"Sackcloth and ashes from now on" is how Brian Cathcart, a journalism professor and member of a campaign demanding full accountability over the scandal, described the attitude Murdoch must adopt to keep public opinion here from further hardening against him.
Over the weekend, News International took out full-page advertisements in several British newspapers apologizing for the "serious wrongdoing" at the News of the World and promising the company's "full cooperation" with police.
Paul Connew, a former deputy editor of the News of the World and now a public-relations consultant, expects Murdoch to maintain a sorrowful tone at the committee hearing.
"My hunch would be that Rupert would want to make an opening statement when it comes to his turn and make a public apology," Connew said.
"The more candid he is, the more chance … the damage control could be pretty successful," Connew said.
Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman, will almost certainly deny any personal knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World. Since the tabloid represented only a minuscule part of his media empire, his denials will seem plausible, analysts say.
It will be considerably more difficult for his son, James, and Brooks to claim ignorance, as they have until now.
The younger Murdoch, chairman of News International, authorized an out-of-court payment of more than $1 million to a hacking victim in 2008, which critics say looks far more like hush money than compensation for an invasion of privacy. James Murdoch maintains that he was not given a full picture by his staff of what was happening at the News of the World when he approved the payout.
Although most parliamentary committee hearings are dull, technical affairs that attract little outside interest, Tuesday's session, which will be broadcast live, is almost certain to draw a global audience.
Patrick Dunleavy, a political analyst at the London School of Economics, said the quality of the questioning by the committee is likely to vary widely. Some lawmakers may relish an opportunity to vent their spleen against a media kingpin before whose power they once trembled; others may ask strong first questions but flail at follow-up ones.
Many of the committee members "are going to be completely out of their depth," Dunleavy said. "It's not like Congress where congressional committees are used to having masses of cameras and masses of people hanging on every word.
"It's probably going to be the globally most watched select committee event ever in the entire history of the U.K. Parliament."