Daily Archives: July 20, 2011

Jonnie Marbles: Why I Foam-Pied Rupert Murdoch

Published on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by The Guardian/UK

Some people might think my action played into Murdoch’s hands, but I did it for all the people who couldn’t

By Jonnie Marbles

First things first: I don’t hate octogenarians. I don’t have a vendetta against anyone over 80 who likes to begrudgingly give evidence to parliamentary committees. Nor am I in the habit of attacking media moguls on international television. Yesterday was, hopefully, a one off.
The moment Jonnie Marbles attempted to hit Rupert Murdoch in the face with a foam pie.
If you’re of sound mind, you might quite reasonably ask what possessed me to smuggle a shaving-foam pie into Portcullis House and throw it at (though, alas, not into) the face of one of the world’s richest and most powerful men. I didn’t do it because I wanted more Twitter followers. Simply put, I did it for all the people who couldn’t.

It’s not difficult to find reasons to dislike Rupert Murdoch. His reach is one of the most insidious and toxic forces in global politics today. The phone-hacking scandal, despicable though it is, barely scratches the surface of the damage done by News International. It is a media empire built on deceit and bile, that trades vitriol for debate and thinks nothing of greasing the wheels of power until they turn in its favour. What’s more, no matter what the grievances he wreaks on those he has never met, his power and money keep him forever safely out of their reach.

Yes it’s true that Murdoch’s power is waning. But it’s also true that he will never face real justice. Yesterday’s select committee hearing was a farce before the foam ever left my fingers: a toothless panel confronting men too slippery to be caught between their gums.

I was filled with hope as Tom Watson questioned Murdoch Sr relentlessly with the passion and vigour we might expect to be the norm when our elected representatives face down the perpetrators of a modern Watergate. For a few bright moments I thought I might see justice done, keep the pie in my bag and spare myself a night in jail. Those moments were short lived: as committee member after committee member feebly prodded around the issues and Murdoch Jr began to dominate, I knew I was going to have to make a massive tit of myself.

To be honest, I had not expected to get so far, but parliamentary security, with its machine-gun toting cops and scatter X-rays, is apparently no match for a man with some shaving-foam covered plates in his bag. Then, once inside the committee room, I was helped along by some unwelcome luck. I had always intended to wait until the end of the hearings anyway before I launched my circus crusade, and as the penultimate speaker finished several people made their way out, leaving me a clear path to Murdoch. It was a horrible feeling: I had a plan, a pie and no excuses left.

I had intended to unleash a wave of polemic as I made my move. As it turned out, the whole thing was far too weird for me to string two thoughts together, particularly as Murdoch’s wife rose from the chair to prevent and avenge her husband’s humiliation. As it went, I’m glad I was even able to make the accurate understatement that he was a “naughty billionaire”.

As I languished predictably in a prison cell later that evening, I contemplated whether people would understand why I’d done it. I knew it was a tall order: a surreal act aimed at exposing a surreal process was never going to be an easy sell. I worried, too, that my clowning would detract from the scandal, or provide sympathy for Murdoch.

Believe it or not, I even worried about Rupert Murdoch’s feelings. You see, I really don’t hate 80-year-olds and, at the end of the day, Rupert Murdoch is just an old man. Maybe what I was trying to do was remind everyone of that – that he is not all powerful, he’s not Sauron or Beelzebub, just a human being, like the rest of us, but one who has got far too big for his boots.

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Filed under foam pie, Jonnie Marbles, News Corp., News of the World comedian, phone hacking, Rupert Murdoch, scandel, the Guardian/UK

Lautenberg Highlights Additional News Corp. Hacking Allegation in the U.S. as DOJ Review Begins

Lautenberg Flagged News Corp. Hacking Allegations with Federal Authorities in 2005

WASHINGTON—As the Justice Department reviews claims that News Corp. hacked into the phone records or voicemails of American 9/11 victims, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller to highlight a 2005 hacking allegation in the United States that was made against a News Corp. marketing company called News America Marketing.

Lautenberg originally wrote a letter in 2005 bringing this case to the attention of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a small New Jersey marketing company called FLOORgraphics alleged that News America Marketing engaged in illegal computer espionage by breaking into password protected computer systems and obtaining confidential information.

“As the Department of Justice and FBI examine the recent hacking allegations involving News Corp. and its subsidiaries more closely, I wanted to make sure that you were fully aware of the case of FLOORgraphics and News America, as it may be relevant to your current investigation,” Lautenberg wrote.

A copy of today’s letter can be found here

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Filed under Eric Holder, FBI, News Corp., phone hacking, press release, Rupert Murdoch, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, U.S Attorney General