Murdoch says sorry for phone hacking scandal
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch apologized to the British people through a statement that was published as full-page advertisements in the country’s major newspapers on Saturday.
On the top of the advertisement were the words “We are Sorry” written in big bold letters. It was then followed by a promise that News Corp. and Murdoch himself will take “concrete steps” to quench the uproar of the public over the phone-hacking scandal that shook the company and claimed two of its top newspaper executives: Rebekah Brooks–who served as the head of News Corp.’s British newspaper arm–and Les Hinton–who headed Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.
In a rare act of contrition, Murdoch said in the statement: “The News of the World was in business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself. We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.”
On Friday, Murdoch issued a personal apology to the parents of Milly Dowler, the 13-year-old girl whose murder was one of the many news gathered by News International’s News of the World by illegally hacking into her family’s phones and voicemails. The apology appeared to be an admission of the illegal news gathering activities used by the former Sunday tabloid which, at that time, was edited by Brooks and overseen by Hinton.
Many, however, viewed the published apologies with skepticism. British parliamentarian John Prescott told reporters that the apologies are a desperate effort by Murdoch “to save his company.”
All eyes are now on Murdoch’s son and presumed heir, James, who took over the British arm of his father’s media empire just when the scandal broke. He, along with his father and Brooks are scheduled to appear before Parliament on Tuesday to answer inquiries regarding the scandal.
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