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Media Watch: Murdoch Escapes From Parliament, Catapulted Pie

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood July 20, 2011 at 3:47AM

In nearly three hours of intense interrogation by the British Parliament, Rupert Murdoch still refused to provide sufficient answers or admit to any responsibility.
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Thompson on Hollywood

In nearly three hours of intense interrogation by the British Parliament, Rupert Murdoch still refused to provide sufficient answers or admit to any responsibility.

Howard Kurtz, for the Daily Beast, said that while the News Corps. chief came to offer apologies for the cell-phone hacking scandal, he took no personal responsibility, saying that the blame should lie with "people I trusted to run it, and maybe people they trusted." The discredited mogul even attempted to condemn unnamed rivals with "dirty hands" for their efforts to "build this hysteria."

Although Murdoch called it the "most humble day of his life," and stammered through questions, he did not accept fault. Prime Minister David Cameron made a statement to the House of Commons Wednesday morning, and has previously pledged for more transparency concerning the relationship between politicians and the media.

The three hours of exhausting questioning were punctuated only by a shaving cream pie thrown at Murdoch and skillfully deflected by Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng. "It was riveting theater," reported the New York Times. Perhaps the best way to look at this whole hubbub, Gawker posits, is to be thankful for all the "bounty of fresh memes" that the phone hacking scandal has produced.

[Faux News of the World Cover, Imagined by Vanity Fair ]

This article is related to: Media, Moguls, Rupert Murdoch


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.