News Corp. Responds to U.K. Hacking Report: 'Unjustified and Highly Partisan'

10:24 AM PST 05/01/2012 by Georg Szalai
Reuters/James Knowler/Landov

UPDATED: The company issues a statement in response to the findings of a U.K. panel on alleged hacking.

News Corp. said Tuesday afternoon that "hard truths have emerged" from a U.K. parliamentary committee report but also called out the committee for including portions that it said it finds "unjustified and highly partisan."  

The report included findings that "there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World, that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009," the conglomerate said in a more detailed statement than an earlier response.

"News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee's analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan," it added. "These remarks divided the members along party lines."

News Corp. continued that it has "already confronted and ... acted on the failings documented in the report: We have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the United Kingdom and indeed around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police; we have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a worldwide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corporation."

Here's the full statement.

"Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World, that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.

News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee's analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan.  These remarks divided the members along party lines.  

We have already confronted and have acted on the failings documented in the Report: we have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the United Kingdom and indeed around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police; we have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and, we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a world-wide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corporation. 

As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud.”

In a memo to staff, CEO Rupert Murdoch said, "The report affords us a unique opportunity to reflect upon the mistakes we have made and further the course we have already completed to correct them.

"I recognize that for all of us -- myself in particular -- it is difficult to read many of the report’s findings," he wrote. "We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner."

But he also said: "We have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes. There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right."

Murdoch late Tuesday also got some support from former GE CEO Jack Welch, who thanks to GE's ownership of NBC then was a competitor of Murdoch's. "It is outlandish to suggest that Rupert Murdoch is anything less than perfectly fit to lead his organization as it moves forward," Welch said in a statement. "Over our many years of dealings, I've seen nothing but integrity from him. He has never been anything but straightforward and above board in all his interactions with me and his courageous and innovative moves in business have always been a source of inspiration to me."

comments powered by Disqus