In the midst of the summer’s News Corp. phone-hacking scandal, top Wall Street Journal executive Les Hinton resigned. The Dow Jones CEO denied any wrongdoing in the scandal and insisted that his statements before the British Parliament, about the phone-hacking being limited to a rogue element at the newspaper News of the World, were given in good faith.
Whatever his protestations, his resignation accomplished one worthy goal, and that was to save Rupert Murdoch’s prized property, the Wall Street Journal, from the taint of the phone-hacking cases. On that level, it was the solidest of moves. Consider how Wall Street Journal reporters would feel today, in light of this Guardian story on Hinton’s most recent testimony before Parliament. From the story:
Hinton, who was executive chairman of [News International] until 2007, appeared to suggest he had not overseen two separate external investigations into the hacking allegations, by law firms Burton Copeland and Harbottle & Lewis, but had delegated them.
He also repeatedly said he struggled to recollect events which happened up to four years ago. That prompted Labour MP Paul Farrelly to jokingly compare Hinton to a mushroom. “You seem to have been kept in the dark by a lot of people,” Farrelly said.
The Wall Street Journal’s account of the testimony doesn’t appear to have used the word “mushroom.”