Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Rebekah and the Murdochs in the Thunderdome
I'll be updating this live.
Wendi Deng (Mrs Rupert Murdoch) sitting behind her man in fetching pink and femme-fatale Veronica Lake hairdo. James Murdoch gets off with a fail. Half-hearted protesters are ejected. James begins to speak. Rupert interrupts to say he's ever so 'umble, sounding like Barry Humphries playing Uriah Heep. Rupe doesn't do 'umble. He's also made James look like a little squit before they've even begun. Talk about undermining your support system.
14:47: Oh lord, here we go. James singing the "I never knew anything" song. Gary Young is very good on this responsibility without accountability approach.
Rupert questioned by Tom Watson also pleading the "I Never Knew Nuthin'" clause. Never knew Rebekah admitted to NOTW paying police. Oy, Rupe. Stop punching the table. You are not Nick Boles/Knobslice.
Har! Tried to pass Goodman/blackmail question on to James. Tom Watson having none of it.
Harbottle and Lewis question coming up. Looking like Mastermind where contestant realises he's revised entirely the wrong chapters. Hey, the semantics get-out. "Depends on what your definition of 'is' is." TM Bill Clinton. James repeatedly throws himself under the bus for his dad. Tom Watson polite but firm.
Murdoch tired (like Ernest Saunders) but not drained of his poison. Staked but not dusted.
Laughs when asked if he imposed preconditions on politicians. As Orwell said, who needs a whipped dog when a well-trained one will do? They could read the signs.
15:20: It appears James has no knowledge of how much has been paid out to settle legal settlements or how this would be set up. James's thousand-yard stare disturbing. Tweeters likening him to Soprano Jr, Evil Niles Crane (v good, Shutters). George Michael says he is human shield for his dad.
Willful blindness, huh? Enron referenced and we know what happened to them. No wonder James quaked.
15:55: Les Hinton dropped in it. James denied signing off on £600K settlement. Rupert stated that was above managing editors' pay-grade. Les Hinton in the frame, as well as legal advisers.
Tweeters adding Philip Davies to hero roster, alongside Tom Watson.
16:15: Overrunning. Rebekah must be wearing groove in floor outside waiting her turn. Paul Farrelly (ex-Observer journo) asking about the Harbottle and Lewis letter saying there was no new evidence in email stash re Goodman and Mulcaire. James pleading the Fifth in response. Farrelly asking if James wants to withdraw it, James pleading Fifth again. That Harbottle & Lewis letter getting them on the ropes. Farrelly doing a good job. Murdochs know nothing. Again.
Elsewhere, bookies lowering odds on Cameron not being in his job on Sunday to 16 - 1. But News Corp shares up 3% during the session. Bloomberg saying Murdoch will lost job as CEO. Tweeters complaining Murdochs are getting an easy ride. Certainly in contrast with the cops earlier, and Tom Watson.
Suddenly it went all sentimental and we ended up in the wrong film. Far too cosy and sentimental as Rupert tells a story about his old Pa who started off without a bean to his name. Rupe says it's wrong that so many people were made to do such bad things. "Humble" again from James. Singapore is Rupe's ideal society. And now Bloomberg report that NewsCorp shares are up 5.2 per cent. Where is Tom Watson?
Shit! Someone attacked Rupe. Pause in proceedings. Someone tried to pie Rupert. Or as some wag tweeted, threw a humble pie at him. Wendi Deng threw herself in front of assailant and slapped him hard and several times. I told you that kung-fu would come in handy. Her pink jacket's a bit too reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy in Dallas, so Rupe's lucky it was a foam pie (NOT by UK Uncut person — stupid!).
TWEET: @MadamMiaow 2 glam wives in chic pink: Jackie Kennedy (Dallas) and Wendi Deng (London). 1st time as tragedy, 2nd time as a custard pie in the farce.
The last questioner asked the Murdochs if they considered suing Harbottle & Lewis for screwing up. Also asked Rupert if, as head of his organisation, he'd consider resigning.
17:25: Rupert reading out his humility statement.
Rebekah started really late, at nearly 6pm, my computer went spoggly and required extensive uninstalling, and I'm getting deep-vein thrombosis so I'm giving it a rest.
I Love the Smell of Murdoch In the Morning at Truth Out.