IN Britain, whatever media baron Rupert Murdoch wants, Rupert Murdoch gets.

At any cost.

Hacking voice mails of British pols, the royals, the police, high-profile crime victims and terrorists.

Did he do the same thing in the United States where he also ran two newspapers and a TV station?

At the instance of a New York politician, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into possible phone hacking by Murdoch journalists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Let’s see what turns up.

By digging dirt on the high and mighty and not-so mighty, by fair or foul means, the Australian mogul built a modern media empire that is both feared and whose favor is sought after.

But the cookie is crumbling.

Murdoch today finds himself in very hot water for the first time in his rambunctious career.

Public disdain of his empire’s machinations is running so high he might choose to hand over the reins of his kingdom to a trusted ally, or to one of his children.

If this happens, it will be the biggest blow to one of the world’s outsized egos this generation has ever seen.

The Good Book is explicit, “He who humbles himself shall be exalted and he who exalts shall be humbled.”

But to be fair, Murdoch may not have known about the hacking when it was taking place.

But when he knew about it he was man enough to take the blame.

He took out full-page ads in all British papers to say, “We’re sorry.”

What is inconceivable is that top editors, two of them already placed under arrest, did not know or sanction the phone tapping.

In actual newspaper practice, reporters are assigned stories to cover.

Reporters, however, may propose to follow certain leads on their own, but the editors are always apprised of the work-in-progress.

But it is something else if the newspapers are only motivated by profit, and not the public interest, as it seems to be the case with the Murdoch newspapers in the U.K.

The man who considers everybody, and everything, fair game is fair game himself.