Murdochs testify before Parliament

By Laurie Bennett

July 19, 2011 at 12:45pm

As his son began testifying Tuesday before a Parliamentary committee investigating the News of the World phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch interrupted.

“This is,” he said, “the most humble day of my life.”

Sometimes pausing for a few seconds before responding, he repeatedly said he had not been informed of hacking and bribery by employees of his company.

He said he was not responsible for such actions, laying the blame instead on underlings he had entrusted.

Asked when he learned that phone hacking was “endemic” at News of the World, Murdoch took issue with the description.

“I was absolutely shocked, appalled, ashamed, when I heard about the Milly Dowler case two weeks ago,” he said, referring to the hacking of the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl.

Murdoch said he had no evidence that the phones of 9-11 victims had been hacked.

The scandal had simmered for years before boiling over in recent weeks.

Our map above shows not only the connections of the Murdochs, but of journalists and government officials who have recently resigned and/or been arrested.

News of the World ceased publication on July 10.

When asked whether the paper was closed because of “criminality,” Murdoch answered: “We felt ashamed of what had happened. We had broken our trust with our readers.”

Later in the hearing, a heckler hit the elder Murdoch in the face with a paper plate covered in foam. Wendi Deng, Murdoch’s wife, leapt from her seat behind him and appeared to strike at the attacker. The man was subdued by police and security guards.

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