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August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In a speech that suddenly — and surprisingly — seemed to lift her ahead of her brothers as the heir apparent within the News Corp media empire, Elisabeth Murdoch said on Friday that in the aftermath of the telephone hacking and bribery scandals affecting the company’s British newspapers, the organization needs to “discuss, affirm and institutionalize a rigorous set of values based on an explicit statement of purpose.” Taking dead aim at a statement by her brother on the same platform at the Edinburgh International Television Festival three years ago that “the only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit,” Ms. Murdoch declared, “Profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster.” She added that “the absence of purpose” could threaten the goals of capitalism and freedom. She also split with her brother and father who have called for the reduction of the BBC license fee so that the public broadcaster would be forced to become, in James’s words, “much, much smaller.” Said his sister: “Let me put it on the record that I am a current supporter of the BBC’s universal license fee.” She also defended the News Corp-owned tabloid The Sun, which today published the nude cell-phone photos taken of Prince Harry at a Las Vegas party — despite a request from the Palace that British newspapers refrain from doing so. She said that a “public interest argument” could be made for the publication, adding, “We have all seen the pictures. Even I went online and checked out the pictures.”

UPDATE: Elisabeth Brooks has acknowledged that she lobbied to force her brother James to take a lesser role at News Corp following the telephone hacking scandal and that she had been “quite forceful” in demanding that Rebekah Brooks, once regarded as Rupert Murdoch’s “protogĂ©e,” resign. In an interview with the London Telegraph Brooks said that rumors that she had urged the company to take action against the pair were true, “but it was said within closed doors and Rebekah did resign. She had to resign.”