Filleted Murdock

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, April 27th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: corruption, leadership, Media, newspapers, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, tv, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Stayed up last night to watch Robert Jay QC question Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson enquiry. It was riveting – you can see why top lawyers like Jay are called silks. Murdoch denied, deferred, demeaned, derided and defended but couldn’t help himself – questioned about the Mosely affair where a judge had described the behaviour of the News of the World as blackmail, Murdoch said it wasn’t blackmail, it was just a journalist doing a favour for a prostitute and was “pretty much common practice”. He was sent away by Judge Leveson to read the court decision and come back with a more considered view. Again when  he said that it goes on all the time that  “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”, Jay was quick to remark that Murdoch was denying that ever went on with him seeking political favours from a series of Prime Ministers. Gotcha! Murdoch took the point with a rueful smile.

At the end he just got pathetic – rambling on about invasive technology and the demise of print newspapers. I’d say the pressure for all the Murdoch’s to step down from News International’s board will now become intense. David Cameron, George Osborne and Jeremy Hunt will also quite likely be casualties, particularly as the double-dip recession in the UK and the Tories drop in the polls will will intensify pressure for change away from “austerity for growth”.

This affair has more legs than a millipede.

37 comments on “Filleted Murdock”

  1. ad 1

    It would be something like heaven if Sarkozy and Cameron went down in the same year. Even the mildest progressive replacement would be great.

  2. Te Reo Putake 2

    It certainly was a fascinating exchange! I thought Murdoch had a simple strategy of taking qualified ownership of the culture at the NOW, and being willing to apologise for it, but distancing himself from direct responsibility for the criminal behaviour. Dobbing in the editor was not exactly a good look, but if he can save James by establishing a cut off point above which there was no direct knowledge of the shenanigans, then he’ll have considered it a job well done.
    Gotta say, he’s pretty sharp for his age. And still susceptible to flattery, too! All the guff about ink in the veins, you could see him lapping it up.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      PS, can I just slip into sub editor mode for a moment and point out that the headline misspells The Dirty Digger’s surname?

    • rosy 2.2

      Distancing himself – that’s very polite way of saying that he was spraying accusations all over the place 😉

      And Jeremy Hunt… he can’t even get his chief advisor to support his version of events. He’s due at Leveson in May. I’m bookmarking that one too.

      Edit – oh and saying he doesn’t tell editors what to write after one of his editors stated he frames his items in terms of ‘what would Murdoch say’. Completely unbelievable.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1

        Yeah, everyone but James copped a spray. I really think he’d happily fall on his own sword, as long as the son and heir comes out smelling, er, rosy.

  3. fender 3

    Where is Gosman ?

    He should be here by now, theres a crooked operator named Murdoch that needs his support.

    That nice Gosman will defend the nice Murdoch.

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    Compelling viewing.

    What struck me (apart from Jay’s resemblance to Elvis Costello) was how Murdoch repeatedly meandered off into irrelevancy. Could it be he is just past it?

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Nah, he did play up the elderly patriarch shtick a bit, talking about the NewsCorp ‘family’ as I recall and reminiscingabout working at the paper in Adelaide 55 years ago to remind everyone of just how old he was, but that’s just trying to win over the public. He knows that stuff won’t wash with Leveson.
      Frankly, he stood up better than you or I might be expected to under the circ’s.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      Could be of course.

      But the old school mafia dons always looked a bit sad and past it if they found themselves sitting in the dock in their prime, eh?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.1

        I think he thought his anile rambling would indicate his high standards of personal virtue but it just showed he was missing the point.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Fair enough, haven’t seen any of it yet. But he’s a wiley bastard.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Exactly . He says hes never asked any politician for any favours… who would admit they did Murdocks bidding

  5. Robert M 5

    Generally I’m hostile to Rupert Murdoch, beyond his overall ethos to make money and advance the interests of his family which at least shows a commendable lack of alturism. Murdoch is at root a promoter of Australian nationalism , a promoter and patroniser of ordinary men. A hero worshiper of Bligh and slanderer of the Heywood family.

    But at root murdoch like Rupert Murdoch accepts the dictatorship of the ordinary mass, ,majority mob. Max Mosley is much the same. Both would oppose public sex claiming it is a private matter. But surely the best sex is a good orgy and how can a women make a good choice , unless she knows the size of the man’s blown organ. Apparently its only illegal to walk around naked in San Francisco if the male organ is not errect. But any sexually experienced man or women would know that dosen’t tell you much.So all the Max Mosley claims about the need for sexual privacy are a step backward. Everybody over 14 should be allowed to walk around naked and have sex in public bars. The stupid values of the public criminal courts and the reactionary lawyers who operate in them should be treated with appropriate contempt. I have always regarded the veils and hypocrisy of law with contempt. The public should be told the truth. If they can’t handle it and revolt, smash their bones in with rubber hoses

  6. Sukie Damson 6

    None of this is news to our readers – but the Leveson inquiry evidence is a shameful tale for all to see.

    However, my favourite moment came between James & Rupert taking the stand when Torres scored!

  7. rosy 7

    This is the best summary I’ve seen for people who haven’t been following this saga very closely – it spells out the links between the the Murdochs and the Conservatives, mentioning police connections, but leaving out the other big issue of the phone hacking, which detracts from the politics/media links.

    Even before this week’s disclosures, declared contacts between leading government figures and News International executives painted a cosy picture: Osborne met Murdoch executives or editors no fewer than 13 times in little more than a year; Michael Gove, who Murdoch on Thursday insisted he did not know well, met him seven times in the same period; arriving in government, the first media figure both Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron met was Rupert Murdoch. (Hunt did not make a great impression; Murdoch said on Thursday he had never met him.)

    Eclipsed by the drama of Murdoch’s highly qualified hacking mea culpa, a handful of documents submitted to the inquiry quietly supplied a few more pieces of the Cameron-News Corp jigsaw. We learn that Murdoch père met Cameron no fewer than 15 times while leader of the opposition, including four times in a two-month spell before the election. His son managed a meagre 12 meetings over the same period, one of them weeks before Cameron announced Ofcom was “an unaccountable bureaucracy” that would soon “cease to exist”.

    Another article by Polly Toynbee explains why this is important in terms of an independent media. Actually, there’s truckloads on the Guardian site – not surprising given it’s role in hammering away at the phone hacking issue, and Nick Davies, who wrote Flat Earth News and is credited with breaking the hacking stories writes for it.

    It’s just too easy to transfer it to the NZ situation.

    • Tigger 7.1

      Thanks Rosy, great links. And that last point is utterly true. SKY here is unregulated and ruthless. Our saving grace is they don’t control much news media…yet.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Why would they bother with ‘news’ when the government is in their pocket to start with.
        Small country…major business… Sky City all over again

  8. captain hook 9

    bug jack barron.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    One small point about the reference to top lawyers , or QCs ,being called ‘silks’. It has nothing to do with how they question people.
    The silk referred to all or part of their barristers gowns which were made of silk. I imagine other barristers werent allowed use silk unless they had been made QC.

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