Why were politicians so frightened of Rupert Murdoch? Once, this might have seemed a stupid question. He’s the fearsome Rupert Murdoch, right, everyone is afraid of him. But then Murdoch made his appearance before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee in July. This was one of those rare moments in British public life when everyone seemed to have the same thought more or less simultaneously: not so scary after all. Who knew that the all-powerful media mogul was really just a tired and confused old man with no more idea of how he got into this mess than of how he would get out of it? Well, presumably the politicians knew. After all, unlike the rest of us, they were the ones who had spent every possible opportunity hobnobbing with him. If this was the real Murdoch, then it’s not such a stupid question. What were they afraid of?
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