Today, Murdoch went before Parliament to answer questions about his knowledge of the phone tapping scandal by one of his papers, the News of the World. During his testimony, someone tried to attack him.
I'm enjoying this scandal as much as the next person, for a number of reasons.
Rebekah Brooks is a fascinating person (with very nice hair). She seems to have a habit of leaving her bags about and to have a very loose idea about journalistic integrity. This is my favorite Brooks story:
On another occasion in her early days, furious that the paper was about to be scooped by The Sunday Times’s serialization of a biography of Prince Charles, Ms. Brooks disguised herself as a Times cleaning woman and hid for two hours in a bathroom, according to Mr. Morgan. When the presses started rolling, she ran over, grabbed a newly printed copy of The Sunday Times, and brought it back to The News of the World — which proceeded to use the material, verbatim, in its own paper the next day.
The rich dinosaur with the media empire and a family dynasty angle is pulp fiction material.
This story is so horrifically awful — phone tapping on the 9/11 victims!! — that the villains are unambiguously villains. The only question may be about whether the Murdoch knew about the phone taps.
It will take some time to answer some bigger picture questions. Has the mainstream press been forced to resort to these desperate measures, because of competition with online news sources and financial pressures due to a dwindling audience? What will be the long term costs of this scandal on the broader News Corp industry and the newspaper industry in general?
Will News Corp be the next media corpse?