MP Calls James Murdoch ‘Mafia Boss’

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By Chris Ariens Comments

News Corp. executive James Murdoch was back before a British parliamentary committee this morning and at one point had to defend himself after being called a “mafia boss.”

British Labour Party lawmaker Tom Watson suggested News International, which Murdoch oversees as CEO of News Corp. Europe and Asia, operated an “omerta” code of silence.

“Would you agree with me that this is an accurate description of News International in the UK?” Watson asked. “Absolutely not, I frankly think that’s offensive and it’s not true,” said Murdoch.

Watson continued: “You must be the first Mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise.”

CNN reports Murdoch rolled his eyes, before saying that the comment was “inappropriate.”

The two-hour, second round of questioning did not get the kind of U.S. cable news coverage as the first round in July, when Murdoch and his father Rupert appeared before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.