“He will say things people should not say in public” (or not, as the case may be – updated)

Looking forward to Rupert Murdoch’s Select Committee appearance tomorrow? This quote from his biographer Michael Wolff, speaking today to ITV (and transcribed on the Guardian) should help whet your appetite:

He will handle it very poorly. This is something that Rupert doesn’t know how to do, has never done, has resisted doing and frankly can’t do. Rupert is – on top of everything else – an incredibly shy man and he is also a very inarticulate man and he is also a man who, I don’t think he is going to know what to do with the fact that he will be confronted here. It is very likely he will get angry. He will say things that people should not say in public. I know they are drilling him and rehearsing him over and over and over and over again and they are saying to him ‘do not say anything, just answer the questions in as few words as possible’. Whether he absorbs that lesson or not…actually I can’t imagine that he will or that he has.

Update (after the session): So much for that prediction. The NY Times seems to have the most grounded summary of yesterday’s proceedings, thanks to better contacts at News Corp’s US headquarters and perhaps a bit more distance from the issue than the UK press:

After days of intense anxiety over their appearance before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, there seemed to be consensus inside the company and out that the Murdochs and the News Corporation had finally caught a break […]

“This was the best day these guys have had in a really long time,” said David Bank, media analyst for RBC Capital Markets. “No shoe dropped, no smoking gun was found, it all sort of sounded kind of contained.” […]

Inside the company, executives seemed relieved at how relatively smoothly the process went. “No one is despondent, no one thinks this went poorly,” said one person briefed on Tuesday’s events who asked not to be identified revealing private conversations. “I wouldn’t bet against those two.”