In the Parliamentary hearing about media misdeeds, Rupert Murdoch resembled his favorite American President.
During eight years in office, George W. Bush, who called himself the Decider, never took responsibility for anything that went wrong. At the low point of the Iraq war, he would go only as far as to admit, “Mistakes were made.”
In the same way, Murdoch and his son blame underlings for abuses of power, just as Bush let Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove take the fall when things went wrong in such misadventures as the outing of Valerie Plame and the firing of U.S. attorneys.
This is a redefinition of Harry Truman’s “The buck stops here.” For today’s chief executives (call it the Enron principle), the buck, as blame, stops somewhere down there. Only the bucks, as the fruits of an enterprise, reach the top.
This separation of power and responsibility is endemic in the 21st century…