Murdoch Talks Hacking, Thatcher, Porcupine Sex

Leveson inquiry gets interesting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2012 7:44 AM CDT
Murdoch Talks Hacking, Thatcher, Porcupine Sex
In this image from video, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch appears at Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry in London, Wednesday April 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Pool)

Rupert Murdoch is appearing before Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry into media ethics today, and in the absence of pies, we'll just give you the more colorful bits. (Click to see what son James said yesterday.)

  • A lunch meeting Murdoch had with then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—in 1981—came up for discussion, and Murdoch insisted he has "never asked a prime minister for anything" and that Thatcher didn't offer him any favors, nor did he attempt to influence her.
  • Asked if he ever told Tony Blair, "If our flirtation is ever consummated Tony, I suspect we will end up making love like porcupines very, very carefully," Murdoch admitted—to laughter—that he did.
  • Murdoch had his favorites: He "never much interfered" with the News of the World, and he "was always closer to the Sun. If you want to judge my thinking, look at the Sun."

  • As for hacking and using private detectives, "that's a lazy way of reporters not doing their job."
  • But watch out, celebs: Those in the public eye, like politicians or celebrities, are not "entitled to the same privacy as the ordinary man in the street."
  • When the inquiry's head lawyer suggested he ran his companies charismatically, Murdoch responded thusly: "Aura? Charisma? I don’t think so."
  • Questioned about a recent Twitter message referencing "right wingers and toffs" who are opposed to him, Murdoch advised, "Don’t take my tweets too seriously." As for that message specifically, he just meant that "the extremists on both sides were piling in on me."
For more, see the BBC, the New York Times, and the Guardian. Newser founder Michael Wolff is also furiously tweeting updates. (Read more Rupert Murdoch stories.)

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