“Tiger wife” Wendi Deng (left) stands beside husband Rupert Murdoch and MySpace founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe.
Wendi Deng (aka Tiger Mom) stands with husband Rupert Murdoch and MySpace founders at a press event. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Oxfam America/Flickr)

Most have heard of the shaving cream pie assault against 80-year-old News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch at the News of the World phone hacking hearing before British Parliament on Tuesday. But now the buzz has turned to the woman in Murdoch’s corner. Murdoch’s 42-year-old wife Wendi Deng vaulted over the back of legal counsel in order to retaliate against the pie thrower. Her spirited response, including a left hook and right-handed palm strike, have catapulted Deng to the title of “Tiger Mom,” replacing journalist Amy Chua’s stern matriarch.

Tiger, tiger burning bright

Wendi Deng’s title has taken on a few versions: Tiger Mom, Tiger Wife or Tiger Spirit. The mother of two children with Murdoch, Deng has become the object of adoration in China’s online community, reports Agence France-Presse. More than 485 million Chinese Internet users are hailing Deng as a “guardian angel” and believing in love all over again (46.1 percent of poll respondents on Sina.com). Youku (China’s YouTube) reported 430,000-plus views of the smackdown footage mere moments after it was uploaded, while the story shot to the top of the popularity charts on major Chinese news sites like Sina.

Chinese reader commentary on the Wendi Deng shaving cream pie smack down story has been glowingly positive. Some say she “should be praised for protecting her husband,” while still others marvel at the speed of her reaction. Her passion will “boost the positive image of Murdoch” and “improve the image of Asian women in Western eyes.”

Those who tread on tiger’s tail

Not all people view Wendi Deng and her actions in a positive light. The 38-year age difference between Tiger Mom and mega-rich Murdoch has inspired some “gold digger” quips. Some have suggested that the entire event with the shaving cream pie and Deng’s counter-attack were staged to drum up sympathy for Murdoch, who may have been complicit in the illegal phone hacking scandal.

Those who claim to know Wendi Deng tell a different story. A July Harper’s Bazaar piece discussing Deng’s role as producer of the film version of the 2005 Lisa See novel “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is telling. Hollywood movers and shakers like Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife) and Hugh Jackman refer to Deng as “a wicked-smart girls’ girl” and “so quick and so politically incorrect.”

The Wendi Deng cheat sheet

Deng over the back for the smack down

Sources

AFP: http://bit.ly/qwA5UR

Business Insider: http://read.bi/ovPEE0

Chica Logic: http://www.chicalogic.com/tips-tricks/what-is-a-tiger-mom

Harper’s Bazaar: http://bit.ly/pnQCXl

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43810656/ns/world_news-europe/

News Corp: http://www.newscorp.com/

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