Hacking Rupert Murdoch

As the phone hacking scandal consuming Rupert Murdoch's News of the World (NOTW) tabloid continues to extend its tentacles across the British media and political establishment -- forcing the shutdown of a 168 year-old newspaper and threatening the Murdoch's $12 billion takeover of the BSkyB pay channel -- one can only wonder: What would it look and sound like if we could see the hacked voicemails and texts between Rupert Murdoch, and his son and heir-apparent, James Murdoch -- as they deal with the fallout from the crisis? Below is one possible conversation.

VOICEMAIL from JAMES: Dad -- Listen, it doesn't look like shutting down News of the World is going to be enough. I just got a call that government regulators want to block the BSkyB takeover until a criminal investigation into the phone hacking is done. And now they're saying the Murdoch family has too much media control in Britain. Call me.

TEXT from RUPERT: Just got your msg. Too much media control? Where has he been for the past few decades? And what an ungrateful lout! We got them elected!

TEXT from JAMES: Probably not the attitude we should assume right now. Call me?

TEXT from RUPERT: It keeps going to voicemail -- a security nightmare. You know that! Just send me texts.

TEXT from JAMES: You really think these are more secure?

TEXT from JAMES: Fine. As long as we can talk. How can we contain the fallout?

RUPERT: We spin it as failings of government. We cannot bribe Royal Protection officers if they are not willing to be bribed. Cameron admitted government and media are "cozy." Their fault! Not ours!

JAMES: Hacking Prince Harry is one thing -- he's seen as a professional playboy. How do we contain hacking murder victims' cellphones, and voicemails of families of war dead?

RUPERT: It will blow over. Remember: what serves the public interest does not always interest the public. Posh and Becks gave their kid a dumb name. In a few days, we start a rumor that Kate and Wills are expecting. Or George Michael gets a blow job. I repeat: phone hacking will blow over.

RUPERT: BSkyB will be ours! You can't see: I'm rubbing my hands together maniacally! :-)

JAMES: It won't blow over. It's spreading.

JAMES: "The Daily Mirror" is saying that NOTW approached NY authorities about hacking the voicemails of 9/11 victims.

RUPERT: Scum-sucking tabloid bottom crawlers!!!

RUPERT: Hah! That was a joke! LOL!


JAMES: I'm being sarcastic.

RUPERT: ROTF...? Will have to ask Wendi what that one means.

JAMES: Dad -- on the subject of America. We both know I'm no fan of Fox News. Maybe now would be a good time to talk about changing things up a little? Getting rid of Roger Ailes?

RUPERT: After Fox helped swing the 2000 election from Gore to Bush with a single phone call? Son, we WANT to extend the Gospel of Reaganism!

JAMES: I agree -- a great moment for the free market. Killing Communism. Etc. Hurrah.

JAMES: But Dad -- they're a laughingstock now. Sarah Palin's all their fault. And she's no Reagan.

RUPERT: Reagan was a great man. He's why I became an American citizen! Well, that and rules of ownership for television networks.

JAMES: Reagan's dead dad, as is Reaganism -- he could never get elected now. And Fox helped kill it. Time to fix it. Seriously.

JAMES: Think of your legacy.

Uncomfortable digital silence.

JAMES: Dad? Would you call me?