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Hacking scandal: Rupert Murdoch's 'crocodile tears'
The media mogul embarks on an apology tour, with full-page newspaper ads and a personal visit to a key phone-hacking victim. Will it help News Corp. survive?
 
A London newspaper vendor holds up a full-page ad featuring an apology from Rupert Murdoch: Enough to contain the damage caused by the growing hacking scandal?
A London newspaper vendor holds up a full-page ad featuring an apology from Rupert Murdoch: Enough to contain the damage caused by the growing hacking scandal?
REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The video: Rupert Murdoch is going on an apology tour as he works to stanch the bleeding from a disastrous and growing phone-hacking and bribery scandal that started at his now-defunct British tabloid News of the World. Murdoch took out a full-page signed apology letter in every major British newspaper over the weekend, and personally visited the parents of Milly Dowler, the murdered 13-year-old whose phone News Corp. employees apparently hacked in 2002. (Watch Murdoch apologize below.) Taking out a full-page ad "feels a bit old-school," says PR specialist Mark Borkowski, as quoted by Britain's Guardian. But "it's classic damage limitation mode." 

The reaction: "News Corp. and its executives have apologized profusely and are cooperating with authorities," and that should be enough to atone for the sins of one tabloid, says the  (Murdoch-owned) Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Rival news companies are enthusiastically covering the story for commercial and "ideological" reasons, but their "schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw." Hold on, says Felix Salmon at Reuters. If Murdoch's "crocodile tears of remorse" are the best News Corp. PR hacks can come up with, the company is in trouble. "Murdoch and his minions" can't stop this virus from spreading to the U.S. It's no longer a question of whether there be damage, but of "how big that damage will be." See Murdoch's apology:

 

 

 

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