Saturday, July 9, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

Rupert Murdoch's son James is apparently the guy that's going to be left holding the bag for the News Corp. phone hacking scandal.

Mr. Murdoch appeared to act quickly to close The News of the World, Britain’s largest-circulation Sunday paper, which his father has owned for more than four decades.

Yet the decision was nearly four months in the making, and was as much an effort to shed jobs and save money in a beleaguered industry and shift resources to broadcasting as it was a response to the outcry over the scandal’s new revelations, according to the two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal concerns. Some employees are expected to move eventually to the Murdochs’ other tabloid, The Sun, when it expands to publish on Sunday, they said.

James Murdoch has already faced renewed criticism for the way the company has managed the investigation since 2007, when he was given oversight of News International, the News Corporation’s British subsidiary. On his watch, the company blamed one “rogue reporter” for the scandal, and he approved payouts to some hacker victims.

He suddenly finds himself a target of the British political and business establishment that his father influenced by wielding the power of his newspapers to decide elections and tarnish — or burnish — reputations. When Prime Minister David Cameron was asked Friday if James Murdoch should be questioned by the police in the hacking scandal, he said anyone, “no matter how high or low,” was fair game for investigators. 

That shows you just how pervasive this scandal was, and how ruthless Rupert is:  it's clear that the plan is for him to serve up his own son to keep the pitchforks and torches at bay.  Not that James Murdoch is an upright guy or anything, he's a sleazebag like his dad.   But ol' Pops just put his son on the griddle, and dinner is about to be served, folks...

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