Hacking Scandal: Midweek Link Roundup

By Alex Weprin 

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Happy Wednesday! The hacking scandal continues to make news by the hour. This morning Prime Minister David Cameron responded to questions about his knowledge of the scandal from angry MPs. The Guardian has a good roundup of the discussion, which touched upon Cameron’s decision to hire former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, and whether he had discussed the proposed BskyB deal with news Intl. executives.

The AP’s Frazier Moore analyzes the Murdoch hearings:

If Rupert Murdoch had always seemed by reputation a larger-than-life figure — and his accomplishments seemed to bear it out — here he appeared very Oz-like indeed: a wizened old man, hunched, with his face often downcast.

He interrupted his son’s first response, placing his hand on his son’s arm and stating: “I would just like to say one sentence: This is the most humble day of my life.”

In the New York Times, Brian Stelter relates the News Corp. scandal to the issue of media consolidation:

Mr. Aaron said he sensed that most Americans were aware of big media brands like Fox and NBC but unaware that their owners also controlled dozens of other brands. Media companies present an obstacle to awareness: “Most media outlets don’t like to cover themselves.”

But “when people find out just how much those companies own, they are worried about it and want to know more,” he said, adding that the who-owns-what chart was the most popular feature on the Free Press Web site.

In The Guardian, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen argues that “Denial is somehow built into the culture of News Corp.”

Reuters’ Felix Salmon writes about what he believes is the “defining moment” of the hearings:

The defining moment of the hearing, at least until Rupert Murdoch got pied, was when Jim Sheridan asked him a straight question — “Do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?” Rupert certainly gave a straight answer: “No.”

The message, repeated ad nauseam from both Rupert and James, was clear: they’re very important people running very large businesses, and they simply didn’t know what was going on far below them in the News Corp org chart.

In Ad Week, D.M. Levine looks at how Piers Morgan has emerged as a staunch Murdoch defender as the scandal has unfolded:

It is a rare thing for a host on CNN—a network that has defined its brand by news and not opinion—to be so open about his sympathies in an unfolding news story. And one he’s covering, at that. CNN wouldn’t comment for this story, but sources close to the network point out that Morgan has offered his opinion on other stories in the past and that, given how close he is to this one (in that Morgan is in the unique position of having worked for Murdoch at the very paper in the center of this scandal), it would be odd for him not to offer personal commentary.