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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: May 4

Stocks in this article: GRPN SBUX HUSA HLF GMCR JOE NWS CHK

2. Rupert Gets Rocked

We here at the Dumbest Lab always wondered what a British version of our column would sound like. Considering their legendary politeness, we imagined that our friends across the pond would have trouble throwing casual barbs and the occasional bomb at anybody, let alone captains of industry, as we do on a regular basis.

Luckily, we were granted our wish this week and, as it turns out, we were way off. Turns out the Brits have no trouble launching an insult grenade or two, as evidenced by Parliament's ruling Tuesday against News Corp. (NWS) CEO Rupert Murdoch in the wake of his company's hacking scandal. Furthermore, they do it using the Queen's English, which, you gotta admit, makes it so much cooler.

"Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company," concluded the anything-but-courteous report from Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport committee.

And it didn't stop there. The legislators pounced on the journalistic malpractice exhibited at the now-defunct News of The World tabloid, by blasting Murdoch and his son James for their propensity to cover up indiscretions "rather than seek out wrongdoing."

Rupert Murdoch, of course, has repeatedly maintained that he was unaware of his employees improprieties and would have stopped them had he known of their illegal snooping. Nevertheless, Rupert's opponents in Parliament stomped on his excuse saying "he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies."

The result of all this Murdoch-bashing was a ruling by the 11-member committee that could jeopardize the family's control over British Sky Broadcasting, in which his company has a 39% stake. Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, said it needs to be "satisfied that any person holding a broadcasting license is, and remains, fit and proper to do so" and is "continuing to assess the evidence."

Jolly good show chaps! And if you don't mind, keep us apprised of your findings because we have a sneaking suspicion there's more comedy left in this Murdoch family tragedy. And your not-so-gentlemanly gibes are like Shakespeare to our ears.

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