Even at 82 it seems that the only way to muzzle, let alone control, Rupert Murdoch is to bury a stake in his heart (and hedge your bets with copious quantities of garlic).
The one-time Dirty Digger is back in the spotlight, lambasting the various phone hacking inquiries, “the biggest inquiry yet over next to nothing,” and the police, who’ve been rudely turfing his journalists out of their beds at dawn in pursuit of their inquiries, as “incompetent.” In the case of the latter it’s hard to disagree.
Murdoch was addressing Sun Journalists (including some arrested on criminal charges) at a private meeting in March but one of them taped it and the recording found its way to Channel 4 News by way of British investigative website ExaroNews.
As ever, the old boy makes quite a lot of sense. He observes that members of the constabulary have been topping up their wages for years with payments for tips from journalists (something his former golden girl Rebekah Brooks admitted inadvertently to a Parliamentary Committee years ago), so why are they getting so het up about it now?
Probably because it’s against the law Rupert – but, then, so are lots of other things that the British turn a blind eye to (including aspects of police behaviour).
Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and various other alleged miscreants are scheduled to go on trial later this year. Whether or not Murdoch’s observations have helped their case is debatable.