Mort Zuckerman on News of the World: ‘It Took a Lot of Guts’

“I have to tell you it takes a lot of guts to shut down one of the most successful newspapers in Britain,” Mort Zuckerman told David Gregory on NBC Press Pass earlier today.

Indeed, hacking and emptying the voice mail box of a missing 13 year-old–leading her parents to believe she is still alive–also takes guts.

“Clearly they had a huge, huge problem which must be much more extensive even than what has come out and everyday more is coming out in terms of whom they were hacking and whom they were listening in to, people in, prisoners of war, I mean it’s really terrible,” he continued.

Game recognize game.

“I suspect that he had, in one sense, to make what we call a Hobson’s choice,” Mr. Zuckerman said.

A Hobson’s Choice is a free choice in which you only have one option. “Take it or leave it.”

“He is after the majority ownership of BSkyB which is the biggest cable company in all of England and I suspect that he literally could not have gotten the political approval if this paper was not, I won’t say shut down, but he took it to show that, hey, I’m taking responsibility for this and this is the only way that he could have the credibility to be going ahead with BSkyB,” Mr. Zuckerman said.

It has yet to be decided by David Cameron and Ed Miliband whether Murdoch may “take” or must “leave” BSkyB.

“It took a lot of guts to do it and he was tough enough to do it and I really respect him for doing it,” he concluded.

We’re glad to know their mutual respect will survive these trying times.

Mort Zuckerman on News of the World: ‘It Took a Lot of Guts’