Where’s Harry S. Truman when you need him?

Passing the buckEmbattled media impresario Rupert Murdoch folded like an accordion today and blamed others for the phone-hacking scandal that's doing a major number on his empire. 

Speaking before an enraged British Parliament, Murdoch said he is not ultimately responsible for 'this fiasco'. Ha! Sound familiar?

Richard Nixon said he wasn't to blame for Watergate. Jeff Skilling pointed the finger at Andy Fastow for Enron's demise. And, Dennis Koslowski said his solid gold wastebasket, shower rods and bacchanalian parties on the Greek Islands were just part of the perks he deserved as Tyco's CEO.

Harry S. Truman must be spinning in his grave. Our nation's 33rd president, Truman was noted for assuming ultimate responsibility for his administration's successes and failures. In fact, instead of having a name plate on his desk, Truman's featured a sign that read, 'The buck stops here.'

Sadly, the buck never seems to stop anywhere with anyone anymore. From Anthony Weiner and Casey Anthony to Roger Clemens and Rupert Murdoch, we've become a society of finger pointers and blame duckers. We not only blame others for our mistakes but, in many cases, are allowed to literally get away with murder (well, at least, in Casey's case).

Murdoch's comments come as no surprise to me. And, like Joe Nocera of the Times, I'm delighted by the rich irony in seeing a scandal monger such as Murdoch caught up in the midst of scandal.

Murdoch may not pay for his years of abusive leadership and right-wing fanaticism, but his image and reputation will be forever tarnished by the News of the World scandal. And, for me at least, that's punishment enough. In fact, it might just be enough poetic justice to put a smile on old Harry's face if he were alive today.

4 thoughts on “Where’s Harry S. Truman when you need him?

  1. Absolutely, Julie. And I would ask the Murdoch clan the same question Woodward & Bernstein asked about Nixon during Watergate: ‘What did they know and when did they know it?’

  2. This all sadly reminds me of the Enron hearings where Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling both basically proclaimed, “We don’t know anything; we just head up the company…”

  3. Great stuff, PEngelinNYC. We only represent NJ Transit commuters in their battles with the nation’s worst rail service.

  4. Even without the shaving pie incident, the Murdoch family’s testimony was side-splittingly funny. Mack Sennett and the Keystone Kops would have been proud.
    On the other hand, acting like idiots may work in their favor. Don’t you think those MPs now believe the Murdochs or Rebekah Brooks don’t have any clue about what happens at News Intl?
    Speaking of lack of responsibility, has that nasty woman on the MetroNorth train approached Peppercom for the the PR counsel she claims to so desperately need?