On Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch appeared before an inquiry investigating his relationship with the British political establishment. Murdoch is alleged to have used media conglomerate to influence British politicians and gain an advantage for his numerous British business interests.
Critics have accused the Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid of hacking into the phones of high-profile public figures. Subsequent investigations into Murdoch’s activity have revealed a network of political contacts, resulting in outrage among the public and an official review of Britain’s regulatory policy regarding interaction with the press. It was a result of Murdoch’s close relationship with Britain’s political elite that his businesses were supposedly able to contravene regulations without consequence.
The full report from Reuters can be found here.
It remains to be seen what, if any, penalties Murdoch may face. Of course, it isn’t a crime simply to associate with influential public figures. Even if Murdoch has engaged in the politics of intimidation, as his detractors claim, it does not necessarily follow that he has committed criminal wrongdoing.
That said, it will be interesting to see how the outcome of the inquiry is reflected in the phone hacking scandal that forced one of his tabloids to close its doors.