After last week's public parliamentary hearings, it looks like Rupert Murdoch's son and News Corp. executive James Murdoch will have a rough road ahead of him. During last week's hearings, Murdoch claimed he didn't know hacking was a widespread practice at News of the World, when he approved a payment of about $1.1 million in 2008 to settle the first lawsuit brought by a phone hacking victim. It doesn't seem likely that Murdoch wasn't privy to the mass phone hackings, and parliament would like to challenge his testimony. "British police are considering a request from opposition Labour politician Tom Watson to investigate claims the 38-year-old son of News Corp head Rupert Murdoch gave 'mistaken' testimony to a high profile hearing in parliament last week," Reuters Tim Castle reports.
Not only does Murdoch face further grilling from parliament, but it looks like his support system, on all sides, is caving in.
The corporate suite no longer supports him. "It now seems to be everyone for themselves," Paul Farrelly, a Labour member of Parliament who has been a prominent critic of News International, told The New York Times's Don Van Natta Jr., Graham Bowley and Jo Becker. "The edifice is cracking; they’re all fighting like rats in a sack." Murdoch's testimonial looked especially shaky when two former News International senior executives, Tom Crone and Colin Myler, indicated they believed Murdoch knew more than he claimed. These aren't two nobodies, they held powerful positions at the company, The Times explains. "If they continue to challenge Mr. Murdoch’s account, it could damage his effort to protect his own reputation and that of the parent company run by his father, Rupert." The Times also reports a third former News International member that plans on cooperating with parliament and an outside attorney, who both have reason to believe that Murdoch knew more than he has claimed.