How Rupert Murdoch Conned British MPs By Playing The Sad, Pathetic Old Man Card
By Darryl Mason
Rupert Murdoch, at first, refused to appear before British MPs to answer questions about News International's involvement in phone hacking, spying, blackmail and police corruption. But so furious was the reaction of the British public he quickly caved and announced he would appear.
And so he did.
MPs, like Tom Watson, who had been pursuing Murdoch to come clean for years about the cruel criminality of his News Of The World, were wired as the clock ticked down to Rupert Murdoch's appearance, alongside his son James. Tens of millions tuned in around the world, this was it, the Sun King was on the ropes, he was going to get it in the face with both barrels.
But then Rupert pulled off an extraordinary piece of acting. He shambled into the room, head down, slouched gingerly into his chair and struggled to answer questions, or even hear them
His first words to MPs :
Within seconds, the mood of the entire room changed. This wasn't a monster, this was a very old man, sad and sorry, apparently perhaps even a sick old man, as harmless and innocent as their own granpas. How could these MPs beat up on someone so old, so sad, so "humble", so helpless?
They couldn't, and they didn't.
But once Rupert knew he'd conned the room, he was somehow able to to recover all his faculties and defiant verve, and finished the appearance by reading out a statement written by one of the world's leading public relations companies. He might as well have simply said, "Fuck You Very Much."
So how do we know Rupert Murdoch was faking the I'm A Sad Old Man, Don't Be Mean To Me persona?
Because barely a few weeks earlier, he'd given a lively interview with his wife Wendi on how they'd met and fallen in love :
It's like a decade had passed between the above interview and his Struggling To Answer Questions performance in London. It wasn't even 3 weeks.
Within two days of his 'answers' to British MPs, Rupert Murdoch was private-jetting back to New York City, while thousands of British victims of crime waited for phone calls from police to learn if they, too, had had their grief and privacy, their most intimate moments, violated by Murdoch's goons.
Well played, you old bastard. Well played.