Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks all appeared before British Parliament's culture committee today to answer questions about what they knew about phone-hacking at the Murdoch-owned News of the World, and when exactly they knew it. Who turned in the best performance? It's a call we're only prepared to make in a special, Parliament-themed medal ceremony.
Daily Beast Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz found the younger Murdoch much more impressive, observing on Twitter that "though overshadowed, [James] seems more forceful and more willing to express regret than his father." True, conceded The Guardian's Dan Sabbagh, but what does that say about the son's leadership? Where Rupert began as a well of uncertainty, James had facts, information, and answers so long you couldn't remember (or care) what the question was," Sabbagh observed. Compare today's mastery of the material with his professed ignorance about the hacking operation and it and a portrait emerges of "an incurious chief executive, or somebody who knew better than to ask the News of the World editor too many hard questions - or somebody the next level down felt they could not tell the truth to....[He] may not concede the first or second point, but with so many people concealing critical information about hacking below him, it does not make him look good."