In a startlingly damning report after months of investigation into the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers, a parliamentary panel here concluded on Tuesday that he was “not a fit person” to run a huge international company, amplifying a public outcry against him, but threatening further bruising divisions within the political establishment.
The conclusion about the world’s most influential media tycoon went much further in lambasting Mr. Murdoch than had been expected from Parliament’s select committee on culture, media and sport, which has conducted several inquiries into press standards in recent years, the most recent starting last July as the hacking scandal burrowed ever deeper into Britain’s public life.
But the impact of the report by the all-party committee was blunted by divisions within the panel itself. Presaging further disarray within Britain’s strained coalition government, the committee said it had split, 6 to 4, on party lines, with the dominant Conservatives opposing the censure of Mr. Murdoch while the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, joined the Labor opposition in supporting it.
“On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee,” the report said in one passage, “we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications.”
“This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organization and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International,” its British newspaper subsidiary.
“We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” the report said."
Warren Buffett has a message for Rupert Murdoch and the Wall Street Journal: Sure, I’ll release my tax returns, if you do too.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial that asked Buffett to disclose his tax returns. The piece, “Mr. Buffett’s Tax Secrets,” took issue with Buffett’s plan to hike taxes on some of the super-rich.
The Journal’s conservative editorial board doesn’t think that’s a great idea, saying that Buffett should instead “educate the public” by letting “everyone else in on his secrets of tax avoidance by releasing his tax returns.”
Asked about the editorial on Tuesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Buffett said he was willing to release his tax returns, on one condition:
“I think it might be a terrific idea if they would just ask their boss, Rupert Murdoch, and he and I will meet at Fortune, and we’ll both give you our tax returns and you can publish them,” Buffett said.
“I’m ready tomorrow morning,” he added.
Representatives from News Corp., the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, did not immediately respond to requests for comment."