More of B&C's July 19 News. Corp. coverage:
Moody's: News Corp. Scandal Won't Affect Credit Rating
BLOG: Murdoch Saga Has Rivals Running in Circles
News Corp. Fallout: Rep. Bono Mack Seeks Privacy Info From NCTA, Others
BLOG: Piers Morgan: MP's Hacking Claims Against Me Are ‘Nonsense'
In a hearing at Parliament over the phone hacking scandal, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said Tuesday that he knew of no evidence of any U.S.-based hacking of 9/11 victims' phones and that he did not believe the FBI had found any, either.
It was reported last week that the FBI was investigating those allegations.
Murdoch and son, James Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. International, fielded tough questions from a Parliament committee that had been told in 2009 that phone hacking had been confined to a rogue reporter. The scandal has since widened to include others and brought down both the News of the World newspaper and several top executives.
Rupert Murdoch said he was not responsible for the scandal, saying it was instead the people he trusted to run the paper, and perhaps the people they trusted. But he apologized profusely for the hacking and said his goal was to restore the nations' trust in his company and British journalism in general.
News Corp. U.S. involvement in the illegal hacking could bring its fitness as a TV licensee into question and bring the FCC into play.
Legislators have also called for an investigation in whether the company's hacking activities in the UK could also violate U.S. laws given the fact that it is incorporated in the U.S. and there are laws against bribing other governments. Allegations extend beyond hacking to payoffs of policemen in the UK.
Prior to his appearance before Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, the elder Murdoch read the following prepared statement:
Mr. Chairman. Select Committee Members:
With your permission, I would like to read a short statement.
My son and I have come here with great respect for all of you, for Parliament and for the people of Britain whom you represent.
This is the most humble day of my career.
After all that has happened, I know we need to be here today.
Before going further, James and I would like to say how sorry we are for what has happened - especially with regard to listening to the voicemail of victims of crime.
My company has 52,000 employees. I have led it for 57 years and I have made my share of mistakes. I have lived in many countries, employed thousands of honest and hardworking journalists, owned nearly 200 newspapers and followed countless stories about people and families around the world.
At no time do I remember being as sickened as when I heard what the Dowler family had to endure - nor do I recall being as angry as when I was told that the News of the World could have compounded their distress. I want to thank the Dowlers for graciously giving me the opportunity to apologise in person.
I would like all the victims of phone hacking to know how completely and deeply sorry I am. Apologizing cannot take back what has happened. Still, I want them to know the depth of my regret for the horrible invasions into their lives.
I fully understand their ire. And I intend to work tirelessly to merit their forgiveness.
I understand our responsibility to cooperate with today's session as well as with future inquiries. We will respond to your questions to the best of our ability and follow up if we are not capable of answering anything today. Please remember that some facts and information are still being uncovered.
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