In his testimony before a government panel in Britain today, Rupert Murdoch insisted that his News Corp "never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers." But as ProPublica reports, the company at least entertained the idea of using the top editors at two leading papers—Wall Street Journal Europe and the Times of London—to lobby lawmakers on behalf of News Corp's proposed takeover of the BSkyB satellite network in 2010.
In one, News Corp's chief lobbyist wrote that a key lawmaker would be "VERY receptive to a message" from Patience Wheatcroft of WSJ Europe. Another suggested having the Times' James Harding meet with the same lawmaker. "It would be a much better setting than a direct lobbying conservation." It's not clear whether News Corp. execs actually asked the editors to do so, only that they considered the idea. The proposed takeover fell apart amid News Corp's hacking scandal. Read ProPublica's full report here.