a venture.
Labourite Alan Keen asks if Mr. Rupert has regrets that News Corp. has become a family organization?
In reply the senior Murdoch said : “Several people applied for the BSkyB [CEO] job … [James] was the right person … When I promoted him to take charge of much wider responsibilities, we had calls from many big shareholders saying it was a terrible thing to take him away [from Sky], he was doing such a good job.”
?Conservative MP Louise Mensch called Rupert Murdoch ?a hands on boss? as he works more than 12 hours a day and definitely the Captain of the ship. Thus being a careful leader why hasn?t he considered resigning? This did not seem to ruffle the media moguls feather one bit. He simply replied saying ?No, because the people I trusted behaved disgracefully ? hitting the table with his palm he said more angrily ? and it’s for them to pay.” On a calmer note he said “I’m the best person to clean this up.”
Rupert ends the hearing with a fairly lengthy statement reiterating “how sorry we are.”
?My company has 52,000 employees, I?ve headed it for 57 years and made my share of mistakes.?
He reiterates that it’s the most humble day of his career and says this country has been good to him and hopes ?our contributions to Britain will also be recognized.?
After a five minutes break the grilling started for Rebekah Brooks.