From New York comes a pungent piece by Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek on the mess that News International finds itself in. Never underestimate Rupert, appears to be the message.
Tina Brown writes: "The great cliffhanger of the Rupert Murdoch phone-hacking/bribery affair is whether this time, as always in the past, the man can once more come out a winner, however tarnished?"
She points to the differing results of the Arab Spring: "Will the revolt to dislodge his power turn out like Egypt, where Mubarak fell, or Libya, where the tyrant has turned out to be far harder to dispatch? Is Murdoch still the Great and Powerful Oz, or just the Aussie behind the curtain?" In the past, says Brown, the non-Murdoch 63 percent of the British press "has always been too lazy, fearful, or overawed to mount a sustained attack. 'This time, thanks to the charge led by The Guardian, the muscular opposition of Labour leader Ed Miliband, who intends to force a Commons vote, and the sheer volume of dislodged hacking and bribery sleaze, it feels different." Brown, who covers all the bases in her piece, talks of Murdoch's talents and brilliance "equalled only by his amorality… He takes big risks, makes big bets on big visions, then waits for the result like a poker player." Her punchline is a knockout, "But the maggot-infested underside of News of the World is a metaphor for what his whole tabloid operation has wrought. He could have been Dumbledore crossed with Harry Potter. But he’s Voldemort, and he’s not vanquished yet." Read Tina Brown's article at the Daily Beast. Brown points out in an author's note that her husband Harold Evans, was editor of The Times of London from 1981 to 1982 under Murdoch. He resigned and wrote a book about his time there, Good Times, Bad Times (1984).