UK Parliament Finds Rupert Murdoch Not "Fit" To Run Broadcasting Company

Wow. So this is what a responsive government looks like.

Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James's role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.

The Commons culture, media and sport select committee also concluded that James Murdoch showed "wilful ignorance" of the extent of phone hacking during 2009 and 2010 – in a highly charged document that saw MPs split on party lines as regards the two Murdochs.[..]

Rupert Murdoch, the document said, "did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking" and "turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications".

The committee concluded that the culture of the company's newspapers "permeated from the top" and "speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International".

That prompted the MPs' report to say: "We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of major international company."

That's gotta sting a bit. Murdoch shuttered the News of the World last summer as the realization that the publication was routinely phone tapping celebrities, politicians and subjects of their reporting, like Milly Dowling. The thirteen year old was abducted and murdered in 2002. But for six agonizing months, her parents held onto the hope that Milly might be alive, because messages on her mobile phone were being accessed and deleted by a News of the World employee who wanted keep it from maxing out on memory.

It's not clear how binding this report is, nor what impact it will have on Murdoch's broadcasting license of acquisition BSkyB.

Off the back of phone hacking and policy bribery allegations targeted at News Corp-owned News International, Ofcom decided to launch an investigation into whether Murdoch's News Corp is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting license in the UK, which it and he does through ownership of BSkyB.

The "fit and proper" assessment comes from the Broadcasting Act 1990 and offers discretion to Ofcom in its judgement as to whether a media owner or operator meets this requirement.

It is the use of the phrase "not a fit person" in the select committee report Tuesday that may suggest the MPs who wrote it and voted to back the report's conclusions are themselves broadcasting a strong signal to Ofcom to revoke BSkyB's license.

Our buddies at TPM have the report in its scathing entirety.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.