ABC's Kofman: Rupert Murdoch ‘Infamous for his Ruthlessness and His Arrogance’
On Tuesday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman asserted that News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch was a "man infamous for his ruthlessness and his arrogance" as he filed a report on Murdoch’s testimony in front of the British parliament.
Kofman also seemed to mock the News Corp founder as he remarked that "he's the boss, but the buck does not stop with him, and he is not planning to step aside."
The ABC correspondent went on to unnecessarily highlight the age difference between Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng. Kofman:
And what about the woman who saved her husband from humiliation? She is Wendi Deng, born in China, four years older than her step son, an American citizen. She became Rupert Murdoch's third and fiercely loyal wife in 1999.
Also of note, it was ironic that, as she introduced the piece, anchor Diane Sawyer referred to the News Corp founder’s troubles as "a kind of Shakespearean drama," since, on Saturday’s Good Morning America, Kofman had remarked that "I was trying to figure out what analogy works here - is this Shakespearean, his fall? But, actually, it reminds me of A Christmas Carol when Ebenezer Scrooge comes and approaches Tiny Tim and tries to atone for his past sins."
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Tuesday, July 19, World News on ABC:
DIANE SAWYER: Good evening. The 80-year-old global power broker Rupert Murdoch called this the most humble day of his life. And we watched him called to account, in front of the British parliament, for the scandal that outraged the world. Next to him, the son he had once hoped would be his successor. And there, right in the center, in the pink jacket, Rupert Murdoch's wife, who played a surprising role when a heckler with a pie tried to attack her husband and she moved in. It is hard not to see what happened today as a kind of Shakespearean drama, and Jeffrey Kofman was there watching it all in London. Jeffrey, good evening.
JEFFREY KOFMAN: And good evening to you, Diane. That's right. It was a very public family drama, a dynasty given a chance to salvage its reputation and scrambling to save itself from destruction. Rupert Murdoch and his son couldn't stop apologizing throughout the afternoon. But while we heard a lot of humble pie, there was a different kind of pie that stole the show. James Murdoch was about to answer a question when suddenly on the left - it was so fast, it was hard to see what happened. But look again slowly. A man with a paper plate covered in shaving cream takes aim at Rupert Murdoch, muttering, "You greedy billionaire." The woman in pink, Murdoch’s 42-year-old wife, Wendi Deng, slaps the assailant, who falls backwards. The man, a self-described comic, was arrested. This is a day Rupert Murdoch and his son did not want to see. They were summoned to answer questions from politicians about the scandal that has rocked this country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you have anything you want to say to the victims of phone hacking?
KOFMAN: Allegations of widespread criminal activity by reporters at Murdoch's now-shuttered tabloid, the News of the World, and a cover up involving politicians and the police. Listen to this, from a man infamous for his ruthlessness and his arrogance.
RUPERT MURDOCH, NEWS CORPORATION: This is the most humble day of my life.
KOFMAN: There they were in matching suits, shirts and ties, the patriarch and the heir-apparent of one of the world's mightiest business dynasties. Rupert Murdoch, born in Australia, age 80, an American citizen, presides over a global empire with $33 billion in revenue. Father of six children from three marriages, he's the boss, but the buck does not stop with him, and he is not planning to step aside.
RUPERT MURDOCH: Because I feel that people I trusted betrayed the company and me and it's for them to pay. I think that, frankly, I'm the best person to clear this up.
KOFMAN: At his side, James, born in London, age 38, an American citizen. Runs company operations in Europe and Asia. When he was younger, he was the family rebel. Now, if he can hold on, he'll take over from his dad.
JAMES MURDOCH, SON OF RUPERT MURDOCH: If I knew then what we know now, we would have taken more action around that and move faster to get to the bottom of these allegations.
KOFMAN: It was James who did most of the talking, coming to his father's aide as he stumbled. And what about the woman who saved her husband from humiliation? She is Wendi Deng, born in China, four years older than her step son, an American citizen. She became Rupert Murdoch's third and fiercely loyal wife in 1999. And the other theme that we heard over and over today from Murdoch, father and son, was that they simply didn't know. They had no idea of this alleged criminality that was so widespread at the News of the World, and they say, had they known, they would have moved to stop it long ago.