Given the recent arrests of the SUN newspaper’s deputy editor, Geoff Webster, chief reporter John Kay, picture editor John Edwards, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker and deputy news editor John Sturgis on suspicion of bribing police and public officials, Rupert Murdoch flew to Britain to tackle the latest allegations and to appear again at the British Parliamentary Committee.
Appearing before the Committee probing into phone-hacking, Rupert Murdoch made some opening remarks that concluded with him saying that “he felt even more humble now”. He was then asked by the Committee Chair John Whittingdale “who else have you hacked into recently?” to which Mr Murdoch replied that News Ltd has also hacked into the communication network of the Black & White Cabs in Australia and mobile phone of a barber called Tony in New York. Asked to explain his reasons for hacking into these phones, Mr Murdoch explained that although it is well known that News Ltd hacked into the phones of people like Gordon Brown, a number of members of the Royal family, a number of actors including Hugh Grant, MPs, Milly Dowler and victims of 9/11 tragedy but the company did not wish to discriminate against ordinary people who might have felt left out. The Board of Directors of the company therefore under the company’s affirmative action policy decided that the company should hack into the phones of a number of ordinary people. The company was planning to hack into the phones of a number of homeless people but was surprised to find that most homeless people did not have mobile phones. Furthermore, Mr Murdoch noted that he fully supported the affirmative action policy and as a sign of this support was persuading an African-American to take on the role of godfather of one of his children. Tony Blair who is known to be Wendy Deng’s best friend is the godfather of another child.