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:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- 10 things you need to know today: August 21, 2014
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
Subscribe to the Week