Rupert Murdoch has spoken out for the first time since the phone hacking scandal exploded in Britain.
In an interview with his own Wall Street Journal, Murdoch said that he thinks his company, News Corp, has handled the crisis surrounding it "extremely well" and has only made "minor mistakes," and that the organization will bounce back.
That may raise some eyebrows, though in some ways there is little any company could have done to stem the rising tide of public and political outrage that the scandal has engendered in past weeks. Murdoch himself has cut a rather elusive figure, being mostly photographed coming in and out of cars and making no extended public statements. When News Corp withdrew its $12 billion bid for BSkyB, it was the company's COO Chase Carey who released a statement, not Murdoch himself. He also tried to avoid appearing before the House of Commons to give evidence about the scandal until, in a move that is rarely required, a personal representative from the chamber turned up at his office with a summons. Murdoch told the paper that he wanted to clear up "lies" that had been told about him in Parliament.
The interview with the Journal was presumably conducted before news broke that the FBI is conducting an investigation into News Corp's alleged hacking of the phones of 9/11 victims. Murdoch did not address those claims, but said he was setting up an independent committee to investigate the company's misconduct.
The reports, he said, were "pure rubbish. Pure and total rubbish." In addition, Murdoch pledged his loyalty to his son, James, who has been deeply implicated in the hacking scandal.
|@ paulwaugh : No.10 sources say meeting btw Cam n Coulson at Chequers was "to thank him for the work he had done for us"|
|@ nicholaswatt : Ivan Lewis on Coulson visit to Chequers in March: This is yet more evidence of an extraordinary lack of judgment by David Cameron #notw|
"We need full disclosure of all connections, relationships and meetings between the Metropolitan Police and News International, right now. It isn't enough to defer these issues to the judge-led inquiry, as the Mayor and Home Secretary seem content to do."
|@ christopherhope : EXCLUSIVE: Andy Coulson was a guest at Chequers in April, Downing Street to reveal today. That's three months after he quit. Developing.|
|@ SkyNewsBreak : Sky sources: Rupert Murdoch to say tomorrow "we are sorry for the wrongdoing that occurred"|
|@ nicholaswatt : David Cameron releasing details of meetings with all media proprietors and editors since he became Tory leader #notw|
Rebekah Brooks has resigned, and the question everyone wants to know is who will play her in the hypothetical film of the phone hacking saga.
POLITICAL PUNTERS believe the current News International crisis could yet cause problems for David Cameron, who has been backed from 14/1 to 6/1 with William Hill to no longer be Conservative leader when the next General Election takes place. ‘We have seen a consistent stream of bets for Cameron to go before the Election since this crisis began, when he was a 100/1 chance to do so, but we have now had to shorten the price to single figures. It appears that punters believe there could be further revelations to come, which may not play well for the Tory leader’ said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.
|@ Jon_Reed : The picture of Rebecca Brooks leaving News International for the last time is actually rather touching http://bit.ly/r8UAxB|
They signed the following motion:
That this House insists that the terms of reference of the Leveson inquiry must be extended to the whole media, including sound, visual and social media and include blagging and other unethical or illegal practices and not confined to "phone hacking".
|@ afneil : From what I hear I suspect the Met Police in for a rough Sunday from several papers. #hacking|
"The right strategy is still to get right to the bottom of it... I think they've made very major strategic errors the whole way through."
Not in terms of lawbreaking, but how pernicious they are, he says. On Brooks he says: "I think it's always unpleasant when somebody gets themselves at the centre of a frenzy and then doesn't have control of it".
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke Friday for the first time about the News Corp. phone hacking scandal, saying that his office is responding to calls from members of Congress for an investigation into whether 9/11 victims’ phones were hacked.
He told Sky: "I think the very surprising thing and really the rather hurtful thing was that when Rupert Murdoch arrived in this country a week ago he said that his first priority was Rebekah Brooks, I don’t think , given the views and prospects of journalists working for the News of the World, that was the right thing to do and I don’t think given the mood of the country that was the right thing to do. "
It seems that the Government is holding back piles of potentially embarrassing reports for publication just as the select committee get under way.
In our survey 72.5% thought that Rupert Murdoch has "too much influence in British Politics" vs 8.5% that thought he does not and 7.9% that thought his influence "appropriate", while 11% "don't know"
And Ed Miliband is polling well.
Over the whole affair, 35.3% feel that the Prime Minister has handled the matter adequately or well. As regards the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, 46.1% believe he has handled the matter either adequately or well. For Ed Miliband 66.1% feel that the Leader of the Opposition has handled the matter adequately or well.
search the hashtage #hackgatethemovie
Sideshow Bob to play Rebekah Brooks, is one suggestion.
He says Rupert Murdoch still "doesn't get it".
"Even Rupert Murdoch himself. because if he didn't know what was going on... If he had been lied to previously he surely would have come over and fired, sacked, all the people who were lying to him. "
He says: "News International's Axis of Evil falling like a house of cards, and SO much more to come...When the Johnathan Rees files on computer hacking are out there things may well get even uglier."
|@ oakeshottm : Brooks gone today,Stephenson soon? Now there's a big black question mark over his future.Policemen must catch criminals,not lunch them.|
Talking about his time in Fleet Street, the expertise of the Lords, and the time he tried to court Kelvin McKenzie
"This is the right thing for Rebecca Brooks to have done. It is an important first step in cleaning up this mess."