Rupert Murdoch will spend millions today buying back his own shares as angry shareholders hold their breath. Surely this man who was awarded a papal knighthood from Pope John Paul II could not possibly sanction phone hacking. Could he?
News Corp shareholders have hit him with a class action lawsuit that accuses News of the World bosses of failing to investigate charges that journalists were intruding into the personal lives of people by hacking into their phones. If he thought that shutting down the paper would ward off an investigation into the scandal, he was sadly mistaken - there are now too many people hurt and outraged by the actions of a few ruthless media moguls who set out to make news, no matter what.
Regarding the BskyB deal, experts are doubtful that News Corp will be allowed to buy the 61 per cent of BSkyB it doesn’t already own and Labor will call a vote in the House of Commons today urging Murdoch to withdraw the bid – a motion the Tories and Liberal Democrats will support.
Murdoch, his son James and News International boss Rebekah Brooks have been asked to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee next week to give evidence about the hacking and police bribery charges. So was Rupert Murdoch so lax in his stewardship of his huge media empire that it was it okay with him to hack the phones of people who would provide him with a media scoop no one else could match? We are about to find out.