WAKE ME WHEN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS ANGRY AT MURDOCH GETS TO 2
I understand why people think it's a big deal that there's a call for a probe of Rupert Murdoch from Congressman Peter King, a Republican (and a Republican best known recently for holding hearings to try to unearth a vast evil Muslim treason conspiracy in America). But please note that King is focusing largely on the 9/11 connection:
New York Republican Pete King is calling on the FBI to investigate whether Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation hacked into the voicemail accounts of Sept. 11 victims, calling the allegations of the scandal "disgraceful."
"As I see it, I would expect more things to be coming out over the next several weeks," King told POLITICO. "And as we approach 9/11, the tenth anniversary, it's even going to get worse." ...
King, like his close pal Rudy Giuliani, has often tried to wrap himself in the mantle of 9/11 (though certainly not to the same extent, if only because that would be next to impossible). In the Bush years he criticized White House allocations of anti-terror funding from the Department of Homeland Security. And he regards himself as a moderate, and an occasional aisle-crosser. He opposed Bill Clinton's impeachment and voted against the impeachment articles. Prior to that, he praised Clinton for his efforts to bring about an end to hostilities in Northern Ireland.
This is all part of his self-image, so the 9/11-linked denunciation of Murdoch is no big deal. Meranwhile, all the other members of Congress who've denounced Murdoch are Democrats. So, really: wake me when another Republican joins the pile-on. And only then.
Meanwhile, please note that Murdoch thinks he's dropping his bid for BSkyB only temporarily:
...Yet Mr. Murdoch is said to remain hopeful that the transaction is salvageable. One person involved in the discussions said that the News Corporation chairman saw the withdrawal as a way to mollify his critics while waiting for the anger to die down.
"Rupert is thinking long term here, I don't think he believes this deal is dead," said this person, who did not want to be named while discussing confidential matters. "He's just looking for ways to relieve pressure for the moment, to give this some breathing room. He fundamentally believes News Corp. can bounce back."
In a statement released Wednesday, the News Corporation acknowledged that the mood in Britain had become too hostile to pursue the BSkyB purchase. "We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies, but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate," Mr. Carey said. But in its statement, the company said it reserved the right to make another bid.
Maybe that's naive. But I'd never bet against Murdoch. His career isn't dead until there's a stake through its heart. (More likely, though, he'll never get the rest of BSkyB but he'll avoid serious trouble in the U.S.; if necessary, he'll sell all his U.K. holdings and pay some sort of fine just to put all that behind him, while throwing Rebekah Brooks and maybe a few other people under the bus -- and then he'll just concentrate on America, with a vengeance, and with his bottom line damaged but his political clout barely diminished.)
UPDATE: Did I suggest that Murdoch might sell all his U.K. holdings? Well, The Express says he's considering selling all his U.K. papers.