It was bring your son to work day in the British Parliament on Tuesday as Rupert and James Murdoch testified in London about the News of the World hacking scandal. Amid rumors that Rupert might be forced to resign as CEO of News International, the eighty-year-old media mogul maintained that he knew nothing of the scope of the misconduct, and gave parliamentarians the ‘bad apple’ excuse, saying that News of the World makes up less than one percent of his 53,000-employee empire. Leaning across his son James, he told the panel, “this is the most humble day of my life." (According to the offical transcript released to the media beforehand, he said "life" instead of "career.") Both Murdochs denied plans to open a new Sunday paper, and refused to say how much former NoTW editors Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton were paid after resigning last Friday. Piers Morgan notes that after falling steadily over the past twelve days, the "News Corp. stock price has risen throughout the hour.” In an unanticipated bit of drama, the hearing was interrupted by a man attacking Murdoch with a pie tin full of shaving cream, prompting Murdoch's wife, Wendi, to attack the attacker. All this caused News International stock prices to jump an additional six percent.
Meanwhile, two top UK police officials have resigned in connection with the scandal as more ties were revealed between News International and Scotland Yard. Prior to Murdoch’s testimony, outgoing Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson denied any impropriety in hiring former News of the World journalist Neil Wallis, who was arrested last week, as a media consultant. His number two, Assistant Commissioner John Yates also stepped down last week; and yesterday, it was revealed that Scotland Yard hired a senior News of the World executive as an interpreter. "It was almost industry standard," said Paul McMullen, former features editor for the News. "A few times, I was put on stories that came from . . . coppers we paid for good information." Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a state visit to Africa early amid scrutiny over his ties to high-level News International officials.
Borders has announced plans to liquidate all its remaining stores after negotiations with a private-equity investor collapsed, and they failed to receive any other bids. According to the Wall Street Journal, stores will start closing as soon as Friday, and the chain will go out of business entirely by September. Nearly eleven-thousand people will lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown.
Slavoj Zizek dismisses the rumor that he and Lady Gaga are dating, which was started by a group of “anti-authoritarian communists” and picked up by some New York tabloids.
Here are several things you probably didn’t know about David Bowie, from Paul Trynka’s new biography of the British pop icon: A fistfight over a girl left one of Bowie’s pupils permanently dilated; a druggy screening of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” provided the inspiration for the rocker’s first single, “Space Oddity;” and finally, Bowie won over his wife, the model Iman, with his excellent impersonations.
The Millions releases the first paragraph of Haruki Murakami’s three-volume novel IQ84, which will hit American bookstores this fall: “The taxi’s radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janáček’s Sinfonietta—probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn’t seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.”