After saying what sounded like a prepared remark that this was "most humble day" of his life, it only took about 25 minutes before Rupert Murdoch let slip what appear to be his real feelings about one of the most wide-reaching scandals in 20th century media history.
"A lot of people had a lot of different agendas to build this hysteria," Murdoch said, echoing words published Monday in his Wall Street Journal saying the trouble Murdoch''s empire finds itself in is the work of his rivals and enemies in large part.
"...They caught us with dirty hands," Murdoch said, apparently referring to phone hacking of the voicemail of a murdered 13-year-old girl. "And a mood developed that made it impractical to go ahead" with a bid to purchase total control of a British satellite news service.
Murdoch and his son, James, testified Tuesday before a committee of Parliament looking into a scandal that has already led to resignations of several top of executives of News. Corp. and the closing of a tabloid newspaper, News of the World, with a circulation over 2.5 million.
In general, the 80-year-old Murdoch acted as if he couldn't remember details. Again, in what seemed like a lawyered, prepared statement that "News of the World" accounted for only 1 percent of his empire and that he employed more than 53,000 workers, Murdoch stuck to the position early on that he couldn't be expected to know details of payouts, bribes and firings already documented.