The secret diary of Rupert Murdoch

Last updated 11:16 25/07/2011

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OPINION: Stephen Braunias checks out the diary of Rupert Murdoch in this week's May Contain Facts.

MONDAY
Woke up at 6am. Summer's day. Freezing. Got out of bed and made a fruit and soy protein drink. Took it into the study. Lit the fire. Still felt cold. Could see my breath. Sat down at my desk. Turned on a lamp. Looked for my shadow. Not there.

Switched on the radio. The news came on. Heard my name. Heard the name of Guardian journalist Nick Davies. Heard the words, "Phone hacking scandal!" Heard the exclamation mark.

Walked over to the fireplace. Picked up a poker, and started to swing it.

Wendi called out from the bedroom, "Rupert?"

"It's nothing. Dropped a plate. Go back to sleep."

"Yes, dear."

Sat down again. Put my hand around the glass. Felt too tired to drink. "Phone hacking scandal!" Dropped my head on the desk. Let my tongue roll out of my mouth. "Phone hacking scandal!"

Dribbled. Foamed. "Phone hacking scandal!"

Moved my head to the side. Opened my eyes. Expected to see the Grim Reaper. Saw a fly – a fly, on the rim of the glass, a fly, sucking at my delicious and life-giving drink, a fly, coating the inside of the glass with its unspeakable filth.

Had my palm over the glass in a split second. Watched the fly panic. It was trapped. Put my ear to the glass. Heard its mindless buzz. Found a magnifying glass in the desk drawer. Observed the fly in intimate detail – its head, its wings, its legs.

"Hello, Nick," I said.

Kept my palm firmly over the glass, and shook it up and down. Put it back down on the table. Nick survived. He clung to the inside of the glass.

Kept my palm firmly over the glass, and shook it up and down. Nick survived.

Kept my palm firmly over the glass, and shook it up and down. Nick survived.

Kept my palm firmly over the glass, and shook it up and down. Nick floated on the surface.

Felt warm.

TUESDAY
Long day. Lawyers. Rehearsed my lines for when I appear tomorrow in front of the British parliamentary committee.

WEDNESDAY
Appeared in front of the British parliamentary committee. Remembered my lines. "I can't remember," I said, and, "I don't know."

Right in the middle of it, some clown tried to splatter me with a custard pie. Wendi jumped up from her chair behind me and flailed an arm at him. I don't think she touched him, but I appreciated the gesture.

THURSDAY
Heard my name on the news – as the husband of the woman who rushed to his rescue.

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Wendi had become an overnight sensation. No-one was saying, "Phone hacking scandal!" No-one was talking about Guardian journalist Nick Davies. Everyone was talking about Wendi.

They called her "Tiger Mother" and "Crouching Tiger". They described her "bright-pink jacket and pencil skirt", her "soft-pink Chanel jacket and black skirt", her "salmon-coloured jacket and royal-blue blouse".

They claimed she threw "a right hook" and a "haymaker", and "clobbered the protester on the head and pushed the custard gunk into his face".

I should have seen it coming. She's the kind of girl who makes the news of the world. You could say she was attractively built. The attention has restored my faith in journalism.

FRIDAY
Woke up at 6am. Got out of bed and made a fruit and soy protein drink. Took it into the study. Sat down at my desk. Saw a fly. And another, and another, and another. They were on the ceiling and all the windows. They were smearing the walls with their unspeakable filth.

I clung to the desk. They went for my skin. I looked at the ringleader.

"Hello, Nick," I said. He picked up the poker, and started swinging it.

» Stephen Braunias is an award-winning writer and author of four books.

- The Southland Times

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