Rupert Murdoch, head of a global media empire that included former newspaper News of the World, is being grilled in a hearing in the English Parliament over the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch, at a recent hearing, adamantly defended his distance from the publication and dodged a shaving cream pie that was thrown at him.
Media mogul narrowly avoids shaving cream pie
Rupert Murdoch, head of the News Corp media empire, is at the center of a scandal in Britain as the now-defunct News of the World, which was owned by Murdoch, was found to have hacked thousands of phones and paid police officers for inside information. People employed by News of the World, including executive staff, conspired to commit criminal acts to get information used in various stories published in the newspaper for years. Murdoch and others connected to the scandal were called before Parliament for several days of hearings and inquiry into the matter, according to ABC. During a break in proceedings, a comic named Jonnie Marbles attempted to throw a pie tin filled with shaving cream in Murdoch’s face, but he missed. Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, took a swing at him as he was being subdued.
Murdoch denies responsibility
During the hearing, Rupert Murdoch stressed that he was far removed from any decisions to commit wrongdoing, according to The Telegraph. After saying he was never aware of any illegal activities on the part of News of the World staff, he pointed out that “News of the World is less than 1 percent” of the media conglomerate that he runs, and there are “53,000 people” in his employ. Murdoch has repeatedly apologized to victims of the phone hacking scandal, which might not be solely confined to Great Britain. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the possibility that family members of 9/11 victims also had their phones hacked, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Former editor of News of the World, Rebekah Brooks, resigned from her position as CEO of News International, the parent company of the now-defunct newspaper. Les Hinton, previously an executive at News International while phone hacking and bribery of Scotland Yard police occurred, resigned as publisher of the Wall Street Journal as well. More than 4,000 people are said to have had their phones illegally hacked into, and the extent of all payoffs to police for inside information is unknown.
Whistleblower found dead
Sean Hoare, the former News of the World journalist who disclosed to the New York Times in 2009 that phone hacking was occurring, has been found dead at his home in Watford, about 20 miles north of London, according to the Guardian. Hoare confided that then-editor Andy Coulson, who later became director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, encouraged journalists to hack phones and listen to voicemails and phone calls of celebrities or persons of interest. Hoare had a history of drug and alcohol use, but the cause of death is still unknown.
The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/phone-hacking/8647802/Rupert-Murdoch-I-do-not-accept-responsibility-for-wrongdoing-at-News-of-the-World.html
Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0716/Rupert-Murdoch-phone-hacking-scandal-US-connections-grow
The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/18/news-of-the-world-sean-hoare?intcmp=239
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