Rupert Murdoch attack joins the pantheon of pie throwing


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The attack on Rupert Murdoch with a shaving cream pie during a British parliamentary committee hearing in London on Tuesday may have been shocking, but it was far from unprecedented. In fact, the 80-year-old Murdoch joins a long list of prominent business, political and entertainment figures who have been involuntarily tarted up, such as it were, in public.

And the man in custody — named in some reports as Jonathan May-Bowles, a.k.a. the Twitter handle Jonnie Marbles — has become the latest person to gain notoriety for throwing pies or pie-like substances in an apparent political act. He tweeted just before that ‘It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat.’ (Among his other tweets is a shoutout to ‘The Simpsons,’ on Murdoch’s very own Fox Network: ‘I’m actually in this committee and can confirm: Murdoch is Mr. Burns.’)


But Murdoch’s assailant has a long ways to go to catch up with some of the more notorious pie throwers of our time. One of them, Belgian ‘entarteur’ Noel Godin, reportedly masterminded the 1998 creaming of Microsoft founder Bill Gates in Brussels. And his targets include French President Nicholas Sarkozy, philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and director Jean-Luc Godard.

Another, Aron Kay, claims the late conservative commentator William F. Buckley Jr., Watergate figures G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, actor William Shatner and artist Andy Warhol among his victims. In another pie incident, Kay was convicted of harassing former CIA director William E. Colby.

Then there was gay rights activist Tom Higgins, who hit singer Anita Bryant with a pie in the face during a news conference espousing her anti-gay-rights views. Without missing a beat, she said, ‘Well, at least it’s a fruit pie’ and started praying for Higgins’ soul. (Watch that incident below, and click the photos above for more pie-throwing incidents.)

And remember, folks: Pies don’t kill people. People do.


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— Scott Sandell