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This is going to sound weird, but the pie incident has showed us the Murdoch’s are still human.

20/07/2011

PHOTO: Wendi Deng (second left) lunges towards the man as he tries to attack Rupert Murdoch. (Reuters: Parbul TV)

Benny Hill innuendo’s aside, Rupert and James Murdoch have been saved by a creampie.

The pie throwing incident shows the world also that you don’t have to be a media baron to be a arsehole. All you need is a pie container and some whipped cream.

The breach of security tends to add further to the concerns of the Metropolitan Police and their work with both Parliament and the Media. But it allowed Rupert’s wife Wendi Deng to remind us that the men in the suits bleed as do we all.

Her staunch defence of her husband is amazing footage. She not only pushed her way to the intruder, she managed to give him a good smack in the face for his trouble. And good on her. James was absolutely caught by surprise rising to his feet but unsure of what to do next. His anger palatable on his face.

And all the while Rupert sat there and took it on the shoulder so to speak. Even post the police grabbing the intruder, he wore the pie.

The incident took away from some interesting details such as News Limited paying for the defence of the private investigator who did the phone hacking, Glenn Mulcaire. The concern though was that this is still happening now and seemed to be a surprise to James Murdoch.

Rupert’s humbling he said was not his responsibility. He apologised for it, but he blamed others. He cited the expanse of his business and he even said he may have taken his eyes off the ball.

Yet Rupert is not intending to reduce his holdings but to increase them. Would this not then lead to more and more things that he has to take his eyes off?

Shareholders did not see it that way, giving News Limited shares a little timely lift post its more recent declines. However there are still questions to be asked and the News Limited juggernaut will be much more cautious as to what fish it swallows and what fish it throws up. And what fish to let swim by and leave for a rainy day.

The drilling of the outgoing and the assistant police commissioners was a very interesting buck passing exercise. The chief blamed the assistant. The PR guy blamed the assistant. And the assistant blamed protocol.

Mixed in with all the heavy questions were some lighter moments with Rupert explaining which door he goes through when visiting Downing Street to some tittering.

The questions asked raised more though. The incidents that lead to arrests in 2007 should have raised Rupert’s attention level to the paper. But it did not it seemed. And it all came down to trust.

People he thought he could trust let him down he said. When asked if given the light of the events, more prudence will be taken by him and his editors and Rupert said that he trusts his editors are going to do so now right around the world. Yes Rupert. Because trust helped out a lot for you so far.

And now, News Limited expects the public to return their trust to his companies. Shareholders, as I said, seem keen. But the public may need a little more then Murdoch’s word and I have no doubt he will put into place codes that help to do that.

The question in all this is who takes the fall for this in his companies. And should the man who makes the most be excluded from that responsibility because he passed it on to another. Sure, he may not be involved with every headline, but his responsibility must extend to ensuring those people he DID pass that to are doing the job he gave them.

I think the lesson here is complacency. You can get used to a good thing. 

But does complacency make you immune from complicity?

We shall see. We shall see.

A. Ghebranious 2011 (All Rights Reserved)

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One Comment
  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Day two should provide some more information. Although protester should aplogies to the Mrs.

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