News Corp.'s Murdoch Is 'Defiant;' Meanwhile, Key Editor Resigns

Jul 15, 2011

As the scandal widens over allegations that his company's tabloids in the U.K. tapped into the cell phones of thousands of people from the royal family down to murder victims. ...

As the FBI begins to look into whether those news outlets might also have gotten access to the cell phone records of 9/11 victims in the U.S. ...

And as his top news executive in the U.K., Rebekah Brooks, announces that she's resigning. ...

... News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch is "defiant," according to another of his company's news outlets, The Wall Street Journal.

In particular, the Journal writes that in an interview with the newspaper:

"Mr. Murdoch said the company had handled the crisis 'extremely well in every way possible,' making just 'minor mistakes.' "

And, he said he will appear before Britain's parliament next week in part because of "some of the things that have been said in parliament, some of which are total lies. We think it's important to absolutely establish our integrity in the eyes of the public. ... I felt that it's best just to be as transparent as possible."

On Morning Edition earlier, NPR's David Folkenflik talked about the ever-expanding scandal with guest host Mary Louise Kelly. As he said, the departing Brooks had "a constituency of about two people" — Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch. Brooks was editor of News of the World when some of the alleged illegal snooping occurred, and has been the top News Corp. executive in the U.K. as other alleged transgressions happened and as the scandal has widened.

In a statement to the company's staff, Brooks said she has "believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate. ... This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavors to fix the problems of the past."

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