Brian Cathcart on How James Murdoch Became News Corp.'s Liability. "Whatever happens to News Corp. now, it will surely happen without James Murdoch," writes Brian Cathcart, opining that the former heir apparent "has become a liability with little hope of survival." How did things so turn around for James Murdoch? According to Cathcart, it is due to the fact that James told members of Parliament this week that "when he approved a payment of £725,000," he was "not shown an email that suggested phone hacking was more widespread at the News of the World." But "remarkably," Colin Myler, 59, editor of News of the World and Tom Crone, legal manager, "publicly denied that." Writes Cathcart: "It is a significant moment, because it is the first public breaking of ranks among Murdoch executives to have occurred in the five years this scandal has been running. From here, the whole edifice of James’ defense threatens to crumble away, and it could do so in days." In the past, "they all used to tell the same story." But now, this dissent means "that James is now in the front line of his own defense and, when he tries to blame any of these others they are likely to bite back, telling their own stories and defending their own interests... There will be more of this kind of disagreement. The legal interests of Coulson and Brooks have now diverged dramatically from those of James." David Cameron on Friday called on James Murdoch "to return to Parliament, but that recall cannot happen now until the autumn. If James still has a position of importance inside News Corp. by that time, it will be a surprise."
Joe Nocera on the Exit of Elizabeth Warren. The Consumer Protection Bureau is "finally live," Joe Nocera notes, but "the person who hired most of that staff, created that management structure and laid out that agenda — indeed, the person most responsible for the bureau’s very existence — is departing. This coming week will be Elizabeth Warren’s last at the bureau. So accustomed are we to our nation’s poisoned politics that nobody even thinks this is strange." Nocera lays the blame with "Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama — whose descent from respected member of the Senate Banking Committee to partisan political hack has been truly stunning," and other Senate Republicans, who "vowed to block Warren from ever being able to run the agency she brought to life." To Nocera, this is unfounded: "What has long been striking to anyone following Warren’s travails these past 10 months — ever since the president asked her to set up the bureau — is the disparity between what she’s actually done versus the Republican demonization of her." Rather, he suggests that the real motivation behind her removal: "In fact, the only thing that’s transparent is the absurdity of this fig leaf. What the Republicans are trying to do is cripple the new consumer agency before it ever gets the chance to, you know, help consumers. Bankers are their constituency, not consumers."