Murdoch in good times and bad

September 19, 2011

By Sir Harold Evans
The views expressed are his own.

There is a clear connecting thread between the events I describe in “Good Times, Bad Times” and the dramas that led so many years later to Rupert Murdoch’s “most humble day of my life.” I was seated within a few feet of him in London on July 19, 2011, during his testimony to a select committee of MPs with his son James at his side. Not many more than a score of observers were allowed into the small room at Parliament’s Portcullis House, across the road from the House of Commons and Big Ben. A portcullis is a defensive latticed iron grating hung over the entrance to a fortified castle, the perfect metaphor for News International, which perpetually sees itself as beset by enemies.

UPDATED: News Corp’s new independent director Breyer not so, says investor

September 9, 2011

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch

Updated with official News Corp response below.

We don’t know what quite to make of this but CtW Investment Group,  a union-affiliated shareholder lobbyist, is raising a stink about News Corp’s new independent director appointment, Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer.

News Corp’s ethics were set at the top

August 17, 2011

By David Callahan
All opinions expressed are his own.

Rupert and James Murdoch have even more explaining to do after Tuesday’s allegations that top editors at the News of the World knew about the use of phone hacking by reporters. While the Murdochs have pleaded ignorance about the sordid doings of their underlings, a growing pile of evidence suggests that at least James was very much in the loop. That is not surprising. You don’t build a business empire – or even inherit one – by being a hands-off boss. What’s more, subordinates in major corporations don’t tend to commit serious crimes unless they think such behavior is okay with the boss.

Evidence of a News Corp coverup mounts

August 16, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
All opinions expressed are his own.

By this stage of the summer, Rupert Murdoch and his family would normally be relaxing on his yacht, The Rosehearty. But any hopes the magnate might have entertained that August would bring respite from the scandal that has engulfed his empire have been shattered by the release of two letters to the parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking by his papers. The excuse Murdoch gave to Parliament that he knew nothing of the wrongdoing is increasingly hard to credit. The blame for the routine invasion of privacy by his papers is now inching closer to Murdoch himself.

The myth of the irrational Murdoch

August 1, 2011

By Maureen Tkacik
The opinions expressed are her own.

No recent episode more vividly demonstrates the debasement the media has suffered in the ascent of Rupert Murdoch as its collective tsk-tsking over comedian Jonnie Marbles’ interruption of Murdoch’s Hackgate testimony. The outrage has generally echoed this New Republic missive:

Newsweek offline + online is the future, says Barry Diller

July 27, 2011

Many of you  might have forgotten IAC/InteractiveCorp’s Daily Beast and Newsweek agreed to merge operations last November to create a new entity called, well…  Newsweek. And that would be understandable as it’s been pretty quiet till this week’s interview scoop with the former IMF chief Dominque Strauss-Kahn’s accuser.

The last of the moguls

July 26, 2011

By Jeff Jarvis
The opinions expressed are his own.

Rupert Murdoch is the last of a breed, a breed he and his company will be responsible for killing in an act of mogulcide.

The real meaning of “hack”

July 26, 2011

By Adam Penenberg
The opinions expressed are his own. This piece originally appeared in Fast Company.

Will the Democrats go after Murdoch?

July 22, 2011

By Nicholas Wapshott
The opinions expressed are his own.

“Rupert Murdoch wanted to become an American citizen,” Barbara Boxer, a leading member of the Senate Commerce Committee, told the BBC last week. “He needs to obey American law.” She cited the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, under which “he cannot … bribe officials anywhere in the world,” and the Wiretaps Act, that would snare the News Corp employees who, it has been suggested, hacked victims of the September 11 attacks on America.

The case against the bribery case against Murdoch

July 22, 2011

By James Ledbetter
The opinions expressed are his own.

Ever since reports surfaced that executives at News of the World paid bribes to members of the UK’s Metropolitan Police, there have been lots of people in the United States who would like to see News Corp and/or its top executives prosecuted under American laws. News Corp is an American company, goes the argument, and paying bribes abroad is explicitly prohibited by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).