Jul 20, 2011

Pity the Murdochs, innocents lost in a world of knaves and fools

The performance of Rupert and James Murdoch before a Commons committee presents News Corp shareholders with a terrible dilemma.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

They didn’t know, you see. No one told them. Not that they were kept in the dark, mind, but they weren’t kept informed, either. They weren’t willfully blind, but they do regret that things “weren’t known”. They were as surprised and upset as the rest of us. And their lawyers kept making them do things they wished they didn’t. But they were very sorry. None of it was anything to do with them, but they were definitely very sorry.

Rupert and James Murdoch, strangers in their own company, mystified to discover that someone — they’re not quite sure who — had been doing terrible things and covering it up.

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36 thoughts on “Pity the Murdochs, innocents lost in a world of knaves and fools

  1. astory

    “Lachlan never quite admitted that he knew anything about anything..” Because he wasn’t there?

  2. Chris Johnson

    One point from last night stood out for me which hasn’t received much attention was when the question was asked about whether Rupert was aware of, or had investigated, any wrongdoing in other News divisions internationally. Rupert replied no, but he would investigate if needed.

    I was waiting for the reply to Rupert from the questioner, which never came, along the lines that:

    “you’ve sat here and told us for the last two hours that you have been egregiously mislead and/or lied to by senior News Co and News Int. executives, you say you were astounded that staff at the NotW had done such appalling things and you are ashamed and sorry, and yet, you have not yet lifted a finger to inquire as to whether this is a problem, or even a potential problem, in any other of your media assets?”

    I would have loved to see the Murdoch response that that question?

  3. Greg Angelo

    Manuel from Barcelona, (I know nothing!), the waiter from Fawlty Towers could probably get a job at News Corporation possibly even as CEO. He would be an able replacement for Rupert, and surely could not do a worse job.

  4. Bernard Keane

    I have de-Lachlaned. Apologies.


    Watching Mr Burns…er, sorry, Rupert Murdoch on his most ‘humble’ day was near as to surreal as it gets. Power and money, his grist and mill for decades, seemed a long way removed from this bumbler, stumbling to get names right or even recall just who he is. Some feigned, but obviously not all. He is the CEO, but didn’t know anything, or know anyone who did?

    It was bizarre.

    There’s a mother lode of cover-up and hush money and blackmail here, so lets just get out the popcorn, because it’s going to run longer than Harry Potter.

  6. Harvey Tarvydas

    Dr Harvey M Tarvydas

    Quality work BK, excellent stuff.

    They are paid that heavyweight in dollars (too heavy to carry by hand) because (their justification) of the overbearing heavyweight of responsibility that the job makes them bear on their (little weenie/big broad) shoulders.
    The moment the ‘responsibility’ turns up bathed in the tears of others they run off to be tickled naked by all those dollars that they ‘don’t know’ why they were paid.
    All the appropriate intelligent questions that clearly deserve answers are actually a total waste of time in the circumstances only serving ourselves a sense of justice.

    @CHRIS JOHNSON — Posted Wednesday, 20 July 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Good one Chris. Seems like most of the MP’s are not quite too sure how frightened of him to be still and haven’t the balls to think confidently on their feet, maybe just not smart.

  7. klewso

    At one stage there I thought James was starting to channel Rumsfeld “known gnomes etc”.

  8. klewso

    Anyone else – Did they seem “patronising”, in their obfuscation? Or was that just me?

  9. klewso

    But finally – “Gentleman” James Murdoch – a contender for “Crafty” Kev Rudd’s “Supercilious Equivocation Heavy Going Title” ?

  10. Malcolm Street

    I was staggered by that bit about being unable to stop payments to Mulcaire because of some contract. The committee should have leapt on that immediately – WHAT CONTRACT? Why did Mulcaire deserve a contract – was it because he’d threatened to blab? How do we get a copy of it to examine its terms? Or is the whole thing just rubbish?

    Re. Brookes – I didn’t see the TV but looking through the Grauniad coverage this morning there were plenty of comments to the effect that she got it much easier than the Murdochs. One explanation is that because she has been charged they had to limit the scope of their enquiries for legal reasons. However, that doesn’t explain or excuse Mensch throwing her slow balls allowing her to waste time claiming, without evidence, that everyone else was doing it too.

    But to go back to your beginning – I AM SICK TO DEATH OF SENIOR EXECUTIVES NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY. The boards should be the ones insisting on answers, but of course company boards are even worse.

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