Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pass the popcorn: Leveson inquiry heats up

It is almost completely pointless to continue writing posts this morning while all the good stuff is happening on U.K. television as James Murdoch testifies before the Leveson inquiry. If you haven't been paying attention this morning to your Twitter feed, then a trip over to the BBC or Guardian site might be in order to get caught up.

At issue this afternoon (GMT) are emails received by Murdoch that gave the News Corp. executive inside information about what was going on in the Tory government, and the progress of his company's efforts to close the BSkyB acquisition – an acquisition that, for now, is certainly dead.

What is proving embarrassing is how often U.K. government officials were willing to act on Murdoch's behalf, giving Murdoch little tidbits of news about what was going on inside the government. There are no surprises except that there are no surprises, if you will.

As John Gapper, columnist at the Financial Times, said through Twitter, the Leveson inquiry "has crossed the Rubicon, so to speak, into examining conduct of British politicians. Not pretty."

Murdoch, meanwhile, is alternatively saying "I don't recall" and "this is all just normal business". Some have speculated that the Murdoch's are trying to bring down the Tory government as some sort of revenge for their lack of support. But that seems like giving James Murdoch far too much credit for a "strategy" rather than what really appears to be a sloppy attempt to explain away typical business practices.