The overall gist you get from the piece?
Klein is compromised.
Here are some key quotes:
Mr. Klein’s political instincts may have helped News Corporation, but his involvement has delayed his own ambitions within the company. He was hired by Mr. Murdoch to lead his company’s aggressive push into the education market. But just over six months into his tenure, the news broke that the company’s News of the World tabloid in Britain had hacked into the phone of a murdered 13-year-old, Milly Dowler, and suddenly, Mr. Klein became Mr. Murdoch’s legal compass in the ensuing British firestorm.
Mr. Klein, who declined to comment for this article, has slowly returned his attention to parts of his education portfolio, but prospects for success may have been damaged by the investigation. In 2010, News Corporation paid $360 million for a 90 percent stake in Wireless Generation, a company based in Brooklyn that specializes in education software, data systems and assessment tools to help teachers analyze student performance and customize lessons.
Last year, New York State rejected a $27 million contract with Wireless Generation, citing “the significant ongoing investigations and continuing revelations with respect to News Corporation.”
More recently, there has been criticism of Mr. Klein’s seemingly contradictory roles within News Corporation, both investigating wrongdoing inside the company and advising Mr. Murdoch on handling public relations and his appearances before the British Parliament.
He emerged as one of Mr. Murdoch’s most trusted advisers, along with Chase Carey, president and chief operating officer of News Corporation; and David F. DeVoe, the chief financial officer. Mr. Murdoch put Mr. Klein in charge of the internal investigation into the hacking case, reporting to Viet D. Dinh, an independent director on News Corporation’s board. But Mr. Klein also advised on handling the scandal, sitting behind Mr. Murdoch during his first testimony before a parliamentary panel in summer 2011 and spending hours in London helping Mr. Murdoch prepare for a second round of questions last month.
Shareholder groups have expressed concerns about Mr. Klein’s independence in leading the investigation. His compensation package at News Corporation was more than $4.5 million last year, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“His salary was a huge bump, so he’s clearly beholden to Murdoch and should not be running an internal investigation,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, a spokesman for the CtW Investment Group, a shareholder advocacy group based in Washington that works with pension funds for large labor unions. (British investigators have said they believe the internal review led by Mr. Klein was independent.)
The Times also looks at the curious acquisition Murdoch made of Wireless Generation after Klein signed contracts with the company as chancellor:
Mr. Klein’s education unit is now one of the few areas within the company that is currently growing, both through investment in Wireless Generation and potential acquisitions. The company is looking at several small education-related companies, though no deals are imminent, according to a person knowledgeable about News Corporation’s preliminary strategy.
Wireless Generation had come under fire before the dropped New York bid. The company had been a key Education Department partner on two efforts that Mr. Klein had championed as chancellor. The timing of News Corporation’s acquisition, two weeks after Mr. Klein said he would join the company, prompted accusations that he had violated the city’s conflict-of-interest rules. At the time, a News Corporation spokeswoman said the deal had been developing for several months and Mr. Klein had no involvement in it. A spokeswoman for the Education Department said Mr. Klein recused himself from all business between the city and Wireless Generation as soon as he knew News Corporation had acquired it.
Sure, I believe the News Corporation spokeswoman who says Klein - the man who talked "frequently" with Rupert Murdoch about the state of the school system - had no involvement in News Corporation's acquisition in Wireless Generation.
Just like I believe News Corporation when they say the illegal phone hacking at the News of the World was relegated to one "rogue reporter" only.
The article goes on to say that Klein is now working on education issues 2/3rds of the time, hacking scandal cover-up 1/3rd of the time and has hired a bevy of education reformers to help carry out his dream of corporatizing public education and handing it over to Rupert Murdoch.
Of course, given how the scandal continues to grow in Britain, I'm not sure I believe that job description for Klein.
And given how the scandal has jumped the Atlantic to these shores, with Mark Lewis set to file hacking cases against News Corporation in New York and California, I suspect Klein's education portfolio work at News Corp. isn't going to become any less damaged any time soon.
But that's all right.
As Merryl Tisch told the Times, “Joel has a huge amount of respect and admiration for Mr. Murdoch and what he’s accomplished in his life."
Since Klein admires Murdoch - the man declared unfit to lead an international corporation in a Parliamentary report released last week - so much, I bet Klein doesn't mind turning his evil genius from destroying public education to "fixing" Rupert Murdoch's hacking/bribery/piracy/corruption scandals.
Certainly he is being well-compensated to do just that.