Ethics Bob is always on the lookout for fake apologies, so when CNN reported that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch had made a non-apology my senses sharpened: who better to nail than Murdoch, the genius behind Fox News’s right-wing propaganda machine. I wanted to disbelieve Murdoch’s acceptance of any responsibility.
Here’s the ad he ran in British papers last weekend:
The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.
It failed when it came to itself.
We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred.
We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.
We regret not acting faster to sort things out.
I realise that simply apologising is not enough.
Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.
In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.
(signed) Rupert Murdoch.
One could quibble with Murdoch’s use of “wrongdoing that occurred” rather then “wrong that we did,” or “hurt suffered” rather than “hurt we caused,” but that’s only a small quibble. It looks to me, and I think will look to most people, that Murdoch is accepting responsibility. And by not putting the corporate name under his signature he’s signifying that the responsibility is personal. Hooray (gulp) for him.