back to article 'Wilful blindness? We've heard of it,' says Murdoch

A "humbled" Rupert Murdoch appeared before a committee of MPs this afternoon as a witness on the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed the News Corp boss' media empire. The committee's chair, John Whittingdale, denied James Murdoch the opportunity to read from a written statement; the younger Murdoch is the deputy COO at his …


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  1. Ashton Black


    "He said he wasn't, his father then interjected by saying he had heard of the phrase before adding: "We have never been guilty of that." - They knew EXACTLY what was going on.

    1. Arkasha

      "We have never been guilty of that."

      I think the sub-text of that statement is

      "We have never been found guilty of that before now and hope we'll get away with it again."

      I don't generally like to be judgmental if people but I really think that in this case the Murdoch's are completely complicit in the whole saga. Rupert is well known for his attention to detail and micro-management of his business empire and all of a sudden he develops amnesia?

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Well, at least he is old enough

        to make the Ronald Reagan defense ( (I do not recall)^N ) plausible.

        However, if he really does not recall, through whatever dementia, he should retire. If he does not retire, he cannot rely on dementia as an excuse.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the now-dead tabloid accounted for just 1 per cent of his company

    oh..., so it's OK to shoot a man as long as you don't spend more than 1% of your wealth on the bullet

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I forget the details but wasn't it a The Cabinet Secretary - Butler - who said

    "one has to be creative with the actualite"... or some such... in the "Spycatcher" secrets trial in Oz.

    Murdoch's and co have learned a lot since then!

    What bad news is being buried as this farrago carries on?

  4. J 3

    just 1 per cent of his company

    Ooh... just imagine how much dirt could be found under the remaining 99%, then, yum...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    but surely in 2007

    Labour made sure the investigation was thorough, after all, none of their MP's lied about expenses now....

    1. Citizen Kaned


      some are in jail now.

      cant wait to see Murdoch (not the lovable loon from the A-Team - you know, the Murdoch we like) get some jail time. of course it will never happen as we all know he must have an awesome dossier of shit he has on everyone now.

      good to see the MPs grow a little backbone finally. they still arent coming out smelling of roses though, and neither are the police

  6. jm83

    Mr magoo

    He's doing an excellent impression of a confused and frail old man.

    If it turns out that it is the case he is way past it, well I think it was sun tzu who said "when your enemy is at their weakest, that is when you should strike hardest" (or words to that affect)

  7. Greg J Preece

    Not guilty of "willful blindness?"

    In addition to having never paid attention to what goes on at his own newspaper, has he also never seen a Fox News broadcast?

  8. John G Imrie

    Between the lines

    "I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case,"

    I was going to make a tasteless joke about what happens to whistle blowers, but I cant force my self to stoop to NotW levels.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    So when he was asked if phone hacking was 'endemic' he replied:

    'Endemic is a very wide-ranging word; I also have be extremely careful not to prejudice the current case.'

    I am not seeing a 'no' anywhere here....

  10. Dog Faced Boy


    Rebekah Brooks is getting hung out to dry. I wonder if they have paid her to take a fall, or if she will fight back and reveal who was really involved.

    @El Reg: where's the popcorn icon? Never mind a beer will do ;)

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      I dunno, but...

      Hanging Rebekah Brooks out to dry (read: guilty verdict with actual, real jail time) isn't the worst possible outcome.

  11. Thomas 4

    Great questioning!

    Watson asked Murdoch if it was true that his organisation had a zero tolerance to wrongdoing. The media tycoon answered "No. We encourage phone hacking in all forms while snorting copious amounts of cocaine off prostitutes tits." The media tycoon then promptly proceeded to facepalm.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    ... a confused and frail old man ...

    How's Ernest Saunders doing these days ?

    You remember - he's the only person in history (so far ?) to recover from Alzheimer's.

    Where's the Guinness icon ?

    ("I con" -geddit ?)

  13. M7S
    Big Brother


    Well Rebekah did admit to a criminal offence ("We have paid the police for information") when asked a simple direct question last time she appeared.

    Maybe the Machiavelian approach is not to ask Machiavelian questions.


  14. TheRead

    "Willful blindness?"

    "Sorry, I'm willfully blind to the concept." -Murdoch

  15. laird cummings

    Parlimentary inquiry turns into Three Stoodges episode

    Or maybe Monty Python sketch.

    Senior Murdoch struck square in the mush with a foam-filled paper plate. Sadly, hilarity and wacky hijinks failed to ensue - Just more testimony.

  16. Baked Beans

    Hey There Fuzzy Wotnot!

    You received 15 thumbs up for claiming that Murdoch would get away with, well, read it here...

    Does anybody want to accept this was complete bollocks?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he read his own news?

    He HAD to ask himself "how did they come up with that?"

  18. Graham Marsden

    "his organisation had a zero tolerance to wrongdoing"

    Howls of derisive laughter, Bruce!!

  19. Anonymous Coward


    "I'm shocked and appalled to find that gambling has been taking place in this nightclub"

    "Round up the usual scapegoats"

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    guilty until proven innocent?

    be a staunch leftist, and anything that happens under your control is "a regrettable accident" and no one should dare hold the Leader responsible.."he's doing the best he can."

    Mediate anywhere towards a stand away from welfare states, and paying with money you don't have..and suddenly you're convicted of everything that ever happened anywhere in your entire company/country/military.

    Fraud, deceit and lies...the chief exec or President is only personally responsible if he's considered conservative.

    Why not cut all the showy trial crap and propaganda, and just launch the ideological purge openly? No need to continue the insult that there's anything but a desire to eliminate an "unacceptable" point of view.

    Any actual fairness would either drop ALL major media owners, CEO's and politicians, or bring down none.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Do you have an actual point

      or are you just practising your typing?

  21. Alan Firminger

    What happens next

    I was privileged to see police corruption happen. About 2004 I had a muffin and a cup of tea in the British Library refectory, and there was nowhere to sit. There was one table with a free chair which I took. A journalist and a young Pc were at the table and how could I not overhear. The copper was explaining the new computer they had in the station, how it feeds statistics on all the crimes and the man with the pen was scribbling it all down. All the stuff now routinely issued to Neighbourhood Watches.

    The Victorians had constables kindly helping journalists and that has never gone away. What is new and frightening is that we have learned that News International took over PR in the Yard, with the Commissioner in tow.

    The Met's anti corruption squad has to find a poor kid of a copper who took a couple of tenners for a bit of helpful information. The kid in the dock will plead the Donaldson defence : it was a gift from a friend.

  22. Stuart Duel

    Power corrupts

    Now if this had been any other company, any non-media company, engaged in such corrupt behaviour, their offices would have been raided and executives arrested. What is even more extraordinary is that even after reports Murdoch's minions were frantically destroying documents and deleting email records, still no raids have taken place.

    Best to not kick the dog too hard I guess. Especially THAT dog!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


      It is still difficult to delete backups without some form of audit trail. If (OK, possibly when) the UK Plod announce that they could not retrieve material, we should invite some US investigators in, who for all their faults take a suitably hard political/economic/technical line on this crap.

      Paris, because at least she didn't screw all of us.

  23. Magnus_Pym

    The 'I didn't know anything' defence ...

    ... would be more plausible if the evidence wasn't published in a popular national newspaper FFS. Didn't the Murdochs or the editors know, as everyone else did, what phrases like 'a document was handed to our reporter' really means? Handy translation guides between tabloid speak and English have been published before. Below is an updated version in light of recent infromation.

    Has been revealed to us = we blagged it

    Evidence has come to light = we stole it

    A close friend = blackmail victim.

    Friends say = illegally accessed voice mail says

    has dropped proceedings against us = we got some dirt on them

    An insider = made up informant to cover made up story

    An insider at number 10 = Cameron

    a top ranking policeman = the met commissioner

    Boss of a huge global news empire = sad old man who knows nothing about newspapers

    Editor = person who knows nothing about newspapers

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