Your RDA of Irony

The National Endowment

Murdochs defy parliament in phone hack inquiry


LONDON — Media titan Rupert Murdoch
and his son James defied the British Parliament Thursday and refused to appear
next week before a committee investigating phone hacking and bribery by
employees of their newspapers.

The committee said it had issued summonses to the Murdochs, setting up an
extraordinary confrontation between one of Britain’s most powerful men and a
Parliament once seen as easily bent to his will.

The Murdochs’ refusal was a dramatic snub of a body that forced them to
abandon their ambitions of purchasing highly profitable network British Sky
Broadcasting Wednesday after lawmakers from all parties united to demand that
Murdoch’s News Corp. withdraw its bid after a string of unsavory revelations
about phone hacking and bribery by its reporters.

The Murdochs’ flouting of Parliament may also allow them to delay potentially
uncomfortable public appearances until the furor over the scandal has

It is highly unusual for witnesses to refuse to appear before parliamentary
committees, which quiz everyone from business leaders to prime ministers on a
wide range of issues.

Defiance of a parliamentary summons is illegal, and can in theory be punished
with a fine or jail time. In practice, such measures have been all but unknown
in modern times; the House of Commons last punished a non-member in 1957.


Lawyers for Rupert Murdoch offered several explanations for his refusal.

First, being Australian and American, he is unfamiliar with the English language.  Reporters–the few unworthy to work for Murdoch–mentioned that he had graduated from Oxford University.  The lawyer replied that there was no proof that Mr. Murdoch might have learned the language there.  As further evidence, there was a reference to George W. Bush’s degrees from Yale and Harvard.

Second, Mr. Murdoch has nude photographs of all the members of Parliament.  Should Mr. Murdoch be further annoyed, his newspapers will publish the “National Endowment.”

Subsequently, when asked if the nude photos were illegally obtained, the Murdoch lawyers assured the public that the pictures of the Conservatives were all voluntarily donated.

p.s.  And let’s not forget the historic significance (and middle-class vindication) of this day:

  1. Tony H says:

    Make no mistake: it’s like the Arabian Spring here. This vile and corrupt dictator who has done so much to defile our civilization has been thrown down, the people rejoice and politicians rediscover the gumption they long ago mislaid. Things are looking up!

    We count on America to continue the revolution. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Congratulations Tony.

      A few years ago, a number of British scholars compiled a list of the worst Englishmen in history. Among the “winners” were Titus Oates and Jack the Ripper. (In fairness, the worst Englishman of the 19th century could hardly have been Jack the Ripper, not with just five victims. No, the dishonor goes to Sir Charles Trevelyan, who was such a diligent adminstrator for Ireland in the late 1840s. Apparently, no one starved who didn’t deserve it.) As for the worst Englishman of the 20th century, it definitely was Oswald Mosley.

      However, we have yet to name the worst Australian of the 20th century and, so far, the leadling candidate for worst American of the 21st century: why what a remarkable coincidence!


  2. Tony H says:

    Oswald Mosley probably, though Neville Chamberlain runs him close in popular demonology. As we’re talking Englishmen, I suppose we can’t allow the candidature of Margaret Thatcher, who, it should be noted, was the first to feed the ravening Murdoch beast.

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