By Ken Feltman
A childrens’ song tells of a sea captain who rides out storms by heading below deck to his bunk. Children recognize the cowardly captain for the clownish character that he is. Rupert Murdoch may not know the song but he knows the excuse.
Everything we need to know about what happened and why it happened at News Corp. was answered when Rupert Murdoch denied ultimate responsibility. His son and a deposed editor echoed his “not my fault, I didn’t know about it” excuse.
Murdoch wanted the private jets and other trimmings of his office without the inconvenient responsibilities. He dressed himself in his CEO equivalent of the captain’s suit from the song, ribbons and medals and all so very impressive. Then he ducked below when a storm appeared.
Responsibility goes up; blame goes down. Any claim that Murdoch and his enablers had to journalistic integrity vanished in that moment of denial. Waste no sympathy on them. They lack the ethical underpinnings that a far-flung news organization requires – and that is why the scandal occurred and why Murdoch and others need to go.
Co-published in Politico