- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Deadly N.Y. train derailment leads to Senate call for cameras at tracks
- WWII vet, 90, en route to Pearl Harbor event booted from flight
- SWAT team at Phoenix hospital as armed man clears emergency room
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle dragged from political meeting, booted from party
- Big storm dumps snow on East Coast, travel dicey
- Thai prime minister dissolves Parliament, calls elections
- Hagel to meet with Pakistan’s prime minister
- Kiev: Riot police deployed near protest sites
- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
U-Turn: Murdochs say they plan to go to Parliament
LONDON (AP) - Embattled media mogul Rupert Murdoch caved in to pressure from Britain's Parliament Thursday as he and his son James first refused, then agreed, to appear next week before lawmakers investigating phone hacking and bribery by employees of their British newspaper empire.
The abrupt U-turn _ and the arrest of another former editor of the scandal-sunk tabloid News of the World _ deepened the crisis for Murdoch’s News Corp., which has seen share prices shaken as investors ask whether the scandal could drag down the whole company.
Lawmakers took the dramatic step of issuing a summons to the once all-powerful Murdochs after the father and son said they would not appear before Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday. Within hours, the Murdochs made room in their schedules after all.
“We are in the process of writing to the select committee with the intention that Mr. James Murdoch and Mr. Rupert Murdoch will attend next Tuesday’s meeting,” News Corp. spokeswoman Miranda Higham said.
The committee later confirmed it had received a letter confirming their attendance.
It was another victory for politicians over the Murdochs _ something that would have been all but unthinkable just two weeks ago.
Murdoch began his media career in Australia in 1952 after inheriting “The News” newspaper after the death of his father, and has built News Corp. into one of the world’s biggest media groups, with market capitalization of $46 billion. Assets include Fox News, the 20th Century Fox movie studio, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and three newspapers in Britain _ down from four with the death of the News of the World.
For decades, British lawmakers lived in fear of the influence of Murdoch’s media empire. With the revelation of widespread criminal hacking, and the public revulsion that followed, Parliament has been liberated, flexing its muscles in a display of freedom some are calling the “British Spring.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said Thursday the fast-moving events were “a bit like the end of a dictatorship.”
Near-unanimous political opposition in Parliament forced News Corp. on Wednesday to withdraw its bid for highly profitable network British Sky Broadcasting. On Thursday, Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport committee said it had issued summonses for the Murdochs after they declined to appear Tuesday.
Rebekah Brooks, who heads the company’s British newspaper division, did agree to testify. She was editor of the News of the World at the time of some of the hacking, but says she knew nothing about it.
It is highly unusual for witnesses to refuse to appear before parliamentary committees, which quiz everyone from business leaders to prime ministers on a wide range of issues.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that if the Murdochs had “any shred of sense of responsibility or accountability,” they would testify.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- EDITORIAL: Health care hardball
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- FENNO: Mike Shanahan's empty words no salve to free-falling Redskins
- POWELL: The Fed's scandalous monetary policy
- As the unemployed wait, lawmakers debate about extended benefits
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
"Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!