The Greatest Show on Earth (part 2 of 3)

Posted on July 25, 2011 by

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As Vaz left the stage, John Whittingdale MP, Chair, Culture, Media and Sport Committee entered. To his credit with just one out of three (the flame haired one) of senior News International executives agreeing to appear before his Select Committee he issued a summons to compel the Murdoch Major and Minor to attend.

Leaving his horns with the chauffeur, the cleverest, most astute, most cynical – take pity on me I am 80 years old – man on the planet pretended to bumble his way through the incisive as foam rubber questions from a gang of MPs who will never come up to his ankles. He even somehow managed to make his voice break as he talked bout his father. That must have taken hours of rehearsal. What a showman. Give the man an Oscar. No. Second thoughts. Give it to his Media Advisers sitting behind him in a row like the vultures in Jungle Book.

Mr Murdoch, asked one viciously cruel interrogator, will you re-consider the way you run your newspapers? Or weasly words to that effect. Yes ma’am, said the self-confessed humbled multi-billionaire media savvy mogul. Well OK I made that bit up but he did say yes. My Company, he said (wait for it) ‘has zero tolerance for wrongdoing’.

Selectively deaf (you got the feeling he normally wears a hearing aid but was told to ditch it so that he couldn’t her what was going on making him look vulnerable and hapless) he had, he said, after a pause Pinter would have been proud of, never heard of Gordon Taylor (former head of the FA) and didn’t know James Murdoch authorised £700,000 to hush his mouth over phone hacking. One definitely more on the ball than his fellow Committees members said: Mr Murdoch. How do you pay out of court settlements? How do they go through the books? Are you invoiced? Do you pay out of Petty Cash (Murdoch said such a low amount was below the threshold for upward referral)? Do you pay by cash? Bank Transfer? Travellers Cheques? Answer came there none.

Murdoch Major, unbelievably, tried to brown nose the Committee by saying they should be paid £1m p.a like MPs in Singapore so they didn’t have to fiddle expenses. Talk about non-sequiteurs during a public enquiry. He also tried to ingratiate himself with us and them by referring to ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘here in our country’ guff. No. No and no.  True. He has run Britain for twenty years but he is definitely not one of us. He is an American or rather has US citizenship which he was forced to take to enable him to expand his empire.

As for Alex Marunchak, a senior executive at the News of the World who worked as an interpreter for the Met for 20 of the 26 years he worked at the paper, Murdoch Major said Who? Never met him.
James Murdoch’s testimony – sorry – answers – are barely worth recording but at least his Manuel mantra ‘I know nothing’ (Fawlty Towers) gave an opportunity to gawp at Mrs Murdoch III who kept poking her old man to stop him banging the table like a Methodist Minister in a Welsh Chapel. Wikipedia says Wendi blagged her way into the US, repaid her benefactor’s hospitality by shagging her husband, then married him to get her Green Card. Nice. The perfect partner for the dirty digger.

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