From the start, apologies and contrite statements fell out of the mouths of Rupert and James Murdoch, but father and son were at times incredibly shaky before the parliamentary committee.
“The head honchos of News Corp looked somewhat ill-prepared, and with Rupert Murdoch struggling to answer some of the questions put to him, one began to feel sympathy for the octogenarian. Thoughts that this was a deliberate tactic seem ludicrous. I am not sure any crisis specialist would have suggested Rupert should play the befuddled role.
“Rupert became stronger as the hearing reached its end, but the story that keeps on giving provided a comic moment as a protestor was beaten back by his stoic wife Wendy. This played into the Murdochs’ hands because it disrupted the final flow of questioning by MPs.
“Judging by their performances before the committee, it was interesting to see that perhaps James is too young to be the new man at the helm of News Corp and certainly Rupert felt too old. Overall, for a situation that could have been a real negative for the Murdochs, it came out neutral. We are not talking about it being a PR disaster or a PR success.”