Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corporation, has dubbed victims of his British tabloids' phone hacking "scumbag celebrities" after several met with Prime Minister David Cameron.
On Twitter Saturday night, Murdoch criticized talks between the prime minister and members of the "Hacked Off" campaign — which pushes for better ethical practices in the British press — including singer Charlotte Church, former BBC "Crimewatch" host Jacqui Hames and actor Hugh Grant.
"[I'm] told UK's Cameron receiving scumbag celebrities pushing for even more privacy laws," wrote Murdoch.
He added: "Transparency under attack. Bad."
Hames promptly replied to Murdoch, saying she had "been called worse, but admittedly not by [a] CEO of a large multinational corp."
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh Rupert," she tweeted. "Happy to discuss our concerns with you sometime?"
News Corp. became embroiled in scandal last year when one of its tabloids, the News of the World, was caught hacking into the voice mailboxes of celebrities, politicians, royals and, most notoriously, a teenage murder victim.
Murdoch shuttered the 167-year-old weekly and officials opened an inquiry into News Corp.'s ethics. The fallout prompted Murdoch to back down on his bid to take a controlling share of satellite network BSkyB.
The Australian media mogul's tweet invoked outrage in the U.K., as former parliamentarian Evan Harris asked Murdoch to "withdraw" his tweet and labeled him a "coward" and a "bully."
Another reader, whose profile says he is from Japan, asked Murdoch: "'scumbags'? And your journalists and executives are what? You are absolutely fucking pathetic."
Murdoch, who did not respond to the majority of critical tweets sent his way, posted a confusing response: "They don't get arrested for indecency on major LA highways! Or abandon love child's."
Murdoch seemed to be referring to Grant's 1995 guilty plea to "lewd misconduct" with a Hollywood prostitute, and to the child he had last year with Chinese actress Tinglan Hong.
Perhaps the best jab came from a tweeter who suggested Murdoch was guilty of grammatical violations.
"The real scandal here," wrote musician Jon Kennard, "is that the head of a news empire can't pluralize the world 'child.'"