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Rupert Murdoch rejects puppet master role

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 02:12

April 25 - Appearing at a judicial inquiry into press ethics, media mogul Rupert Murdoch denies suggestions that he uses his media empire to play puppet master in UK politics. Matt Cowan reports.

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The world's most powerful media mogul Rupert Murdoch called to account. NAT SOUND "and nothing but the truth." Even he would surely see the headline potential of this story. The 81-year Australian-born tycoon has gained a reputation as something of a puppet master in British politics. Appearing before the Leveson inquiry into press standards in Britain, Murdoch rejected suggestions that he uses his media might to win political favour. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT JAY, LEVESON INQUIRY LEAD COUNSEL, SAYING (English) : "You would wish to point out that no express favours were offered to you by Mrs Thatcher. Is that right?" SOUNDBITE: RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORP CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING (English): "And none asked. I think if I'd asked anything Mr Ingham's very full note would have recorded that." SOUNDBITE: ROBERT JAY, LEVESON INQUIRY LEAD COUNSEL, SAYING (English) : "But you wouldn't be so undeft and cackhanded to have asked directly, would you Mr Murdoch?" SOUNDBITE: RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORP CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING (English): "I hope not. I never asked a prime minister for anything." Rupert Murdoch's appearance before the inquiry comes a day after his son James gave testimony, igniting a firestorm of controversy over his dealings with UK Media Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Emails were revealed appearing to show that his office had leaked confidential informational. Speaking in Parliament, Hunt insisted he'd done nothing wrong. SOUNDBITE: SECRETARY OF STATE FOR CULTURE, OLYMPICS, MEDIA AND SPORT, JEREMY HUNT, SAYING (English) : "Transcripts of conversations and texts published yesterday between my special advisor Adam Smith and a News corporation representative have been alleged to indicate there was a back channel through which News Corporation were able to influence my decisions. This is categorically not the case." The special advisor in question has resigned. That was enough for Prime Minister David Cameron. SOUNDBITE: DAVID CAMERON, UK PRIME MINISTER SAYING (ENGLISH) "Let me make absolutely clear about the Culture Secretary who has my absolute support." As economic data emerged showing Britain had slipped back into recession, some are calling this the worst day of the Prime Minister's tenure. Rupert Murdoch on the other hand has received praise an assured performance on his first day before the inquiry. Matt Cowan, Reuters

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Rupert Murdoch rejects puppet master role

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 02:12