Murdoch: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
According to Advertising Age:

Rupert Murdoch is keeping the throttle wide open on crisis-control efforts in an attempt to limit the damage from the News of the World’s hacking scandal…
Now he is apologizing to Britain via a newspaper ad headlined “We are sorry” — perhaps foreshadowing what he will say when he testifies before Parliament next week.

The ad read:

We Are Sorry.

The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.
It failed when it came to itself.
We are sorry for the wrongdoing that occurred.
We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.
We regret not acting faster to sort things out.
I realise that simply apologizing is not enough.
Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.
In the coming days, as we take concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.
Rupert Murdoch

Do you honestly believe one word of this ad? Do you believe that Murdoch’s News Corp., which includes Fox News, the Fox Business Network, and the NY Post, believes it is “in the business of holding others accountable?” News Corp. is in the entertainment business for the sole purpose of making a profit.
Do you honestly believe that Murdoch or News Corp. “are sorry for the wrongdoing that occurred,” or “are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected?” Can you imagine that Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity or Don Imus are deeply sorry for the nasty insults and mud they sling? That’s why Murdoch hired them.

Can you imagine in your wildest dreams that Murdoch regrets “not acting sooner to sort things out.”
Is it conceivable to you in your most generous moments that Murdoch actually believes that “a free and open press should be a positive force in society?” Do you believe that he really is committed in his soul to “live up to this” concept? Will Murdoch force Roger Ailes to make Fox News “a positive force in society” and make “fair and balanced” a reality rather than a cynical marketing slogan?

Looking at this newspaper ad and Murdoch’s interview in the Wall Street Journal July 14, in which he is quoted as saying News Corp. has handled the crisis “extremely well in every way possible,” making just “minor mistakes,” you wonder what the 80-year-old Murdoch has been smoking or how senile he is.
The suits and scores of MBAs at News Corp. who understand Excel spreadsheets and bottom lines but not journalism are probably advising and prepping Murdoch in this ultimate form of cynical spin, but it’s not working.

The dirty chickens are coming home to roost. Everyone knows Murdoch is lying … bigger than ever. What hair he has left is aflame and his pants are on fire.

About Charles Warner

Charles Warner teaches in the Media Management Program at The New School and NYU’s Stern School of Business, and is the Goldenson Chair Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Until he retired in 2002, he was Vice President of AOL’s Interactive Marketing division. Charlie’s book Media Selling, 4th Edition is an update of Broadcast and Cable Selling and is the most widely used sales textbook in the field. He has also written a companion book to Media Selling titled Media Sales Management that is available free on


PreviousIsis Forms Relationships with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express NextCookstr Launches New Digital Recipe Collections Exclusively on Apple's iBookstore

Get Briefed Every Day!

Subscribe to my daily newsletter featuring current events and the top stories in technology, media, and marketing.