Thursday, 21 July 2011

0866 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wendi Deng, mainland-born wife of Rupert Murdoch

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Updated (see end of post)

Forget the term Tiger Mum, Wendi has shown herself to be a Tiger Wife (or Lioness) when it comes to defending her aging partner.

Wendi Deng physically defends Murdoch snr, while Murdoch jnr has been attempting to verbally defend his father during the Parliamentary Committee Hearing. Pic Reuters.


'Most humble (pie) day of my life'
Repentant News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and son James apologise during questions from British lawmakers at hearing disrupted by pie thrower
Agencies in London
Jul 20, 2011

It was a humble day for News Corp chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch and his son yesterday at a hearing where lawmakers questioned their role in a phone-hacking scandal that has embroiled some of Britain's top politicians, police and journalists.

As the grilling began, the elder Murdoch at first seemed repentant, banging his hands on the table and saying, "This is the most humble day of my life."

But the parliamentary committee hearing was disrupted when a protester rushed at Murdoch as he gave testimony, setting off a scuffle and spattering him with what appeared to be white foam in a foil pie dish.

The man in a check shirt approached from the left and attacked the elder Murdoch with the plate. The 80-year-old News Corp chief's Chinese-born wife Wendi Deng leaped up to defend her husband and slapped the assailant, who was dragged off by police.

The attacker refused to give his name when asked by reporters. "I'm sure Mister Murdoch will see the irony, but I cannot comment on an ongoing police investigation," he said.

The Guardian newspaper and Sky News named the attacker as Jonnie Marbles, a comedian. In a message on his Twitter account before the incident, he said: "It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before."

After a 10-minute suspension, Murdoch resumed his testimony, without his suit jacket. The testimony offered a remarkable spectacle of one of the world's most powerful media magnates under the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny, sometimes seeming unfamiliar with the matters raised by the panel and frequently denying knowledge of them. He often insisted that no one at the company had been "willfully blind".

Before the pie incident, he became increasingly flustered when committee members peppered him with questions, often turning to James, chairman of News Corp's European and Asian arm, for answers.

Rupert Murdoch said he was "shocked, appalled and ashamed" at the hacking of the phone of a murdered schoolgirl by his now-shuttered News of the World tabloid.

James Murdoch repeatedly apologised for the scandal, telling British lawmakers that "these actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to".

He also said he was not told that his firm paid big sums - £700,000 (HK$899.9 million) in one case - to settle lawsuits by phone-hacking victims. He said his father became aware of the settlement "in 2009 after a newspaper report. It was a confidential settlement".

After three hours of testimony from the Murdochs, committee members apologised for the assault. Opposition lawmaker Tom Watson finished by saying: "Mr Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook."

It was then former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks' turn at the hearing. She told lawmakers she intended to answer their questions as openly as possible, while remaining mindful of ongoing criminal investigations. She was arrested on Sunday, but freed on bail.

The New York Times, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse


A tiger wife springs into action (SCMP; paywall)

Jul 21, 2011

Rarely has a single volleyball blow had such an impact.

Described variously as a right hook to the head, a volleyball spike or an old-fashioned clip around the ear, Wendi Deng Murdoch's actions in literally leaping to her husband's defence in the British parliament saved the day for the embattled Murdoch clan.

During some three hours of humbling testimony, News Corporation tycoon Rupert Murdoch appeared out of the loop and his son, James, out of his depth.

Only the 42-year-old Deng, shooting daggers throughout while seated behind her 80-year-old husband, came out of the affair well.

When, towards the end of the grilling, Murdoch's assailant pounced with pie made of foam, Deng moved faster than anyone in the room, leaving both British bobbies and a flustered James floundering in her wake.

It is just as well she played volleyball in her younger days in Guangzhou. One shudders to think what might have happened if she had mastered the darker martial arts.

Her actions, of course, had a broader impact. They provided a useful diversion from what was otherwise a pretty bleak day at the office for Murdoch and son.

Contrite, and at times emotional, Murdoch senior nonetheless refused to take responsibility for the actions of his journalists or the private detectives contracted to his newspapers.

Murdoch Jnr, meanwhile, confirmed the controversial payment of private legal fees to staff convicted and disgraced at the start of the scandal.

As stunning as Deng's actions were, it will take a great deal more than a single act of resolute defence to save the Murdoch empire as its troubles mount on both sides of the Atlantic.


  1. aimlesswanderer22 July 2011 at 17:22

    Rupert looked a touch senile and extremely ancient... and he and James have some serious memory issues, unsurprisingly.

  2. I liked the questioning by the Parliamentary Committee Hearing members. They questioned Murdoch senile, er, snr first, to establish whether he was ultimately responsible, since he is the top dog. Jnr was jumping in his seat to answer, but the member(s) kept telling him to be patient and allow Murdoch snr answer.

    Nobody wanted to question Wendi; and with her dangerous hands, it is little wonder no one wants to confront her!

  3. aimlesswanderer28 July 2011 at 22:58

    Amazing how often "I'm not ultimately responsible" comes out. Rupert did not appear very convincingly humble if you ask me. Bet you he's relieved that Norway is now dominating the news.

    Wendi is normally the shadowy power behind the throne, but don't mess with her or the old guy!

  4. I agree. By the way Murdoch Snr was using his hand constantly to rap the table as he was "trying to apologize" smacked more of being agitated at having to climb down from his pedestal. I have seen HK tycoons, politicians and bigwigs do the same. It is such an embarrassment for them to show that they are "humble" that it irritates the hell out of them, so much so that they have to offload their frustrations by hitting the table or taking it out on anyone who happens to be nearby. It is sad, shocking and pathetic.

    Even wife Wendi was on hand to whisper something to Murdoch Snr, in what seemed like an attempt to calm him down and to be more "humble" and "sincere" in his apology. All this happened in the beginning of the Hearing, and I suppose it set the tone of the Hearing (i.e. "I'm not ultimately responsible").

  5. aimlesswanderer3 August 2011 at 23:23

    It's a human thing, when people get lots of power, they have a tendency to blame anyone but themselves if the crud hits the fan. And you're right, they just hate to have to apologise and seem "genuinely remorseful". Hello massive ego and pride!

    I think Wendy was reminding him to not be so combative and defensive. "You remember what the body language coaches said about banging the table?". And maybe was checking to see if he had dozed of again.

  6. For the magnate or tycoon, it is always useful to have a younger and more vibrant wife by your side! Lol. I guess money can buy that.

  7. Hello trophy wife? Rupert's also doubles as a last line of defense.

  8. Yes AW! I guess Wendi is the ultimate trophy wife, lol.