Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Embattled Murdoch Says He's Sorry

Text of advertisement that ran today in News Corp. newspapers

By Robert Guthrie
DUMFRIES, Scotland – Media baron Rupert Murdoch is at the center of a story unfolding at an extremely rapid pace.
After controversy over phone hacking allegations caused him to close down the News of the World tabloid a week ago, he has now decided to cease trying to buy BskyB, a broadcast network.
This is a much safer option for him than plunging ahead while controversy swirls around him.
Now the whole country is waiting to hear what Murdoch and his minions have to say about it all.
Rupert Murdoch
The Australian-born media kingpin, whose holdings include Fox News, The Sunday Times and the New York Post, has been invited to attend a House of Commons Home Office Select Committee hearing along with two News Corp. executives, his son James Murdoch and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks.
This will allow the press, public and senior members of Parliament to hear directly what Murdoch and company decision-makers have to say about the hacking allegations that have tarred the Times as well the rest of Murdoch’s papers.
All three have agreed to appear – failing to show up would have cast great suspicion on them, after all – so the even should have plenty of drama.
The House of Commons won’t have enough seats to accommodate everyone who wants to see it in person. I wonder what they’ll do.
In the meantime, Brooks has succumbed to pressure and resigned as chief executive officer of News Corporation. This is a good step forward, although this will definitely not clear up this giant mess that has been caused by the stupid activities of Murdoch’s employees.
During the Question Time at the House of Commons this week, many MPs asked the prime minister questions about the hacking scandal.
The prime minister, David Cameron, said the Metropolitan police will investigate the hacking claims and why it happened.
There will be reviews of press regulations, he said, in terms of what journalists can and cannot do.
The police plans to contact all of the 3,870 known victims named in over 11,000 documents, officials said.
But nobody knows how much further the scandal may extend before it’s played out.
The prime minister said he wants to make sure that an event like these hacking claims never happens again.
Cameron also said that executives involved in the scandal should never be involved in the media again.
Hanging over that statement, of course, is the question of what Murdoch himself knew and what that might mean for one of the world’s largest media companies.
In a bid to turn public opinion in a more favourable direction, Murdoch’s newspapers Sunday carried full-page advertisements that said “We are sorry.”
Beneath those words, Murdoch told readers he recognized that apologizing isn’t enough.
Murdoch vowed to take “concrete steps” to resolve the scandal and to “make amends for the damage” that his company’s activities has caused.

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