The scandal is seen as New International's effort to find and sell stories on the tragedy of ordinary people. It's brought a British rejection of the Murdoch name for the first time since his partisan media became the engine for Margaret Thatcher's program to rejuvenate England in the 1980s. Since July 5, News Corp. has lost some $6 billion in value.
Whether Murdoch's empire will topple, as some breathless prognosticators say, is unclear. Certainly, damage is done. As Milly's story went viral, Murdoch closed NotW after 168 years, making it a sacrificial lamb for his larger aim to take over the lucrative British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) satellite TV firm. But after all sides in the House of Commons opposed the 71 percent buyout, Murdoch withdrew his bid. And on Friday, he saw his trusted London lieutenant, News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, succumb to the mounting calls for her resignation.
Murdoch’s own behavior has done him no favors. He flew to London to take charge of the scandal but seemed uncharacteristically deaf to an angry public. While politicians made the Dowler home a pilgrimage, Murdoch's personal apology to the family on Friday appeared to come only at the last moment.