And here's the front-page report from this morning's Wall Street Journal, "News Corp. Blasted In U.K.":
LONDON — A U.K. parliamentary committee report issued Tuesday said Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company" and found that three former News Corp. executives misled British lawmakers over the depth of the phone-hacking scandal.Continue reading.
The report from Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee sketches out details of a coverup the company allegedly carried out as it sought to contain the fallout from revelations that its now-closed News of the World tabloid illegally intercepted cellphone voice mails in pursuit of information.
The report had especially harsh words for the 81-year-old Mr. Murdoch—although the rebuke divided members of the committee along party lines. "Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone-hacking," according to a passage inserted despite the opposition of Conservative members. "He turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications." The corporate culture "permeated from the top," it added.
Three former executives from News International, the company's U.K. newspaper unit, were singled out for misleading Parliament during testimonies on phone hacking in 2009: Les Hinton, a longtime Murdoch lieutenant who served as the unit's executive chairman for 12 years before leaving in late 2007 to head up News Corp.'s newly acquired Dow Jones & Co. unit, which publishes The Wall Street Journal; Colin Myler, the News of the World's editor from 2007 to 2011; and Tom Crone, the tabloid's top lawyer. All three men have left News Corp.
The committee said a number of statements News International executives made in 2009 were untrue, including the claim that illegal voice-mail interception was limited to one reporter and the assertion that phone hacking had been investigated thoroughly by the company. The report says News Corp.'s instinct throughout the affair was to "cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing and discipline the perpetrators."
During a news conference, the committee said all of its 10 voting members supported the report's conclusions about Messrs. Hinton, Myler and Crone. But Conservative Member of Parliament Louise Mensch said the committee's Conservative MPs voted against the final report largely because of the line saying Mr. Murdoch isn't a "fit person" to run a global company. Ms. Mensch said the report should therefore be seen as "partisan."
In a statement, News Corp. said: "Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009." But it called some of the report's commentary "unjustified and highly partisan."