Conglom accepts 'hard truths,' blasts 'partisan' remarks

News Corp. acknowledged Tuesday that some “hard truths” had emerged from a U.K. Parliamentary committee report on phone hacking at its now defunct News of the World newspaper but has blasted what it called “unjustified and highly partisan” commentary.

“Hard truths have emerged from the select committee report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009,” News Corp. said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

But the company said it regrets that the factual record was followed by remarks divided by members along party lines — mainly that News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch is not “a fit person” to exercise stewardship of a major media enterprise.

“We have already confronted and have acted on the failings documented in the report: we have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the U.K. and around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police; we have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and, we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a world-wide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corp.

As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud,” the company said.

The highly anticipated report was issued Tuesday morning in the U.K.

The culture, media and sport select committee said that James Murdoch, until recently executive chairman of News Intl. and chairman of BSkyB, showed wilful ignorance of the extent of phone hacking during 2009 and 2010.

It said Murdoch loyalist Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News Intl. who resigned as CEO of Dow Jones last July, was complicit in a cover-up at the newspaper group. And it found that Colin Myler, former editor of the News of the World, and ex-News Intl. legal boss Tom Crone deliberately withheld crucial information and answered questions falsely. Myler is currently the editor of the New York Daily News.

All three were accused of misleading Parliament, a verdict that was not applied to either Murdoch.

Related Links: U.K. politicians attack Murdochs

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