ONTD Political

Pie-throwing backfires as Wendi Murdoch wins plaudits and Rupert wins sympathy

10:39 pm - 07/20/2011
LONDON // Not since an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President George Bush during a Baghdad press conference in 2008 has a lone protester's physical attack on a global figure so galvanised public opinion as the cream-pie toss at media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, was charged yesterday with behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place after he was seen on live television throwing a paper plate of shaving foam at Mr Murdoch as the media mogul testimony to British MPs on Tuesday.

British officials rushed to condemn Mr May-Bowles, a political activist and comedian, while Wendi Deng, 42, Mr Murdoch's wife, saw her reputation rise after she was seen launching herself in fury to defend her husband and strike the protester on his head with her right hand. The 42-year-old Deng finished up by carefully wiping Murdoch's face free of shaving cream and saying, "I got him!"

John Bercow, speaker or presiding officer of the House of Commons, said he had ordered an investigation into how Mr May-Bowles was able to pass security including an airport-style scanner with the shaving foam.

Mr May-Bowles was one of several members of the public who queued for access to the select committee hearing room, where he described his assault on Twitter. "It's a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat," he wrote seconds before the attack.

Friends of Mr May-Bowles described him as a failed stand-up comedian as well as a member of the UKUncut group, which has campaigned against tax-avoidance by large corporations.

"He's very committed politically," a friend told The Guardian. "I know him from working on a variety of different political causes. He was angry about the whole Murdoch thing, how we've got a powerful elite in this country."

If Mr May-Bowles intended to highlight Mr Murdoch's alleged wrong-doing then his plan might have backfired because much sympathy was extended towards the News Corp chairman. Chris Bryant, a Labour MP, said: "It's contemptible. This is no way to treat any witness, let alone someone over the age of 80."

Ms Deng, meanwhile, won plaudits around the world for her agility and sharp reaction.

"This adds value to the image of Chinese wives," said Jihua on the Chinese microblog Weibo, according to a report in the Guardian on how Chinese bloggers rushed to post their praise of Mr Murdoch's wife. "They have previously proved their ability to cook and run a business. Now they can add bodyguard."

"Your wife has a very good left hook," Tom Watson, Labour member of parliament, told Mr Murdoch after the incident, which interrupted the hearing into phone hacking and corrupt practices for 20 minutes.

They're calling her "Crouching Wendi, Hidden Dragon" and comparing her to Chuck Norris and the Tiger Mom -- and Wendi Deng's new Facebook fan page has 1,382 members.

"KA-POW! A page to express your admiration of Mrs Murdoch's right hook," the page says, filled with overwhelmingly positive comments such as "good job!" and "Super wife!"

keeni84 21st-Jul-2011 03:28 pm (UTC)

Are so fucking stupid.

katiechainsaw 21st-Jul-2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
moussaka_thief 21st-Jul-2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
Labour MP Tom Harris tweeted: And once again a Gap Year Anarchist succeeds in his lifetime's ambition: to get all the attention. Well done. *slow hand clap*

I can't say it better. What a douche.
(no subject) - Anonymous
breexbree 21st-Jul-2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
I think he's a douche for attracting the attention away from the villain, not for being ~mean~ to Murdoch. What did he think was going to happen, doing this to him around so much media? If he had just not done it and protested peacefully, we'd still be talking about Murdoch... but he had to be the Big Damn Hero.
(no subject) - Anonymous
breexbree 21st-Jul-2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
Well I don't exactly think pieing Murdoch was a bad thing to do in itself, but clearly it's having an effect on the way the media is portraying the story. It gave Fox News a strawman to whine about. Maybe you socialize with people who are more apt to criticize Murdoch, but lots of people are looking for a reason to defend him and this guy just gave them one (however stupid that reason is).
moussaka_thief 21st-Jul-2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Lol no. I actually managed the publication of one of the only books exposing this hacking scandal (over three years ago, resulting in NI trying to intimidate us into pulping the book) and have been closely following this case, going to court and parliament and so on, so am invested in this case.

I am extremely angry with Murdoch, and hope he gets what is coming to him. The two don't compare, obviously. Where do you see me 'taking his side' exactly? It is extraordinarily aggravating to hear the tabloid (and even some broadsheet) news agenda taken over by this Gap Year Anarchist's immature, attention-seeking actions. There are a LOT of people who have worked /very/ hard for this to even get mentioned, let alone to get to this stage and it pisses me off. This is what people are talking about now. It adds a lulz factor to it.

Also, as someone who attends public sessions of parliament regularly for a variety of reasons (usually to do with agro-ecology and environment, not my day job in publishing!), I can tell you it's likely to make public access substantially more difficult. Parliament doesn't need to be any less accessible, thanks very much.

Nobody is getting more angry at the douche than at Murdoch. But he is still a fucking douche.
gildinwen 21st-Jul-2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
This made me so angry....this was really important. It was thr rich and powerful being held to account for the first time ever and now because of him, Murdoch's got sympathy and the focus is being taken off the hacking investigation, and being put how awesome his wife is.

erunamiryene 21st-Jul-2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
... seriously, a pie in the face is garnering this asshole sympathy? Like, SERIOUSLY? After everything that's been done, that's come out, and everything else, he's getting fucking sympathy for something that happens at state fairs and family reunions all over the place? JFC.

"This adds value to the image of Chinese wives," said Jihua on the Chinese microblog Weibo, according to a report in the Guardian on how Chinese bloggers rushed to post their praise of Mr Murdoch's wife. "They have previously proved their ability to cook and run a business. Now they can add bodyguard."

... this is making me raise an eyebrow, though I'm not sure why.

Edited at 2011-07-21 03:54 pm (UTC)
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 04:24 pm (UTC)
I also raised an eyebrow. I think it's cause the blog reads as 'one more stereotype, yay!'
ladypeyton 21st-Jul-2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Because a pie in the face is so much worse than tapping people's phones, which resulted in one case in causing a family to think their murdered daughter was still alive.


I hate people.
chaya 21st-Jul-2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous
gr_julian 21st-Jul-2011 04:50 pm (UTC)

I hate humanity.
tresa_cho 21st-Jul-2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
That is not sexist or racist at ALL. Well done, publication.
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
They're calling her "Crouching Wendi, Hidden Dragon"

O rly? I wonder how that particular comparably came about.

But, srsly, it's a pie in the face. Not even a pie, shaving cream. Not on the same level as even a tenth of the shit hat Murdoch has pulled.
wemblee 21st-Jul-2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
Murdoch-owned corporate media proclaims pie in Murdoch's face a win for Murdoch, more at 11 about how Murdoch is great.
mephisto5 This .gif has possibly never been more relevant!21st-Jul-2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
oudeteron 21st-Jul-2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Seriously? So the guy threw a pie. That doesn't make him ~the villain~ and doesn't legitimize anything about Murdoch either, no matter how badass a move his wife can pull.

Fucking smokescreen tactics.
sankaku_atama 21st-Jul-2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
Just a little more 'humble pie' for Murdoch to swallow?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Bad jokes aside, this is not how it should have been handled. I don't care if the pie thrower was a comedian, or what his intentions were - if he absolutely *had* to throw a pie, the better option might have been to wait until Captain Jowly was out on the street, being harangued by the press, after having been raked over the coals by the investigation. This was just stupid, juvenile, and poor thinking on all fronts, and should never have happened in the first place.
sankaku_atama 21st-Jul-2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
*which is not to say I think he's the villain. Should have made that clearer. Murdoch is far and away the bigger waste of space here, and him garnering any kind of support because he got a shaving cream pie in his poor widdle face is disgusting and intolerable.
sgrios reposted for icon21st-Jul-2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
"This adds value to the image of Chinese wives," said Jihua on the Chinese microblog Weibo, according to a report in the Guardian on how Chinese bloggers rushed to post their praise of Mr Murdoch's wife. "They have previously proved their ability to cook and run a business. Now they can add bodyguard."

If this person is joking, that's pretty hhilarious. NGL.

If not... :/
baka_tenshi 21st-Jul-2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
sigh. it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but argh, sit down and shut up, murdoch-supporters.
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