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Rupert Murdoch slams 'lies and libels' of toffs and right-wingers
March 29, 2012 - 3:09PM/the AGE
Rupert Murdoch has hit out on Twitter after allegations involving pay TV piracy. Photo: Reuters
Rupert Murdoch has warned his enemies he is ready to ''have it on'' in his first statements following renewed media allegations around the activities of former News Corp company NDS.
Without referring directly to the allegations that NDS promoted piracy, Mr Murdoch today tweeted:
"Seems every competitor and enemy piling on with lies and libels. So bad, easy to hit back hard, which preparing."
Chase Carey, Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. Photo: Phil McCarten
In a second tweet, he said: ''Enemies many different agendas, but worst old toffs and right wingers who still want last century's status quo with their monoplies.''
Then in a third, he added: ''Let's have it on, choice, freedom of thought and individual responsibility.''
Earlier, News Corp chief operating officer Chase Carey came out swinging after a week of media attention in Australia, the UK and the US over the pay TV piracy claims.
Mr Carey slammed a BBC program (Panorama) aired in the UK on Monday, which focused on the subject.
The show, not aired in Australia, was followed by lengthy reports in The Australian Financial Review, which also aired details from a cache of emails from within NDS relating to the allegations.
Mr Carey did not refer to Review's reports, although News Ltd yesterday vigorously attacked the claims.
"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,'' Mr Carey said in a statement released this afternoon Australian time.
''Panorama presented manipulated and mischaracterised emails to produce unfair and baseless accusations.
''News Corp is proud to have worked with NDS and to have supported them in their aggressive fight against piracy and copyright infringement.''
NDS, which was this month sold to technology giant Cisco for $5 billion, also rounded on the BBC program. News Corp released a letter from NDS chairman Abe Peled to Panorama, saying it: ''Seriously misconstrued legitimate activities we undertake in the course of running an encryption business.
''You have used footage to falsely demonstrate your allegation that we sent certain emails externally to facilitate piracy when in fact the email was sent internally as part of our anti-piracy work. You have also taken emails wholly out of context. This has helped paint a picture for your viewers that is incorrect, misleading and deeply damaging to my company and our sister company News Corporation.''
Mr Peled called for an immediate retraction of the allegations.
The company's shareprice had fallen 1.9 per cent today to $19.11 at 2pm, after two days of rises.
This afternoon, Prime Minister Julia Gillard backed Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's call for any criminal conduct to be referred to police. ....<cont>
Rupert Murdoch's troubles over the ongoing phone hacking scandal have become the subject of a renewed flurry of media attention this week, with broadcasters and websites across the world releasing the results of months of investigative digging.
What's striking about this week's rash of material is its truly global nature. What began as a largely internal UK affair has now spread its tentacles across national US television, prompted forensic delving into a News Corp company with roots in Israel, and inspired probing questions about some of Murdoch's Australian holdings.
Here's a guide to what's being claimed – and the News Corp responses
Rupert Murdoch has launched a fightback on Twitter against what he described as "lies and libels" against News Corporation, attacking "enemies" including "old toffs and rightwingers".
The media mogul tweeted three times in the early hours of Thursday morning London time attacking his critics.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has accused the BBC of "gross misrepresentation" over the Panorama documentary alleging that its former subsidiary NDS was involved in helping computer hackers to undermine ITV Digital.
Chase Carey, News Corp's chief operating officer and Murdoch's right-hand man, said in a statement issued early on Thursday that Monday's Panorama had "presented manipulated and mischaracterised emails to produce unfair and baseless accusations".
Australian minister wants News Corp hacking claims investigated
Communications minister wants police to look into accusations News Corp software firm NDS engaged in 'dirty tricks'
A British lawyer says he is taking legal action in the United States on behalf of three alleged victims of phone hacking by the News of the World.
Mark Lewis said the three were a "well-known sports person", a sports person not in the public eye and a US citizen.
"The News of the World had thousands of people they hacked. Some of them were in America at the time, either travelling or resident there," he said.
He said the now defunct paper's owner News International had not responded.
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has tried to downplay his influence on British politics, telling a UK inquiry into press standards that he has "never asked a prime minister for anything".
I just dont find him very believable .
It was Keating's 1986 media ownership changes which cleared the way for News Corp to develop its ridiculous 70 per cent Australian newspaper market share courtesy of its 1987 takeover of the Herald and Weekly Times.
The Murdoch press backed Keating at key moments in his subsequent war of attrition against Bob Hawke, yet Keating has never given a full account of his dealings with Murdoch, let alone admitted the HWT takeover was a disaster for Australia's democracy.
On Lateline last Thursday, the best Keating could do was call for tougher privacy laws and confirm the blindingly obvious that News Ltd was currently "at war with the Gillard Government".
Rupert Murdoch: the life and times of a media mogul Link to this video
Rupert Murdoch is in trouble. In two days as a witness at the Leveson inquiry he has blocked and blasted, smeared and smiled, and, at the end of it, this most powerful of men still has his ankle caught in the snare of scandal. He is vulnerable.
This is a man who is used to getting his way. He is not used to being confronted by people who have the power, the skill and the simple effrontery to challenge him – and to keep on challenging him. On Wednesday morning, he walked in with all the protection that his advisers could give him in the previous days of detailed briefings and endless rehearsals. By Thursday morning, there were times when he had lost the script, lost the plot and he simply sat there, with nobody to help him and no way out.
Just after 11.30am, there was one riveting and typical exchange, in which he tried all the manoeuvres which would normally have allowed him to create some diversion to avoid answering a question. And all of them failed.
Robert Jay QC, for the inquiry, wanted to know how Murdoch had reacted to a letter from Max Mosley, whose involvement with prostitutes was exposed by the News of the World, pointing out that a high court judge had found that one of his reporters had engaged in blackmail to try to persuade a prostitute to tell what she knew about him. Was that acceptable behaviour?
Murdoch went first for a standard manoeuvre. Ignorance. He hadn't read the letter. "I was out of town or something." Jay pushed on, suggesting he must have been aware of the judge's comment. Murdoch tried a different manoeuvre. He turned tough. So what if his reporter had threatened to reveal the prostitute's identity if she didn't co-operate? "I'm not as shocked as he is by that." Then, without pausing, he threw in a smear, oddly aimed at the former lawyer for the Sunday Times, Alastair Brett: "I'm more shocked by the behaviour of Mr Brett in not telling the truth of a lot of things."