Rupert Murdoch Assaulted in Parliamentary Hearing

Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man with shaving cream 2 hours into Parliamentary testimony.

CNN Breaking:

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man apparently carrying a plate full of shaving foam during a parliamentary hearing Tuesday, but returned unhurt. The man could be heard telling Murdoch he’s “a greedy billionaire.”

Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng, who was seated behind him, leaped to her feet and smashed the attacker’s hand with her own, pictures from the scene showed.

Murdoch was hit full in the face, and stunned but not injured, CNN saw.

The hearing into phone hacking was suspended for a few minutes only.

The attacker appears to be in his late 20s or early 30s. A policeman wrestled him away but the attack was already complete by then. Police arrested him and were later seen wiping foam off his face.

AP (“Man rushes at Rupert Murdoch in hearing“):

A protester splattered Rupert Murdoch with white foam on Tuesday, interrupting a dramatic hearing in which the media baron told British lawmakers he was not responsible for a phone hacking scandal that has rocked his global empire.

 

[…]

After more than two hours of testimony, a man in a plaid shirt appeared to run toward Murdoch before being struck by his wife Wendi Deng.

Police in the back of the committee room were holding an apparently handcuffed man with white foam covering his face and shirt. The foam also appeared to have hit Murdoch’s suit.

[…]

Media reports identified the protester as Jonnie Marbles, a British comedian. Just before the attack, he wrote on his Twitter feed: “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before (at)splat,” a slightly altered quotation from the last sentence of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.”

Now, readers will differ as to whether Murdoch deserves to have shaving cream smeared on his face. But how in the hell does a man not only get into a House of Commons hearing with a plate of shaving cream but manage to get up to the front and assault a key witness? That’s an appalling lack of security.

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jay Tea says:

    Anyone reminded of the time a Code Pink whackjob actually managed to assault (but not batter) Condi Rice in a Congressional hearing room? How many conservative speakers have been barraged with pies, glitter, salad dressing, or whatever else the left thinks might be funny? The left, it seems, has no problem with engaging in these kinds of attacks against those it hates.

    J.

  2. zenpundit says:

    He gets in either because a) He is already a MP staffer or b) some MP or staffer or guard let him in, knowing what he is going to do.

    c) The House of Commons has no security, is theoretically possible I guess. Gee, lucky it was not a grenade.

    I would also point out that a “man in his 20’s or 30’s” hitting a 79 year old in the face could have had far more serious consequences. Most almost 80 year olds are not really in shape to shrug off a punch or slap from a healthy young male.

  3. Tony says:

    The man’s an idiot. He’s affiliated with a group called UK Uncut, which is largely populated by idiots and which advocates “direct action” to oppose government cuts and disrupt businesses they consider not to pay enough tax. In theory this is going to bring the government crashing down. In practise, there are few things more reliably likely to send British floating voters swarming to the Tory banner than the sight of these idiots in action. They are utterly clueless, self-congratulatory and grossly self-indulgent (and, incidentally, largely drawn from 20-something upper middle class people with too much time on their hands).

    Basically, this bloke has managed to change the media narrative from “Murdoch looking unsteady, Murdoch Jr looking shifty” to “Scruffy arsehole assaults 80 year old man”. Murdoch’s wife is already being anointed a British national treasure for beating the crap out of him.

  4. WR says:

    Yup, it couldn’t have worked out better if Murdoch had arranged it.

    Or the Tory party.

    Who controls security there again?

  5. Jay Tea says:

    @WR: Who controls security there? Why, the owners of Murdoch’s biggest rival, the BBC.

    Next question?

    J.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Who controls security there? Why, the owners of Murdoch’s biggest rival, the BBC.

    Why yes, of course! It was the Shaving Cream Conspiracy…makes the Gunpower Plot look trifling by comparison…

  7. progcivlib says:

    this is ridiculous.. I would imagine it would be fairly easy to sneak in a can or bag of shaving cream and a dish to put it on in one’s jacket or pants. Oh.. but wait.. government security conspiring with some guy to hit someone in the face with a shaving cream pie is a much simpler and more elegant explanation.

  8. mantis says:

    Who controls security there? Why, the owners of Murdoch’s biggest rival, the BBC.

    Really? BBC is in charge of security at Parliament?

    Jay, by any chance, do you get most of your info via radio transmissions picked up through the fillings in your mouth? Because that would explain a lot.

  9. Jay Tea says:

    I’m not saying the BBC was behind it. I was just pointing out the obvious flaw in WR’s typical whackjob conspiracy theory…

    And funny how it’s only conservatives that seem to get attacked like this in public. And how few liberals want to discuss, let alone denounce it…

    J.

  10. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis: Comprehension fail.

    The British government owns the BBC. The British government was in charge of security at their hearing.

    I just answered WR’s incredibly stupid question in a way he didn’t expect to hear. Not my problem he’s an idiot.

    J.

  11. mantis says:

    And funny how it’s only conservatives that seem to get attacked like this in public.

    Gee, I seem to recall a liberal getting her head stomped on a curb recently. An action you endorsed, by the way. Funny to hear you whine about shaving cream after that, but it’s not like I expected you to have any shame (by the way, why no followup on Kenneth Gladney?).

    The British government owns the BBC. The British government was in charge of security at their hearing.

    The British government does not own the BBC. The BBC is managed by the BBC Trust, an independent body the members of which are appointed by the government. Please explain how exactly they are able to influence the security at Parliament, as you imply they did in this case.

    Also, I think it’s time to re-tune those fillings.

  12. Jay Tea says:

    mantis, it’s nice when you make my points for me.

    The young woman who was “curb-stomped” was a paid activist for moveon.org, more specifically paid to fly in to the Paul event and get an embarrassing sign up in his face for embarrassing photos. She was identified as a possible troublemaker, charged Paul’s still-moving SUV, was thwarted, ran around the SUV, and shoved her sign in the open window. At that point, Paul’s staff grabbed her and pulled her away, and one over-enthusiastic Paul supporter put his foot on her shoulder, then pushed down.

    In other words, she was just like the dip who went after Murdoch, was ignored by the cops, and stopped by Paul volunteers. And the guy who pushed her down with his foot (which, by the way, was NOT a stomp, but the kind of thing police do when detaining suspects) was fired anyway.

    I understand, in your world, these assailants are heroes because they aren’t out to kill or injure right-wingers, just embarrass them, but it’s still assault. And they don’t wear “I’m not Squeaky Fromme” buttons so folks can say “that’s OK, they’re harmless.”

    Oh, and mantis? Nice dodge on the BBC. The British government does not own the BBC. The BBC is managed by the BBC Trust, an independent body the members of which are appointed by the government. Please explain how exactly they are able to influence the security at Parliament, as you imply they did in this case.

    First up, “ownership” is not the same as “management.” Honest. Go look it up.

    Also, Wikipedia describes the BBC as “the largest State owned broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff.” The BBC’s own site says “It is a public service broadcaster, established by a Royal Charter and funded by the licence fee that is paid by UK households.” So: state-owned, funded by license fees collected by the government. Oh, and said license fee is on anyone who owns a TV, whether or not they actually watch the BBC. They actually have vans that go around looking for unregistered TVs.

    Finally, the BBC came up when your buddy and renowned idiot asked:

    Yup, it couldn’t have worked out better if Murdoch had arranged it.

    Or the Tory party.

    Who controls security there again?

    My answer about the BBC was to both point out the flaw in his argument, and emphasize its utter stupidity. Apparently you had your Stupid-Sensitive Sunglasses on, and didn’t see it.

    Wish I could say the same…

    J.

  13. mantis says:

    The young woman who was “curb-stomped” was a paid activist for moveon.org,

    So she deserved it!

    I understand, in your world, these assailants are heroes because they aren’t out to kill or injure right-wingers, just embarrass them, but it’s still assault.

    So you excuse the actual violent assault, while labeling the nonviolent person who approached Paul’s car, along with many others at the same time, as an “assailant” guilty of a crime. Hacktacular bullshit there, Jay. By the way, did you know the Paul employee pleaded out? That’s because he was guilty of a crime. The victim, despite how you label her, was not.

    First up, “ownership” is not the same as “management.” Honest. Go look it up.

    Ok, done. How does that knowledge change the fact that the BBC is not owned by the British government?

    Also, Wikipedia describes the BBC as “the largest State owned broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff.” The BBC’s own site says “It is a public service broadcaster, established by a Royal Charter and funded by the licence fee that is paid by UK households.” So: state-owned, funded by license fees collected by the government. Oh, and said license fee is on anyone who owns a TV, whether or not they actually watch the BBC. They actually have vans that go around looking for unregistered TVs.

    I understand how the BBC works, and I laugh at your Wikipedia reference. The BBC is owned and managed by an independent trust. Lie about it all you want. Those with brains can simply look it up themselves.

    But of course you ignore my point, that the BBC could in no way influence the security at parliament. That’s like saying the Corporation for Public Broadcasting controls the Capitol Police. It’s idiotic, but that’s pretty par for your course.

    Finally, the BBC came up when your buddy and renowned idiot asked:

    How is he my buddy, exactly? And don’t try to blame others for the bullshit you write. It’s unseemly.

    My answer about the BBC was to both point out the flaw in his argument, and emphasize its utter stupidity. Apparently you had your Stupid-Sensitive Sunglasses on, and didn’t see it.

    Just because you like to backpeddle when called out on your bullshit doesn’t make it any less bullshit.

    Kenneth Gladney? Why haven’t you addressed the verdict in the worst case of “union thuggery” ever? What’s the problem? Not interested anymore? You’ve used it multiple times over the past two years as evidence of the extreme violence of the left.

  14. Jay Tea says:

    The Gladney case? Yup, juries NEVER make mistakes. Kinda like OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, or any of another dozen cases I could mention.

    But ain’t it entertaining how you haven’t once mentioned the actual topic of the post — another conservative publicly assaulted for the crime of being a conservative. I’ve lost count — Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Karl Rove, Pat Buchanan, Michelle Bachmann, Condi Rice, David Horowitz…

    I presume that’s cool with you? ‘Cuz you’ve had ample opportunities to say something — anything — about the attack on Murdoch, and instead you want to go off on tangents about me.

    J.

  15. mantis says:

    The Gladney case? Yup, juries NEVER make mistakes. Kinda like OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, or any of another dozen cases I could mention.

    So you’re saying the jury made a mistake? What are you basing this on, exactly? The fact that Gladney looked unharmed in the video, but showed up a day later in a wheelchair, claiming he was gravely injured from the “attack,” yet the prosecutor chose not to even submit his medical records as evidence? Oh, and at trial he claimed he was in the wheelchair because he was hot and tired. Or maybe it was the fact that he ludicrously showed up to trial wearing a neck brace two years after the incident, telling reporters it was as a result of his “injuries” that night? Or maybe it was the fact that Gladney’s story kept changing, over and over again, since the incident? Or that the two witnesses for the prosecution couldn’t keep their stories straight either? Or perhaps the fact that two of the jurors had Tea Party ties, and it would have taken only one of them to stop the acquittal? Which leads you to believe the jury got it wrong, and why aren’t you writing about this grave miscarriage of justice after having shown a good deal of interest in the incident since it happened? Oh wait, you’re a wingnut. I forgot you guys don’t need facts or evidence. As long as someone on the left is accused, they are guilty in your eyes.

    But ain’t it entertaining how you haven’t once mentioned the actual topic of the post — another conservative publicly assaulted for the crime of being a conservative.

    Are you admitting that it’s a conservative virtue to hack into the phones of dead children? Because, you may not have noticed, but some people in the UK are pretty upset with Murdoch’s companies for doing that. But I’m sure it was just because he’s a conservative, as you say.

    Anyway, let me be clear that I think it’s absolutely wrong to physically attack speakers, conservative, liberal, or otherwise, simply for speaking or being who they are (or pretty much any other reason). I don’t think whomever this British guy is should have done it, nor do I support the throwing of pies, glitter, or other foods or decorations at people for political reasons.

    I figure that goes without saying, really, but then I forget that I’m dealing with a wingnut who endorses violence against people on the left, simply because they are “paid activist(s) for moveon.org,” flipping reality to call the victim the assailant and vice versa. You’re a vicious little political violence-endorsing shitbag who has the gall to try to call me out for not condemning a horrible shaving cream attack quickly enough. I do condemn it, and have never endorsed violence for political reasons, unlike you.

  16. andrew says:

    Leftists acting like fascist thugs (apologies for the redundacy). That’s never happened before.

  17. anjin-san says:

    Just curious Jay, does your life consist of anything beyond whining on blogs? I mean you could take on an entire class of kindergarteners in a whinefest and kick some serious butt….

  18. Jay Tea says:

    @mantis:

    Are you admitting that it’s a conservative virtue to hack into the phones of dead children? Because, you may not have noticed, but some people in the UK are pretty upset with Murdoch’s companies for doing that. But I’m sure it was just because he’s a conservative, as you say.

    “Murdoch’s companies?” You got proof that this occurred at more than one Murdoch company?

    The investigation is ongoing, and so far I haven’t heard any evidence it happened elsewhere beyond News Of The World. I could have missed it, as I haven’t followed it that carefully, so if I’m wrong, please let me know what other Murdoch property engaged in this.

    And as far as goin off topic… yeah, I do that sometimes, but the headline here is “Murdoch assaulted,” and you seem to be committed to saying that yeah, he deserved it.

    J.

  19. Jay Tea says:

    Oh, and for the record: the phone hacking was utterly beyond the pale, and Murdoch was right to fire all those shown to be part of it, and went beyond what was necessary in shutting down the entire paper. I like that those involved will face criminal charges, and if it turns out that others beyond News Of The World were involved or even aware of the crimes, they too should be prosecuted.

    At this point, there’s no evidence indicating that, but the investigation is continuing. And should continue.

    J.

  20. An Interested Party says:

    “Murdoch’s companies?” You got proof that this occurred at more than one Murdoch company?

    Generalizations aren’t helpful, are they? Generalizations like…

    The left, it seems, has no problem with engaging in these kinds of attacks against those it hates.

  21. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea:

    “Murdoch’s companies?” You got proof that this occurred at more than one Murdoch company?

    Well, what do you know. Jay focuses exclusively on a trivial detail!

    The investigation is ongoing, and so far I haven’t heard any evidence it happened elsewhere beyond News Of The World.

    Indeed, the investigation is ongoing, but there are allegations, by Gordon Brown among others, that the Sunday Times and the Sun were engaged in the same illegal activities. In any case, you ignore my point that Murdoch was probably attacked for reasons beyond simply being a conservative, as you contend. We’ll just have to wait and see how many Murdoch companies are criminal enterprises.

    And as far as goin off topic… yeah, I do that sometimes, but the headline here is “Murdoch assaulted,” and you seem to be committed to saying that yeah, he deserved it.

    I do? Please show us where I say that. I pointed out that he was probably attacked for reasons other than the one you offer, but at the same time I condemned the attack. Understanding people’s reasons for doing things doesn’t mean you endorse them. I know that’s difficult to understand for you.

    Let me note that you haven’t explained why you think Gladney’s jury got it wrong. Shocking.

  22. WR says:

    @Jay Tea: If you had said martians, I wouldn’t have expected to hear that, either. I guess I’m such an idiot I expect an answer to follow logically from a question — clearly I don’t speak wingnut. Sorry if my little jibe offended you so much, Jay.

  23. WR says:

    Just for the record, my comment that seems to have set Jay Tea off on another marathon self-pity session, was just a little joke. Playing with the conspiracy mongering the righties like to indulge in. I kind of thought that was obvious to anyone with a functioning brain cell. but I forgot about Jay Tea.

    For the record, I don’t think that David Cameron secretly conspired with Murdoch to let this idiot in to hit him with shaving cream and thus win him sympathy.

    There are plenty of self-aggrandizing morons in the world ready to do something stupid like this on their own.

    And of course, there are plenty of self-pitying righties ready to turn this juvenile prank into a major assault, thus proving their paranoid beliefs.

  24. 78stonewobble says:

    Well no matter if you’re on the left or right side of the aisle I do find it utterly moronic with people throwing shaving cream, blood and what not at public figures.

    First of all. It’s not fun… Cake/Pie in the face was fun in that one b&w 20’s movie and it then it was DONE !.

    Apart from that I don’t care about some random idiots personal agenda of hamster rights, out with immigrants or god a is more bad a** than god b.

    You sir, as a “demonstrator” has just proved that your cause is worthy of pretty much a retards attention.