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As Rupert Murdoch Appears At Leveson Inquiry Here Are The Stories You Should Read Before He Talks

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When Rupert Murdoch gives evidence at the Leveson inquiry it will be the first time we've seen him alone, isolated and speaking openly about his role in the biggest crisis to ever hit the newspaper industry.

Unlike last year, his son James will not be on hand to blither away endlessly in the hope he can stop his father saying something he may later regret.

Short of an unscheduled second serving of custard pie, what Murdoch senior says and how he presents himself will define the news agenda for the days to follow.


I beg your pardon: James and Rupert Murdoch appearing at the Select Committee last year

If Murdoch comes out swinging, as he often does on his Twitter account, then it should be sensational stuff.

So to prepare you for the fireworks, here's a selection of stories from recent days you really should try and read before it all kicks off.

First up is a great scene-setter from paidContent.org which describes this as News Corp's big week:

A pivotal week in which News Corp’s ruling Murdochs will again be hauled over the coals and criticised by the UK’s parliament began on Monday when a new hacking timebomb was laid in front of James and Rupert.

To avoid getting on the back-foot Rupert took the offensive on Saturday as he mocked the UK government's "mad" plans to lend more money to the International Monetary Fund.

He also criticised its energy, education and tax policies after arriving in London.

One man who has attracted a lot of attention during the Leveson Inquiry (apart from Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan) is Robert Jay QC. Here The Guardian profiles the man who has got up the nose of newspaper editors with his questions and who goes head-to-head with Murdoch on Tuesday.

State-side, Michael Moore (the film maker) has suggested Fox News could soon be caught up in the phone hacking scandal. If he's right, it will be devastating news for Murdoch. The LA Times reports:

"I'm interested to see what happens with Fox News and phone hacking," Moore said, referring to the News Corp. scandal that has resulted in a number of arrests and high-level resignations within the British section of Rupert Murdoch's empire. "I really can't believe it just happens in Great Britain. Because really, who cares about just hacking phones over there?

"I'll make a prediction about something — I think the phone-hacking thing Murdoch is involved in ... is going to be investigated, and it will be found that it's been going on here too," he said. "I just have a gut feeling."

Meanwhile. Tom Watson MP, who has himself been hacked to bits, told The Independent of how his life was in tatters as he was hunted down by News International.

"I didn't know the company had put me under close cover surveillance back then but I was scared it would go to any lengths to smear.

"There was the man on the motorbike outside the house, the couple sitting in the car. To this day, I don't know whether they had anything to do with News International but they freaked me out all the same," he said.

Around the Web

Rupert Murdoch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rupert Murdoch | Media | The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch - Forbes

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) on Twitter