Apart from the likes of Andrew Bolt, there can be few who believed a word of what Rupert Murdoch said in evidence the other day to the Leveson Inquiry.
Bruce Guthrie was a senior News Limited executive from 1987-89 and from 2003-08 and is author of Man Bites Murdoch. He comments on Murdoch's evidence....
"The News chief can't have been serious with his evidence.
Rupert Murdoch was having a lend, surely? How else to explain some of his extraordinary statements this week before the Leveson inquiry on the British press. Statements such as: ''We have never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers''; ''I have never asked a prime minister for anything''; and my absolute favourite, ''I do try very hard to set an example of ethical behaviour and make it quite clear that I expect it''.
I giggled at that one about commercial interests, remembering the last News Limited editors' conference I attended, in 2008. An entire session was devoted to discussing how papers could best promote the then forthcoming Fox film, Australia, directed by Baz Luhrmann, and when it finally came out - I'd been sacked in the interim - Murdoch's tabloids competed with one another to gush about it on front pages around the country.
As for encouraging ethical behaviour, I could barely contain my mirth. As I've written on this page before, the only time I discussed ethics in front of Murdoch during seven years of working for him he called me a ''wanker'' for doing so."