James Murdoch faces the Leveson Inquiry (but will he remember it?)
James Murdoch kicked off Murdoch week at the Leveson Inquiry Tuesday -- and managed to put someone else's behavior in the spotlight,
- Here's how The Guardian, which broke the phone hacking story that set off the festivities, called it :
- In the most dramatic day of hearings at Leveson yet, the inquiry was shown emails written by James Murdoch's chief lobbyist, Frédéric Michel, written the day before Hunt was due to make a market-sensitive statement to parliament, which appeared to indicate that he was minded to approve the bid in negotiation with News Corp. The statement came just a couple of days after the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was forced to resign as communications chief at No 10 amid mounting hacking allegations.
- The Telegraph went full flaps down:
At BSkyB, Hunt was more the story than former BSkyBChairman James Murdoch ...
But he got some attention for admitting he talked to Cameron about BSkB at a party.
- The inquiry released 161 pages of Michel's e-mails with James Murdoch as the BSkyB deal progressed, including numerous instances of Hunt apparently providing advice or information when he was supposed to be remote. The live streaming (when you have a browser "modern" enough), the posting of evidence in sharable form, the quick turnaround of transcripts JM morning and afternoon) and the archived video (morning, afternoon) -- all are hallmarks of a modern hearing. Leveson has everything but someone monitoring the back channel and asking questions the viewers want to hear.
- It also has some mannerisms that drove Murdoch watcher Michael Wolff crazy:
- How did James Murdoch emerge from the day? Possibly still ok legally but his reputation as an efficient executive, what was left of it after the earlier hearings a admission/claim he didn't read his own -mail, was shot to pieces. Anyone playing a drinking game with "don't recall" pr "don't remember" (24 combined in the am) as the trigger for shots would have been under the table well before lunch.
"Call me naive"
A sampling of react from the dart throwers:
What UK newsstands look like this morning
My post at paidContent.
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