It's a week for deja vu in the investigation into phone hacking at News International as Rebekah Brooks was arrested for the second time on Tuesday, and former News Corp head James Murdoch proclaimed his innocence to Parliament.
Murdoch's second letter to Parliament, due to be published by the media, culture and sport select committee sometime Wednesday, reportedly expresses "deep regret" for phone hacking at News International but still maintains he didn't know the extent of the problem, just like his earlier missive in December. In that letter, Murdoch said Brooks orchestrated a settlement over phone hacking with British publicist Max Clifford without discussing the terms with him. His most recent letter "reiterates his long-held position that he did not mislead parliament when he told them he did not know phone hacking was widespread at the News of the World when he agreed to the £725,000 payout to Gordon Taylor, the chief of the Professional Footballers Association," in 2008, according to The Guardian.
Murdoch's trying to save what's left of his career at News Corporation, where he recently stepped down from his role as News International chairman to focus on the company's pay television properties, including the British BSkyB satellite broadcaster. As the Financial Times points out, the letter comes just as the media, culture and sport committee is preparing to issue a report on its findings in the phone hacking investigation. "If the report challenges Mr. Murdoch's version of events or criticizes his handling of News International, the UK arm of his father's News Corp media group, the independent directors at Murdoch-controlled BSkyB could feel obliged to ask him to step down."