Murdoch Testifies and Gets Pie
The News International phone hacking scandal started around 2006. Claims were made that those who worked for News of the World, a British tabloid newspaper, had been involved in phone hacking for the paper.
The paper is a Sunday-only tabloid and was published by News International. However, it was soon forced to close the tabloid due to the scandal.
Most of the accusations of phone hacking seemed at first to have been limited to the hacking of celebrities, politicians, and members of the British Royal Family. After further investigation though, it was revealed that News of the World had broadened their scope of hacking phones to a broader and more public length. Victims of the hacking who have come up include deceased British soldiers’ relatives and victims of the 7/7 London bombings.
According to The Hollywood Gossip, one allegation against the newspaper has accused that the newspaper “broke into the voicemail of a kidnapped 13-year old, [Milly].” The family’s reaction to the discovery of the newspaper’s tampering was one of disgust and distress. According to The Telegraph, there have even been further accusations against the journalists for deleting voicemail messages from Milly’s phone to make room for new messages in the first days after her disappearance, “leading her relatives and friends to think she could still be alive.”
More than 30 victims have popped up against the newspaper with five people being arrested since the inquiry in January. This morning, July 19, Murdoch had to testify about the accusations of the journalists working for him who had illegally eavesdropped on thousands of people. According to CNN, there has been a report that Murdoch “may be replaced as the CEO of his own company” due to the scandal.
Following the shutdown of his tabloid, he has taken very little responsibility over the issue at stake. The blame seems to be placed upon his former editor, Rebekah Brooks, for her involvement in the phone-hacking scandal.
According to NY Daily News, one example of his being unaware of Brooks’s actions include the 600,000 pound settlement that was paid by News of the World to pay to have one of its “more loathsome sins disappear.” During his testifying, Murdoch claims that he never knew about the settlement, as the issue never came up during his weekly meetings with the editor.
One highlight of the trial includes a flying pie. As the trial was nearing the noon hour, a prankster and comedian, Jonathan May-Bowles, approached Rubert Murdoch and threw a “shaving foam” pie at him. His son James Murdoch, his face full of outrage had risen from his chair towards the guy. There’s son loyalty for you. Then his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, attacked the guy by whacking him in the face. Earning her the title through Twitter and the Web as “Tiger Mother” and “Tiger Wife.” After the “attack,” a brief recess was allowed due to the stress of the trial. Murdoch was not hit by the pie, but was splattered by it.
With all these actions going on from the trial to the pie throwing, it definitely throws a new light on British media and tabloids. Guess the tabloids will be all over this trial for years to come.
Photos courtesy of Aaron Fulkerson, Gwydionwilliams, World Economic Forum, and David Shankbone via Flickr.
Video Courtesy of Skynews via Youtube