While discussing the latest developments in the Rupertgate scandal and the arrest of Rebekah Brooks, Howard Kurtz seemed to have some trouble believing Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff when he said the Wall Street Journal was just another example of Rupert Murdoch only giving interviews to outlets that he owns and directing them on what questions to ask and how to frame their reporting -- that is until he explained that he's seen it first hand.
KURTZ: Michael Wolfe, let's talk about Murdoch's role himself, he has the full page ad showing the apology. He went to visit the family of the murdered girl who's phone was hacked into, one of the most horrifying abuses in this whole thing. But then he talks to the Wall Street Journal and here he is defending James, “I think he acted as fast as he could, the moment he could.” It doesn't seem like he's doing the full contrition route yet.
WOLFF: One of the curious things about Rupert Murdoch is that when he gives an interview, he only gives it to news outlets he owns. And those are always very funny interviews because he is essentially telling his reporters what questions to ask and how to cast his response.
KURTZ: Wait. How do you know he's telling his reporters what questions to ask? That's not entirely fair. The Wall Street Journal is a pretty good newspaper.
WOLFF: Because I've sat with him in the... when he's done this. I know who calls before. It is absolutely the Murdoch playbook, you call ahead, you set it up, you tell them what questions to ask; in the middle of the interview, he often does this.
KURTZ: So what does all this get him when he does an interview with an outlet he controls?
WOLFF: I don't know what it gets him. It gets him further into a deeper hole.