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Karma-geddon for Rupert: Sunset on the Murdoch Empire

Rupert Murdoch fled London today with egg — or at least shaving
cream — on his face after his dismal appearance before Parliament did little
to stop the outcry over the phone hacking and police bribery scandal in Britain
or ease shareholder pressure back in the United States for him to step aside
and dramatically change the governance structure of News Corp.
“Calpers sees the voting structure in a company as
critical.


CalPers, which owns 6.4 million shares, denounced News Corp. rules as “corrupt” because most investors don’t have voting rights, leaving control of the company in the hands of Murdoch and his family.

jonniemarbles.jpg“News Corp does not have one share one vote,” Anne Simpson,who is in charge of corporate governance at CalPers, told British media, noting the Murdochs own 12% of the company but their special B shares give them voting rights over 40% of the company.


“This is a corruption of the governance system. Power should reflect capital at risk. Calpers sees the voting structure in a company as critical. The situation is very serious and we’re considering our options. We don’t intend to be spectators – we’re owners.”


The comedian arrested for shoving the shaving cream pie in Murdoch’s face when he was testifying to a parliamentary committee wrote an article for The Guardian, which has spearheaded the investigation of the scandal, explaining why his actione 


“It’s not difficult to find reasons to dislike Rupert Murdoch. His reach is one of the most insidious and toxic forces in global politics today,” wrote Jonnie Marbles, whose real name is Jonathan May-Bowles.


“The phone-hacking scandal, despicable though it is, barely scratches the surface of the damage done by News International. It is a media empire built on deceit and bile, that trades vitriol for debate and thinks nothing of greasing the wheels of power until they turn in its favour. What’s more, no matter what the grievances he wreaks on those he has never met, his power and money keep him forever safely out of their reach … 


“Believe it or not, I even worried about Rupert Murdoch’s feelings. You see, I really don’t hate 80-year-olds and, at the end of the day, Rupert Murdoch is just an old man. Maybe what I was trying to do was remind everyone of that – that he is not all powerful, he’s not Sauron or Beelzebub, just a human being, like the rest of us, but one who has got far too big for his boots.”


Murdoch was backtracking dramatically today in the face of the criticisms.


The Guardian’s real-time Politics Blog which tracks minute-by-minute developments reported the media mogul suddenly cut off payments today for legal fees for private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who is at the center of the phone hacking scandal.

Murdoch also reversed himself on refusing to allow the law firm Harbottle & Lewis to speak to Parliament or Scotland Yard about how it came to the conclusion that the problems at the now closed News of the World were entirely the work of a single rogue reporter — a conclusion that is now totally discredited.
.

You can see the sun setting on the Murdoch Empire.

Rupert and son James performance Tuesday before Parliament was so ineffective that the Financial Times led a story on the exit strategy for the 80-year-old News Corp. Chairman and CEO by declaring which family emerged best from the hearing, saying: “Leaping across the room to land a loud slap on the idiotic foam pie protester who had assailed her 80-year-old husband, Wendi Murdoch was fearsome.”

Rupert and James Murdoch talked about how sorry they were and how humble they feel but took utterly no responsibility for the pervasive culture of unethical journalistic practice, blaming subordinates, or more precisely lower-level underlings.


Clearly, the buck — or the billions of bucks — didn’t stop at their desks. Or say they say with their claim of what amounts to  ”willful blindness” and an abdication of their responsibility to know what’s going on in their business.

Of course, it was all the little people’s fault, the people who do their dirty work, not the people who like the Murdochs or senior executive Rebekah Brooks who walked away in disgrace with a $5.5 million severance check and was immediately arrested on suspicion of bribery and phone hacking. 

In all, the Murdoch empire is facing 10 separate investigations in Britian and others in the U.S.
 
One report by the Commons Home Affairs Committee just released a blistering indictment of what went on at the News of the World, accusing the management of trying to thwart the criminal investigation, Editor Rebekah Brooks of not telling the truth and police failing to investigate the charges properly among other wrongful acts.

Murdoch claimed he was the only who could deal with this crisis but his performance Tuesday showed that for all his amoral genius, he’s too old and slow now but his wife who is half his age showed how quick she is when she jumped to his defense in the pie-throwing attack. 

Maybe Rupert will turn to Wendi for salvation. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful end to his story.
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13 Responses to Karma-geddon for Rupert: Sunset on the Murdoch Empire

  1. Anonymous says:

    “It is a media empire built on deceit and bile, that trades vitriol for debate and thinks nothing of greasing the wheels of power until they turn in its favour. What’s more, no matter what the grievances he wreaks on those he has never met, his power and money keep him forever safely out of their reach …”
    ARE WE TALKING ABOUT AEG.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Calpers is the retirement fund for the educators
    in California. Sounds like this might be a good time to get rid of that stock with so many shares. Does it pay dividends that makes the inestment a good one?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Its rather ironic that CalPers which is known for its social responsibility policy and with government workers including teachers would invest in News Corp with its Fox News subsidiary.

  4. Anonymous says:

    GREED HAS NO BOUNDARIES. IT WILL MAKE CONTRACTS WITH THE DEVIL. In this case CALPERS was farming out millions of dollars to henchmen like Villaboos, Riordan’s Deputy Mayor. It hardly matters who the Mayor was. They seem to attract corruption like flies to honey. Time to not give jobs to anyone with political connections. These idiots with no expertise in anything other than brown nosing to get jobs they are unqualified for should be shunned like the plague.
    I WILL NEVER HIRE ANYONE WITH THE REMOTEST CONNECTIONS TO VILLARGOSA.

  5. Anonymous says:

    it’s wide spread and deep the corruption.. and it’s not like we don’t need jobs but the way I see it, only the connected get to earn a decent living.. just simple fair equity but what we have are #BADDOGS How can we trust them with any money for High Speed Rail?
    CALPERS: calling the kettle black. CALPERS, never give OUR money to an investment firm. NEVER. Housing stock failure from Wall Street to local Cities across America and Europe.

  6. anonymous says:

    What about the whitle blower that was found dead of an apparent drug overdose? I find that most disturbing.

  7. CalPERS is moaning and groaning about super voting shares owned by Rupert and his family. But those fools knew that when they purchased their stock.

  8. david J barron says:

    Yup! Been saying, time to take public employee pensions away from the politically connected cronies, and let a professional investment fund like ING, Vanguard or Fidelity manage the investments.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wonder what the gangster Mayor will say about his summer night lights program. Everyone is asking how the hell can they have parks stay open til 12 midnite not knowing how the kids are getting home
    Two teens who were leaving a Los Angeles anti-gang program were shot by a gunman firing from a car early Thursday morning.
    Authorities said about 30 people were leaving a Summer Night Lights event at the Wilmington Recreation Center at 325 Neptune Avenue when shots rang out at 12:05 a.m. A 15-year-old girl was shot in the back, and a 19-year-old man was shot in the hand

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where is Ron? Is he attending the Murdoch hearings even as a battle is brewing between Ghetto Queen Perry propped up by AEG mercenaries vs King Trutanich and the people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    7/22; 9:16am
    Where are you? This is not something Ron Kaye is
    being paid by anyone to do. He does what he knows how to do – spread the word about happenings of great importance to the ordinary person here in LA and California.
    You and I will benefit by also sharing this
    information insted of critisizing someone
    who is trying to make a difference.
    How about it? Will you start helping this
    place where we live?

  12. Anonymous says:

    11:12 a.m., where is your humor. That was written tongue-in-cheek. We all appreciate Ron & have helped him in many ways. Don’t assume, you are the only one.

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