Wendi got game.
Those of us addicted to streaming news feeds at all hours of the day were numbly watching the public flogging that was hyped as hearings in the British Parliament on Tuesday, when the extraordinary happened. A woman rose up to stand by her man without a sex scandal in sight.
Rupert and James Murdoch were testifying about their recollection of events surrounding what has grown into the News of the World scandal.
(Those of you with better things to do might not know that the media mogul Murdoch is being questioned about the tactics some of his reporting staff undertook, including wire taps, paying for news tips and generally beating the competition to shreds with scoops. In response, politicians are clamoring for a chance to say – on camera – how horrified they are about the entire ordeal. Simply horrified.)
And then, in the middle of the spectacle, a good old-fashioned smack down put the entire event into perspective.
A self-proclaimed comedian “Jonnie Marbels” allegedly showed up at this solemn moment of pontification to attempt a shot at 15 minutes of fame by smacking the elder Murdoch in the face with a “white foam pie.”
Of course, in proper journalistic fashion, I write allegedly, despite the fact that it was caught on tape – worldwide – and that prior to attempting this humiliation of the prisoner in the stocks, the oh so funny Marbels “tweeted:”
"It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat"
But former champion volleyball player Wendi Deng Murdoch flew across the table to smack down the pie and put the heckler on the floor. Nobody was going to toss a pie at her husband and get away with it.
A breath of fresh air moved through the stale political air as one woman decided that she really meant “for better of for worse” when she married Rupert Murdoch in 1999. She put the “power” in power couple.
Though she is a native of China, one wonders if there isn’t a little Amazon in her blood. After all, she did what every wife and mother wants to do when someone behaves like a cretin towards her family. She fought back.
Her fierce loyalty to her husband was not the pale version that we’ve been forced to watch so often lately as other political wives grit their teeth to stand beside philandering mates, begging to stay on the public dole.
The hero of Tuesday’s hearings will not be found among the tired political figures trying to score points at Murdoch’s expense, or the journalist competitors to his media empire who salaciously report on every twist in this story of media misbehavior, in part out of self-interest.
The hero of Tuesday’s hearing is a woman who did not wait for some rent-a-cop to come to her aid or who trembled in horror at the malicious prank. Wendi was woman; hear her roar.
When the foam dust settled, Rupert Murdoch took off his spoiled jacket, and declined a break in the hearings. With dignity, he and Wendi again took their places, respectfully answering questions.
The world got to observe a real marriage at work in a moment of public difficulty.
But future pranksters, beware. Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall hearing tables with a single bound. It’s a bird; it’s a plane... No, it’s Super Wendi! My hero.
Kristi Stone Hamrick is a media consultant. News Corp. is the parent company of Fox News.