The Bush administration told taxpayers to hand over hundreds of billions of their hard-earned dollars to bail out Wall Street banks because the financial institutions were too big to fail. Now, Rupert Murdoch, owner of politically powerful publications and broadcast stations, claims his News Corp. is too big to know.
Murdoch, who’s in the news industry, essentially a business based on knowing and knowing first, told an investigating committee of the British Parliament this week that he’s a know-nothing. The CEO of News Corp., owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, said he was clueless about the phone hacking and other illegality endemic at his company. News Corp., he said, was just too big for him to keep track of its criminal activity. Others were to blame, he blathered. Others are responsible. But not him, not the guy in charge. Here’s what he said:
“I feel that people I trusted — I don’t know who, on what level — have let me down, and I think they have behaved disgracefully, and it’s for them to pay.”
Basically, he said, he deserves the profits that his underlings make for him by bribing police officers and hacking phone lines. But if his underlings do something wrong —like bribing police and hacking phones — he can’t be held accountable because News Corp. is too big for him to know. He claims he certainly would not be behaving disgracefully as CEO for failing to know. And he’s saying he certainly shouldn’t have to pay for his underlings’ bad behavior on his watch. No, the way it works is he gets paid. No matter what.
Brilliant, as the Brits would say. Read the rest of this entry →