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Perry dines with embattled media mogul Rupert Murdoch

Gov. Rick Perry had dinner with embattled media mogul Rupert Murdoch Monday night in New York City, according to CBS and NBC news reports.

The News Corp. CEO and Chairman is under investigation for allegations that the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World, hacked into the voicemail of a murdered British girl. (Murdoch has since offered a multi-million dollar settlement to the family of the young victim.) The controversy drew international scrutiny, and U.S. lawmakers have called on federal agencies to investigate allegations that others under his media empire hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims.

In July, at the height of the hacking controversy, Perry urged caution in judging the claims against Murdoch. The pause from Perry came after questions of whether or not he should return the $1.25 million News Corp. donated to the Republican Governors Association under Perry’s leadership last year.

“I think that to judge Mr. Murdoch at this particular point in time is rather premature,” said Perry, stressing there are contributions of “tens of millions of dollars made by a host of individuals” to the RGA. Perry said money has been given back, in some instances, after companies receive indictments.

Murdoch is the owner of a the world’s second-largest media conglomerate, including film, print, TV and online holdings — some of which have helped to fuel Perry’s rising star.

The op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal misleadingly praised Texas’ job growth record under Perry, and defended the governor’s “treasonous” remark leveled at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. “Everybody knows Mr. Perry meant no literal harm and was indulging the irrational exuberance that is one of his trademarks,” the Journal wrote. The paper has also been critical of Perry’s main GOP rival Mitt Romney.

Murdoch isn’t the only Fox-affiliated figure Perry has hung out with as of late, though. This weekend Perry also spent time with former Murdoch employee and controverisal Fox News show host Glenn Beck during a Lone Survivors Foundation Gala in Houston.

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