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The Morning Fix: James Murdoch's jam. Ratner's goof. RIP Hal Kanter

November 8, 2011 |  7:19 am

After the coffee. Before hoping Penn State does the right thing this time.

The Skinny: Tuesday's headlines include a preview of the heat News Corp.'s James Murdoch will face from the British Parliament later this week and a look at the mess Brett Ratner got himself into with his slips of the tongue.

Prince James in a can? On Thursday, News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch is to appear before Britain's Parliament to again address his handling of the phone-hacking scandal at the company's now-closed News of the World tabloid. Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, had oversight of the unit that housed the paper and has been accused of not coming completely clean with Parliament in his first appearance last summer. How he does could determine whether he remains the leading candidate to succeed his father at the top of the global media giant. A curtain-raiser from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the company took another hit when it was revealed that it had also spied on the lawyers of phone-hacking victims. More on that from the Guardian.

Put a muzzle on. "Tower Heist" director Brett Ratner, who is set to produce next year's Academy Awards telecast, got himself into hot water with a crack that offended gays (he also talked dirty about Olivia Munn). Grantland columnist Mark Harris suggests that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences fire Ratner, who has apologized for his remarks. The Academy said it will let it slide this time, according to Deadline Hollywood.

A simple plan. Doug Morris, the new head of Sony Music, tells the New York Times he wants to "create the pre-eminent record company in the world." The 72-year-old will have his work cut out for him as Sony Music has struggled for the last several years, in part due to the challenges that grew out of its merger with BMG. His first big deal, unveiled last week, was to sign Katy Perry producer Dr. Luke.

Tales of a G-Man. "J. Edgar," the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is generating lots of attention, but how will it stand up to history? The Daily Beast talks to some folks who worked for Hoover. 

Talk about spin. Viacom has tapped public relations veteran Kassie Canter to oversee communications strategy for its entertainment cable networks, Comedy Central, Spike and TV Land. Variety wrote up Canter's announcement but couldn't be bothered to report that the guy who had that job for decades -- Tony Fox -- was cleared out to make way for her. With reporting like that media companies don't even need to hire PR people to spin.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Pioneering television producer Hal Kanter died at the age of 92. Patrick Goldstein talks politics with Clint Eastwood.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. It's your gateway to the world. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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