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Murdoch Attacked at Phone-Hacking Hearing

By July 19, 2011

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murdochThe latest chapter in the debt-limit fight is unfolding in Washington D.C. today, but you might miss it due to the news across the pond that involves phone hacking, tawdry allegations of official bribes, one of the most powerful men on the planet, an angry wife, a custard pie fashioned from a pile of shaving cream, and a wannabe comedian.

Debt? What debt?

Social media and major networks alike were riveted to the livestream of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International, appearing before the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport. The parliamentary panel's inquiry was the first public grilling about the scandal since Murdoch closed News of the World, Brooks got arrested, the Scotland Yard chief quit, etc.

The Sun, one of Murdoch's many media properties, has a great photo of the chamber's chaos and details on the shaving-cream pie attack:

The 80-year-old News Corp Chairman was defended by wife Wendi who leapt up to slap the assailant away.

The man - who gave his name on Twitter as Jonnie Marbles - had lunged at Mr Murdoch with a paper plate covered in shaving foam.

Marbles had posted a message on the site before the attack, saying: "It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat."

Cops led the yob from the room and TV pictures showed him being detained outside.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault.

The substance splattered on Mr Murdoch is believed to be shaving foam, officers added.

The inquiry was suspended for a short time. As it resumed Labour MP Tom Watson told Mr Murdoch: "Your wife has a very good left hook."

The Daily Mail reported that the committee MPs lauded Murdoch for seeing the inquiry session through to its conclusion despite the assault - the panel recessed long enough for the media mogul to clean up and shed his jacket. They also offered various words of disappointment and criticism about the protester's tactics.

Murdoch's son James testified today that News International been paying legal fees of the NOTW journalist and detective involved in the phone-hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch described his testimony as "the most humble day of my life." He said he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed" at the hacking of the phone of a murdered schoolgirl by NOTW.

(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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