ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Thin Line Between Idiocy and Evil in Executive Leadership Under Inquiry: (An Editorial)

Updated on December 14, 2016
wingedcentaur profile image

The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is to ask the right questions. I reserve the right to lean on my ignorance.

This is an opinion editorial

I wasn't sure how to categorize this hub. I want to tangentially talk about the Murdock News of the World scandal involving an criminal investigation into allegations about its repoters hacking phones to turn up juicy details on public figures. You may recall, the tabloid is said to have hacked the phone of a missing thirteen year old girl in England. She later turned up dead.

Certain News of the World people hacked her phone, listened to her voice mail, and when her inbox filled up, they deleted messages to make room for more messages, more details, and so on. This action gave the young girl's family the false impression that she was still alive.

Eighty-year old Rupert Murdock, the head of a vast, globe-spanning, his son, and one or two others, I think, recently had to answer some questions before a U.K. parliamentary body. Murdock's organization felt the need to shut down News of the World over the scandal, and Murdock's plans to purchase one hundred percent of a British broadcasting Goliath called B Sky B has been put on hold, if not derailed entirely.

But I don't want to talk about the details of this, after all, routine scandal of executive leadership. There seems to be a general principle at work, whenever the leader of a major corporation or a President of the United States is obliged to publicly answer questions about some scandal or other. It could be Kennedy's Bay of Pigs, Reagan's Iran-Conra, and now Murdock's phone hacking scandal.

That principle is this: the leader must walk a fine line between Position A - "I didn't know a thing about it. I'm a total goober, who doesn't know a thing about what's going in my own organization. Nobody ever tells me anything." And Position B - "Yeah, I ordered it done. I do not apologize and I would do it again. I am sooo totally evil. Here are my horns and here is my tail."

That's the line he has to walk. He can't overplay the idiocy angle because this might spook the shareholders (or campaign contributors if you're a politician). He can't overplay the "evil" angle because he might get himself into legal trouble, criminal and/or civll. You, the CEO or politician, have to portray yourself as intelligent, competent, compassionate, dedicated, hard working, passionate about serving the public good (You may recall Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein saying, in front of a Congressional inquiry of some kind, that he was doing God's work), and trusting, oh ever so trusting!.

You have to have this look in your eye that says: "If I'm guilty of anything, its loving too openly and trusting people too much! Woe is me! I feel so used." The same goes for politicians, especially Presidents of the United States..

Obviously, any suggestion that the reporters at News of the World, for some reason, just took it upon themselves, spontaneously, on their own initiative, to hack phones, is absurd. Why on Earth would they have done this except to benefit the paper, "scoop" the competition?

I don't think anything will ever be definitively proved against Murdock, his son, or other top execs. If I had to guess, I would suppose that they gave orders for phones to be hacked in such a way that proof can never be found, because it probably doesn't exist.

I'm thinking of the Mafia before the Rico Laws (1970). The Don of a crime family rarely went to jail. There was never any direct proof against him. He was too well insulated.. The way I understand it, the Don would give the order to his consigliere or advisor, or underboss, ALONE. Then the number two man would relay the order to one of the capos (or "captains") ALONE. Then the capo would designate someone from his "crew" to actually do the job, without really ever KNOWING who originally gave the order.

I would guess something like that is at play in the Murdock organization. I would be surprised if any "smoking gun" were ever found. But it seems inconceivable that the phone hacking would have happened if Murdock had not wanted it to happen. However, "common sense" is a long way away from legal proof. People lower down the chain are sacrificed (that's one of their primary functions, after all). Presidents and CEOs are skilled at cloaking themselves in plausible deniability.

Thank you for reading.

Ta-Ta!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)