“I’m the best person to clean this up.”
That was Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the one person in the world most qualified to fix things at News Corp. just happens to be the man who founded it, which just happens to be the man on whose watch things needed cleaning up and just happens to be the man who also told members of Parliament that, “No,” he is not responsible.
Obviously, he’s pretty much the worst person to clean this up. Why, then, is he being allowed to remain as the head of this publicly held company? Why would it be so hard for the company itself, the shareholders, to get rid of him?
First, a quick parallel. A week ago, I wrote about how Murdoch’s funding of the US Chamber of Commerce, to the tune of more than a million dollars, helps the Chamber pursue its lobbying agenda. And one item on that agenda is to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which News Corp. is now accused of violating with its payments to overseas officials.
Well, the same dynamic applies to getting rid of Murdoch. The Securities Exchange Commission is trying to propagate a new regulation that would give shareholders more power to get nominees on the ballot to serve on the board. This, of course, would help break the grip that the corporate oligarchy has on America’s biggest publicly held corporations. Including News Corp.
So guess who is delaying this SEC measure empowering shareholders? That’s right, the same Chamber of Commerce that claims it’s against “frivolous” lawsuits (you know, the ones filed by people) is suing the SEC to block implementation of the rule.
Rupert Murdoch knows a good investment when he sees one.
Follow Senior Producer Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) on Twitter