Murdoch: Don't Blame Paparazzi

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ADELAIDE, Australia: In the days after Diana's death, Rupert Murdoch was in trouble. The media magnate's tabloid newspapers were under siege from politicians and the public, who blamed their use of paparazzi for the Princess' demise. Then the news of driver Henri Paul's drunken state filtered through, and Murdoch's News Corp. got a reprieve.

Over a month later Murdoch is openly defending his use of celebrity photographers. "I don't want to throw stones at glass houses," he told reporters Tuesday, "but I would certainly say that we were by no means the worst offenders." Ever the pragmatic media boss, he added that Diana's death would mean a "cost saving" for his newspapers - which, he said, had been paying far too much for snaps of the Princess.

Murdoch's comments were dressed up as a defense of press freedom and an attack on privacy laws. But for the Sun's supremo to make such a blatant pro-paparazzi case shows just how much the entire press has freed itself from the burden of blame in Diana's death.