Rupert Murdoch Fights Back as Allegations Mount
Staff Writer, CNBC.com
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch vowed to “hit back hard” at the latest allegations against his media empire, using social networking site Twitter to respond to accusations against News Corp. on Thursday.
Murdoch tweeted: “Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels. So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing.”
“Enemies many different agendas,” he wrote, “but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century's status quo with their monopolies.”
On Monday, the BBC presented a documentary alleging that former News Corp. subsidiary NDS employed computer hackers to crack encrypted cards used by a pay-TV firm that was a rival to BSkyB, which is partly owned by News Corp. Murdoch’s words came after Chase Carey, the man tipped by many to succeed 81-year-old Murdoch at the top of News Corp. , issued a statement characterizing the BBC story, called “Panorama,” as a “gross misrepresentation.”
Calls have been made from within the Australian government this week for an investigation into allegations that NDS committed acts of piracy against competitors there and in the UK.
NDS has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
News Corp. is already at the center of a storm over allegations that employees at its UK newspaper subsidiaries hacked the phones of celebrities, politicians and at least one murder victim, and that the newspaper subsidiary was behind illicit payments to police and other public officials in the UK.
A committee of UK members of parliament is set to issue a report into phone-hacking at the end of April. It’s expected to focus on the role of Murdoch's son James , who headed News Corp's UK newspaper business until his resignation in February, in the scandal.
"The BBC's Panorama program was a gross misrepresentation of NDS's role as a high quality and leading provider of technology and services to the pay-TV industry, as are many of the other press accounts that have piled on—if not exaggerated—the BBC's inaccurate claims,'' Carey said in a statement Thursday.
''Panorama presented manipulated and mischaracterized emails to produce unfair and baseless accusations,” the statement went on. ''News Corp is proud to have worked with NDS and to have supported them in their aggressive fight against piracy and copyright infringement.''