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Jon Stewart: Wendi Smacks Down, Rupert Nods Off

In fact, 'doddering' Murdoch may have won sympathy, say other observers
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 4:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – Wendi Deng came off as having "Chuck Norris-esque hand speed" yesterday while defending her hubby from a pie-thrower, but Rupert Murdoch ... not so much, chortles Jon Stewart. In fact, the 80-year-old publisher is seen nodding off in the middle of his grilling by a parliament committee on the News of the World phone hacking scandal. "I'm not a big proponent of the four-decade marriage age gap," says Stewart. "But if ever there was a situation where it would pay dividends it would be an ambush like that." Stewart notes that it came at a time when Murdoch "appeared somewhat vulnerable"—and shows a clip of the dozing mogul as Murdoch's head is about to drop to his chest.

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While Deng, 42, looked like a major force to be reckoned with, Murdoch seemed muddled and "foggy," noted several observers. But that might not be all bad. Murdoch's "doddering" performance may end up winning him sympathy, notes MSNBC. "If you appear as an old man, there is a certain level of sympathy," said a reputation management expert. That reaction would have been "reinforced by this whole pie-throwing incident," he added. "The appearance went reasonably well. It was kind of a stabilizing day." But there's always the chance that Murdoch's apparent confusion and denial that he knew what was going on at the News of the World was all an act, MSNBC notes. (Read more Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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