Wingnut And Personal Friend Of The Murdochs Is Guiding Investigation On How News Corp Handled Phone-Hacking Scandal


Viet D. Dinh, former Assistant AG and the chief architect of the original USA PATRIOT Act, has had his fingers in oh, so many neocon pies. And now, he's the man who's supposed to bring credibility to the Murdoch clan (insert maniacal laughter here). This is the thing about corruption -- even when you're trying to simulate ethical behavior, it's so foreign to the way you normally do things, you can't quite pull it off. I'll bet it never even occurred to the News Corp. people how this would look from the outside.

News Corp.’s independent directors, obligated to assess Rupert Murdoch and other top executives’ handling of the company’s phone-hacking scandal, are relying for guidance on Viet Dinh, a board member with personal ties to the Murdoch family.

Dinh, 43, is point man between the independent board members and a panel that New York-based News Corp. (NWS) created to cooperate with authorities probing phone hacking by the defunct News of the World tabloid and to evaluate company standards.

A Washington attorney and Georgetown University Law Center professor, Dinh has been a friend of Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch’s oldest son Lachlan since 2003 and is godfather to Lachlan’s second child. In 1992, a decade before they met, the South China Morning Post, then owned by Murdoch, helped Dinh free his sister from a Hong Kong refugee camp.

“Usually it’s required that an investigation like this is undertaken by a committee of independent directors,” said Jay Lorsch, a Harvard Business School professor who has served on the boards of four publicly traded companies. “It’s very hard to be objective if you’re involved in any way -- financially or emotionally -- with the family of the chief executive you are supposed to be supervising.”

Dinh will update directors on the scandal at an Aug. 9 board meeting in Los Angeles, two people familiar with the situation said. The “management and standards” committee, established by News Corp. last month, reports to board member and Executive Vice President Joel Klein, a former assistant U.S. attorney general and New York City schools chief, who then reports to Dinh, the company said in a July 18 statement.


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