Rupert Murdoch Doesn’t Eat Humble Pie


Joel Klein Is Murdoch's Fixer

Murdoch Dodges a Pie on ‘The Most Humble Day of My Life’


By Amy Goodman


While testifying before British Parliament on what he called “the most humble day of my life,” Rupert Murdoch nearly took a pie in the face. Luckily for the media tycoon, his wife Wendi literally leaped to the rescue with all of her athletic ability.

For the curious, a gossipy history of the fairer Murdoch can be found here—PZS

Rupert Murdoch Pie Attack

Murdoch to MPs: ‘the most humble day of my life’

“People say that Australia has given two people to the world,” Julian Assange told me in London recently, “Rupert Murdoch and me.” Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, was humbly dismissing my introduction of him, to a crowd of 1,800 at East London’s Troxy theater, in which I suggested he had published perhaps more than anyone in the world. He said Murdoch took that publishing prize.

Two days later, the Milly Dowler phone hacking story exploded, and Murdoch would close one of the largest newspapers in the world, his News of the World, within a week.

On Tuesday, Murdoch claimed before the British House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that it was his “most humble day.” But what does it mean for a man with no humility to suffer his most humble day? The principal takeaway from the committee hearing must be, simply, that Rupert Murdoch is not responsible for the criminal activities under investigation, from police bribery to phone hacking. When asked if he was ultimately responsible, his answer was simple: “No.” Who was? “The people I trusted to run it and maybe the people they trusted.”

The monosyllabic denials stood in stark juxtaposition to his rhetorically nimble son, James Murdoch. Frequently reminding the committee that he was not present at News of the World during the dark days of hacking and bribing, James used more words to say essentially the same thing: I know nothing.

The performance, for now, seems to have worked. No, the buck doesn’t stop with Rupert Murdoch, but the money sure rolls in nicely. News Corp.’s stock price inched up throughout the day. The Murdochs’ apparent success in the hearing might be attributed to the stone-faced lawyer sitting directly behind James throughout: News Corp. Executive Vice President Joel Klein.

Klein is a new addition to the executive stable at Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, hired, according to a News Corp. press release, as “a senior adviser to Mr. Murdoch on a wide range of initiatives, including developing business strategies for the emerging educational marketplace.” Klein formerly was deputy White House counsel to President Bill Clinton.

More lately, and more likely germane to his hiring by Murdoch, was Klein’s tenure as chancellor of New York City schools, the largest school system in the U.S., serving more than 1.1 million students in more than 1,600 schools. Klein, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, undertook controversial restructuring of the school system. My colleague at the “Democracy Now!” news hour, Juan Gonzalez, who is a columnist at the New York Daily News (the main competitor to Murdoch’s New York Post), consistently documented Klein’s failures as chancellor, reporting on “countless parents and teachers who long ago grew weary of his autocratic and disrespectful style.” Klein’s attempt to shutter 19 schools in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods was reversed by the New York State Supreme Court. Claims of improved performance on standardized tests made under Klein’s direction were shown to be based on inflated scores.

Less than two weeks after his hire was announced, News Corp. bought a privately held company, Wireless Generation. Murdoch said of the $360 million purchase, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone.”

Which is why one of the leading education tweeters, Leonie Haimson, a New York public-school parent and executive director of Class Size Matters, is concerned. She told me: “With all the allegations about phone hacking, etc., we really have concerns about the privacy of New York state students. And secondly, we don’t want to open up the public coffers wide for the Murdoch companies to make money off of our kids.”

New York City public schools have already granted the company a $2.7 million contract, and the New York State Education Department is close to granting Wireless Generation a $27 million no-bid contract.


News Corp. has announced the formation of a Management and Standards Committee that will answer directly to Klein. Klein, who sits on the News Corp. board of directors, will report to fellow board member and former fellow Justice Department attorney Viet Dinh. Dinh was assistant attorney general under George W. Bush and a principal author of the USA Patriot Act, the law that, among other things, prompted an unprecedented expansion of government eavesdropping. According to recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Dinh and other directors lined up on July 3 to sell off stock options, with Dinh netting about $25,000, just as the scandal broke.

News Corp. is far from a news corpse, though the term is sadly relevant, with the initial exposé of News of the World’s grotesque hacking of murder victim Milly Dowler’s voice mail, giving false hope to her family that she was alive. The FBI is now investigating whether Murdoch papers tried to profit from hacking into the voice mails of victims of the 9/11 attacks. U.S. journalists must now dig into News Corp.’s operations here, to expose not only potential criminality, but also the threat to democracy posed by unbridled media conglomerates like the Murdoch empire.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2011 Amy Goodman / Truthdig



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13 Responses to "Rupert Murdoch Doesn’t Eat Humble Pie"

  1. jack h.  July 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    one of,maybe the richest man in the world,murdoch is the most vilest and the others i be the pie incident was staged.

  2. Dave-O  July 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Ever try to post a counterpoint opinion on Democracy Now’s YouTube site, they at “Democracy” Now don’t allow that to happen. They have a one way agenda just like the MSM, I read VT to get away from that crap and now she is posting articles at VT come on people keep it real this is what is good about VT stark reality laid bare.

  3. MMcmillan  July 21, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Did any of these zionists or their children serve in Israel’s war in Iraq we fought? Did any of them come back in body bags or body parts missing?
    I ask constantly to our representatives but for some reason they refuse to answer……

    • Art  July 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

      I know one of them came back from Afghanistan in one piece and now serves as the head of CIA.

  4. adeUK  July 21, 2011 at 12:30 am

    This link has already been “pulled”.

    For the curious, a gossipy history of the fairer Murdoch can be found here. —PZS

    “The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.”

    but is still available here

  5. adeUK  July 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Security Services, Police, Military: Your Country Needs YOU!

    By David Adams – The Sovereign Independent –

    Calling all Police Officers, Security Service and Military personnel. Some of you will already know the following. Many of you for the first time need to heed the recent words of one of your colleagues, Principal Police Intelligence Analyst Tony Farrell (see below), and urgently do your homework. All of you need to honour what you are duty-bound to do: which is to know what is being done to your own families and the public, protect them from enemies without and within and root out malign-infiltration and criminality from inside your own ranks and all national institutions.

  6. Art  July 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Is Amy Goodman “breaking the Sound Barrier” and finally tell us what she was doing in NY city on 911 when the buildings were coming down.

  7. Derek  July 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    That “pie attack” saved him from answering the question then. Definitely a farce.

  8. Tim  July 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Nice article Ms. Goodman. I suspect the greatest threat to a politician, or anyone tied to politics has a greater fear of being embarrassed by lies and innuendo more than actual accusations regarding criminal behavior. The embarrassment to public figures by Murdock’s tabloids and FOX do more damage to the credibility of those who seek office rendering the individual running for a higher position as unfit almost overnight, while prosecution for any WIKI leaks document may never be heard in the MSM, much less in a court room.

    • Art  July 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

      Do you think “embarrassment” and “damage to the credibility” discouraged “Ms. Goodman” of explaining what she was doing on 911 when the buildings were coming down? Not before or after the revelation of an amateur video clip she was spotted in running around.

  9. rgalton  July 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Klein is also of course, like Murdoch, an ultra-extremist Zionist.

    Did anyone else notice James Murdoch’s earpiece during the hearing – his left ear was visibly bright red as a result.

    • rgalton  July 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      The pie attack was also a clever and staged piece of theatre. The ‘protester’ apparently sat through almost the entire hearing before making his move.

    • Ross  July 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Yes and Wendi Deng reacted instantly,seemingly with no need for reaction time.It was staged to make the whole preceedings to look like a farce.Who benefited? Share prices rose due to this incident.

      Murdoch has been putting a bit of 911 evidence on Fox and letting people like Judge Napolitano fight for freedom and the US Constitution.He also here in Aust is fighting against the introduction of a Carbon tax.So perhaps he was set up,because he was having an each way bet on the ultimate outcome.

      The Police knew about phone tapping for years and Sean Hoare said is was common practise.( Kill the chicken to frighten the monkeys) So perhaps Murdoch is being taught a lesson.If Andrew Napolitano who supports Ron Paul disappears from Fox News, then we will know the real reason for the revelations of these phone taps.

      Also as one poster REY said, this will be used as an excuse to censor the internet.

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