Smart News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS)
investors are still analyzing what Rupert Murdoch actually said in his
tell-all appearance before the parliamentary select committee this past
It was "a humble day" -- copy editors at The News of the World
might have edited it to read "humbling," if they hadn't been fired.
Following the high-level corporate strategy cobbled together by PR
executives and lawyers who flew to London, the Chairman was enabled to
say nothing during the almost three hours of intense questioning.
Some analysts think Sir Rupert has lost a step. He seemed to be
forgetting a lot about activities at the UK newspapers so close to his
heart. It was almost as if he had forgotten to take his Ginkgold that morning.
TV viewers in America, Murdoch's latest country of choice, may have
had a hard time understanding what he was saying as he enunciated the
Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that seemed to be in effect at News
International. Although he's now an American citizen, he still has the
Aussie habit of packing five extra vowels in every second word. And he
tends to mumble.
It's not just you. Michael Wolff, who spent 59 hours interviewing Sir Rupert for his book, The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC that he listened to a tape 15 times and still didn't know what was he saying.
I had the same problem talking to Murdoch at Fox News press parties.
There would be a string of words, and then he would mumble something
like "Don't you agree with me, mate?" No problem, a News Corp. source
advised: Just say, "I was thinking the same thing, Mr. Murdoch."
The other member of the News Corp. dynamic duo, James, has a
different problem. He can be easily understood. He came through clear as
a bell as he, too, explained that he had no idea there was any illegal
phone hacking or other questionable journalism behind the company's
great front-page scandal exclusives.
As a result of the lucidity of his forthright testimony enunciating
the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, his veracity was questioned. The
editor-in-chief of the late News of the World, among others, claimed --
and this is a paraphrase -- he bloody well knew what was going on.
Very odd, indeed. At most newspapers when you come in with a scoop,
the first questions editors ask are "Where did you get it? What's the
source? And what's the back-up source?"
The quality of journalism in the UK is important to us here in the
Revolting Colonies. What they practice in news principles and ethics at
Murdoch properties in the Mother Country is what they preach here in
newspapers and cable network news. King Rupert and his regent, Prince
James, rule the media empire that influences us common folks day and
night. One wonders what might have happened to the Anthony Weiner crotch shot story heard around the world if it wasn't featured for ten consecutive days on the front page of the New York Post.
If Murdoch & Son continue to say they didn't know what was going
on in their company -- a laudable effort to defend the indefensible --
well, that's their story. And they are sticking to it.
If you believe it, I have some stock in a new startup company called BrooklynBridge.com that I can let you in on cheap.
Disclosure: The writer is not on the payroll at News Corp., like
so many other journalists involved in the story. But some seem to
question his sources. Shortly after publication of his previous post,
he received the following inquiry: "Congratulations old man, you
scooped everybody by reporting exactly what happened at the
Parliamentary Inquiry with the Murdochs before it happened. Whose cell
phone have you been hacking?"