Tag Archives: Murdoch

Another view of Murdoch

By Chris Daly

Don’t say this blog is one-sided, even on the subject of Rupert Murdoch. The British writer William Shawcross recently stuck up for Murdoch in this piece in the Guardian.

Shawcross, who wrote a 1992 biography of Murdoch, is in a position to comment. I just disagree.

Here’s the take-away from Shawcross:

Rupert Murdoch has been the bravest and most radical media owner in Britain in the last 40 years.

There are caveats. It is insupportable for any tabloid, whether the Sun, the NoW, the Mirror or the Mail to “monster” individuals. But tabloids are an essential part of a vibrant market and the Sun is an excellent paper, catering well to its audience.

Without Murdoch there could never have been such a varied newspaper market in Britain during the last 25 years. Newspapers were dying until he confronted and defeated the greedy print unions. Only after his victory at Wapping did newspapers – on the left as well as on the right – have the chance to flourish. Murdoch’s purchase of Times Newspapers saved that company. It’s hard to think of any other proprietor who would have sustained its huge losses year after year.

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“Not a Fit Person”

By Chris Daly 

Well, now it’s official. Something that many people have thought for a long time is now part of the findings of a British parliamentary report: Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to run a globe-straddling, influence-buying, phone-hacking, official-bribing media conglomerate.

Actually, the report released Tuesday may not be Murdoch’s biggest problem. He is already under investigation in the United States as well. Murdoch became a U.S. citizen in the mid-1980s, a move that facilitated his move into American broadcasting (since U.S. law requires that broadcasting remain in the hands of U.S. citizens). Perhaps more serious for Murdoch is the fact that his News Corp. (parent company of the British unit that is in trouble in Parliament) is a U.S. corporation, registered on the New York Stock Exchange. That means that News Corp. is subject to all the laws and regulations of the United States — including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. That law, dating to the 1970s, forbids U.S. companies from using their assets to pay bribes to officials in other countries. On the face of it, that would appear to make it a crime in the U.S. for News Corp. employees to do what they have already admitted under oath in Parliament: for years, they paid British police police officials for tips about their investigations.

If I were Murdoch (or even a shareholder in News Corp., which operates Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, among many others), that’s what I would be really worried about.

Recent stories are here, here and here.

News Corp. world headquarters in Manhattan / Kathy Willens (AP)

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Murdoch scandal (cont.)

By Chris Daly 

Gee, I guess I have been wrong about Rupert Murdoch all along. Turns out he’s just a simple publisher striving always to do the right thing.

Here’s the latest from London.

Rupert Murdoch / pool photo

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Keeping up with the Murdochs

By Chris Daly

It’s not easy keeping track of the unfolding Murdoch scandal(s), with developments multiple times a day on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here is

The New York Times has assigned two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John F. Burns, which is a sign of the paper’s institutional commitment to the story, which is of course meant to torment the Times‘ chief antagonist, Rupert M. Here’s the lastest from Burns (and his co-author, Alan Cowell):

In Testimony, Murdoch Plays Down His Political Pull

By  and 
Published: April 25, 2012

LONDON — With a political firestorm cascading over the British government’s ties to his media empire, Rupert Murdoch faced rare public scrutiny about his relationships with elected officials on Wednesday, and sought to deflect suggestions that he tried to use his links to powerful public figures to further corporate commercial interests.. . .

Here is the latest from the Guardian, which is live-blogging from the Leveson inquiry:

  • Wednesday 25 April 2012

  • Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson inquiryRupert Murdoch at the Leveson inquiry: ‘Do I have an aura or charisma? I don?t think so.’ Photograph: Reuters

    Join us as News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch gives evidence to the inquiry set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. By Josh Halliday andJohn Plunkett

    Continue reading…213 comments

    Posted by

    10.19 EDT

  • Tuesday 24 April 2012

  • James Murdoch gives evidence at the Levenson inquiry at the High Court in LondonJames Murdoch gives evidence at the Leveson inquiry today

    Full coverage of James Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson inquiry. ByJosh Halliday and John Plunkett

    Continue reading…

    Posted by

    18.59 EDT

  •  And here is the latest from the Wall Street Journal, which is of course, owned by Murdoch, which makes this a miserable assignment for the three Journal staffers who share the byline today:

    News Corp. Chief Faces Inquiry

    LONDON—With a fresh political scandal swirling around his global media conglomerate here, News Corp. NWSA +0.62% Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch faced questioning Wednesday before a public press-ethics inquiry about whether he used the company to call in political favors and push his commercial interests.

    The media mogul repeatedly said he hadn’t asked prime ministers, and would-be prime ministers, for favors, and said that his commercial interests didn’t influence where his newspapers stood on issues or political parties.

    Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman and chief executive, appeared before the Leveson Inquiry, a judge-led examination into British media practices. WSJ’s Bruce Orwall discusses this and the fallout from James Murdoch’s testimony yesterday.

    At the same time, he conceded “abuses” have occurred at his own company—which has been battered by a long-running scandal over illicit reporting tactics—though he added: “I would say there are many other abuses, but we can go into that in time.” Mr. Murdoch also distanced himself from some of the activities: “”We have a very large company and I do run that company with a great deal of decentralization.”

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Murdoch scandal (cont.)

Here is the latest on the Murdoch scandal, from the AP, via the Boston Globe.

The take-away:

Critics say that Murdoch was either in on the coverup or too incompetent to realize what he was agreeing to, with lawmaker Tom Watson famously accusing Murdoch of being “the first mafia boss in history who doesn’t know he’s at the head of a criminal enterprise.’’

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Murdoch’s dream

By Chris Daly 

Rupert Murdoch had a dream.

Unlike you or me, he is in a position to spend millions making his dreams come true. According to today’s Times, Murdoch is making headway with his online-only, tablet-only news outlet, The Daily. He has something like 100,000 subscribers, many of them in the heartland. So, that’s a start.

I have to admit that I am not familiar with it, because Murdoch charges for access and because any money I would spend on it (even in the name of research) would end up in his pocket. So, I won’t subscribe. I don’t want you to subscribe either, I just want you to know about it.




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Murdoch Hacking Scandal (cont)

More on the drip-drip-drip investigation into misbehavior by Murdoch employees in the U.K.

Can the U.S. investigation(s) be far behind?

It’s sad to see journalists waging a cover-up, but I suppose no one wants to go to jail.




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A media roundup

By Chris Daly 

–First, let’s pause a moment and let this sink in: Eastman Kodak has filed for bankruptcy protection.

This is the company that ruled photography in the 20th Century, the company that made photography a popular activity, and the company that really enabled photojournalism by making cheap portable cameras as well as flexible, lightweight film.



–Second, the chips are falling in the online piracy dispute. Regrettably, this issue appears to be turning into a shouting match. For all the advocates of “freedom,” the question remains: What about stealing the work of creative people? To be continued. . .


–Coincidentally, there was also a little-noticed SCOTUS ruling yesterday on copyright. Now, while I favor granting copyright to make sure that content-generators get paid for their work, I have to wonder how much sense it makes to impose new copyright restrictions on the work of dead foreigners. The purpose of the U.S. copyright law is to encourage creative output by giving Americans an economic incentive to write, compose, paint, etc. Putting new restrictions on “Peter and the Wolf” is not going to bring any new work out of Prokofiev (no matter how much his heirs may rake in). This, too, is not the answer.


 –Who knew that Twitter had all these features? (I should have but didn’t.)

–Finally, the gift (to media reporters) that keeps on giving: The Murdoch Hacking Scandal. Jude Law is smiling today because he is among three dozen victims of phone hacking by Murdoch reporters who have extracted “settlements” (i.e., payoffs) from Murdoch’s News Intl. The “nut graf”:

The apparent admission of a cover-up seemed likely to add to the challenges facing Mr. Murdoch in Britain. News International, the British subsidiary of News Corporation said it would not immediately comment, Reuters reported.

Andrew Cowie/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 




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“Things went wrong. . .”

by Chris Daly 

So said James Murdoch on Thursday in his second round of questioning before a Parliamentary committee investigating his management of part of the News Corp. empire. At the same time, Murdoch insists that he was not in the loop and did not know that phone hacking and other forms of journalistic skullduggery were rampant at the now-shuttered Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World. (“My goodness, James, where do your reporters get all that material?”) Hmmm. . . .

So far, the younger Murdoch seems to be toughing it out.


Here are accounts by the NYTimes, the British Guardian, and (from way, way down the page), the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal

Key question: Can everyone in this story be telling the truth?



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The Murdoch hearing (cont.)

By Chris Daly 

James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is set to appear again Thursday before a committee of the British Parliament to answers about the behavior of Murdoch employees in Britain.


The NYTimes has a preview today, along with a couple of sidebars.


But the most extensive coverage I have found is in the Guardian, which seems determined to try to topple the entire Murdoch empire.

He has already been asked so many questions on so many subjects that it seems unlikely he could avoid making mistakes and possibly worse. He may want to bring a bodyguard (like his dad’s wife, Wendi — shown below waging a counter-attack against a prankster who tried to “pie” Rupert during an earlier round of Parliamentary hearings.)


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