Rupert Murdoch's appearance today (Wednesday) before the Leveson hearing into journalistic ethics in Britain was notable for its lack of fireworks. While his son James was subjected to a barrage of questions about his role in the hacking scandal that brought down News Corp's most successful newspaper, the News of the World , the issue barely arose during today's session. Most of the session focused on Murdoch's relationship with British politicians. In particular, he insisted that he "never asked [former British Prime Minister] Tony Blair for anything, although he acknowledged that he had met him some 40 times in person and had numerous telephone conversations with him. He also indicated that he had had meetings with six other prime ministers. "It is only natural for politicians to reach out to Editors and sometimes proprietors if they're available to explain what they're doing and hoping it makes an impression," he said.