Parliament gets Murdoch, Murdoch gets pie’d (UPDATED)

News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman, Rupert Murdoch appears before a parliamentary committee on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011.

Rupert Murdoch and his son James apologized to the British parliament on Tuesday over a hacking scandal that has engulfed News Corp.

Following are highlights of their testimony to the House of Commons committee on Culture, Media and Sport.

JAMES MURDOCH: “First of all I would just like to say how sorry I am and how sorry we are to particularly the victims of the illegal voicemail interceptions and to their families.

“It is a matter of great regret, of mine, of my father’s, and everyone at News Corporation. These actions do not live up to the standards that our company aspires to everywhere around the world and it is our determination to put things right, to make sure these things do not happen again and to be the company that I know we have always aspired to be.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: “I would just like to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life.”

JAMES MURDOCH: “I have no knowledge and there is no evidence that I am aware of that Mrs Brooks or Mr Hinton or any of those executives had knowledge of that and their assertions, certainly Mrs Brooks’ assertion to me, of her knowledge of those things has been clear. Nonetheless those resignations have been accepted on the basis that there is no evidence today that I have seen or that I have any knowledge of, that there was any impropriety by them.”

JAMES MURDOCH: “It was in the due process of that civil trial and the civil litigation process that evidence really emerged for us, and we acted and the company acted as swiftly and transparently as possible.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked if he was mislead: “Very”.

“This is not an excuse. Maybe it’s an explanation of my laxity. The News of the World is less than one percent of our company. I employ 53,000 people around the world who are proud and great and ethical and distinguished people, professionals.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: “I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case only two weeks ago.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked if he has commissioned an investigation into allegations the FBI is investigating 9/11 hacking: “We have seen no evidence of that at all and as far as we know the FBI haven’t either. I cannot believe that it happened to anyone in America.”

Asked if he would commission an investigation should the allegations turn out to be true in any way: “Absolutely.”

JAMES MURDOCH: Asked if News International would launch a new Sunday tabloid:

“There are no immediate plans for that … That is not the company’s priority now. This is not the time to be worrying about that.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: “It doesn’t get away from our apologies or our blame for anything but this country does greatly benefit from having a competitive press and therefore having a very transparent society. That is sometimes very inconvenient to people but I think we are better and stronger for it.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked if they would think more carefully about the wording of headlines in future: “I think all our editors certainly will. I am not aware of any transgressions. It is a matter of taste.”

“We have in this country a wonderful variety of voices and they are naturally very competitive. I am sure there are headlines which can occasionally give offence but it’s not intentional.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked if familiar with the legal term “willful blindness”: “I’ve heard of the phrase before and we were not ever guilty of that.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked how often he speaks to the editors of his papers? “Very seldom.”

Says sometimes calls the editor of The News of the World on a Saturday night, nearly always calls editor of Sunday Times on a Saturday night.

“Not to influence what he has to say at all. I am very careful to always premise any remark saying ‘I’m just enquiring’”

“I’m not really in touch. An editor I’ve spent most time with is the editor of the Wall Street Journal.”

“To say we’re hands off is wrong. I work 10 or 12 hours a day and I can’t tell you the multitude of issues I have to handle very day.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked who he blamed for the closure of the News of the World and pulling out of a bid to take full control of BSkyB: “A lot of people had different agendas I think in trying to build this hysteria. All our competitors in this country formally announced a consortium to try to stop us and they caught us with dirty hands and they got the story around.”

Asked if it was therefore his competitors that stopped him: “No. I think a mood developed which made it really impractical to go ahead.”

“A lot of people had different agendas I think in trying to build this hysteria … A mood developed which made it really impractical to go ahead (with the BSkyB bid).”

JAMES MURDOCH: Asked if News International made any payments to Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire after their convictions: “I was very surprised to find the company had made certain contributions to legal fees around that and I was surprised, very surprised to find out that that had occurred. They were done, as I understand it, in accordance with legal counsel and strong advice.”

“I do not know who signed the checks.”

“The strong legal advice was that from time to time it’s important, and customary even, to pay co-defendants’ legal fees and I have to rest on counsel’s advice in some of these serious litigation matters.”

“I don’t know the precise status (of whether still paying Mulcaire’s legal fees) but I do know that I have asked for the company to find a way for those things to cease.”

RUPERT MURDOCH: Asked if he will instruct a halt to any legal fees still being paid: “Provided it is not in breach of a legal contract, yes.”

UPDATE: Wire reports are stating that a man threw a white plate covered with shaving cream at Rupert Murdoch, before being punched by Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng. The man has been arrested.

A screengrab of the attacker:

And video:


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.