Murdoch 'Fully Engaged' at Papers

Sang Tan / AP Photo

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch arrives at his residence in central London, Thursday, July 14, 2011. Rupert Murdoch and his son James first refused, then agreed Thursday to appear before U.K. lawmakers investigating phone hacking and police bribery, while in the U.S., the FBI opened an investigation into allegations the Murdoch media empire sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims.

Rupert Murdoch said he did not know about phone-hacking and illegal payments at News Corp.—fishy statements when you consider how involved he typically is with his papers. The New York Times describes him as a “fully engaged” boss, with former editors at News of the World and The Sun saying he called frequently to communicate what one former editor describes as “telephone terrorism.” Murdoch is said to sometimes have been so involved as to write headlines—a former adviser to Tony Blair says Murdoch himself chose the one-word headline “Treachery” for a News of the World criticizing the then-prime minister. Murdoch also apparently fumed at editors of his British papers for turning down an opportunity to purchase information on parliamentary expense accounts, allowing a rival paper, The Telegraph, to snatch the scoop.