The Press Love This Sort of Shit-Flinging Gubbins

It was my pleasure, now sod off

It was my pleasure, now sod off

With a performance review tomorrow and a meeting with the trustees of my scholarship in a week (there is a way to say that statement, and I’m not there yet) what could be a better idea than a new post.

The main topic of choice has to be the furore surrounding the News of the World. Whether you are an avid fan of the paper or whether you can form coherent sentences it doesn’t matter. The one fact that we can all get behind is: “What the hell kind of editor doesn’t think this is every bit screwed up?”

Her chief excuse is that she was on holiday at the time. The article was placed on 14 April when she was in Italy. Interestingly she was also on holiday during the hacking of Holly and Jessica’s phones. This is curious because the last time I checked, when the boss of a company goes on holiday and the company screw the pooch so hard the poor mutt starts wondering if it will ever be able to sit again, then the boss still is liable. That’s the thing about responsibility, it sucks.

Obviously the facts have been published many a time but they still don’t lose any of their incredulous nature by repeating them. Much like Richard Key’s timeless jib ‘Would you smash it?’ will never get less sexist and wrong. In 2002, Milly Dowler went missing while walking home from school. It seems that she was abducted at a bus-stop, killed and then uncermoniously stripped of all her clothes and belongings and dumped in a field. So far, so sad.

This would be where the story takes a twist. After its sister paper, The Sun, offered a £100,000 reward for her, News of the World decided to actively fuck the case. Sideways. They hired Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, to hack into her phone’s voicemail and copy all the stored messages for them to listen to and discover more ‘juicy’ secrets for printing. This, however, wasn’t enough. They also deleted her messages when the ‘box filled up so that new messages could be placed. Not only is this tampering with potential evidence, but it gave her family a hope that their child was alive and able to edit the phone, when in fact she was dead.

Throw in the hacking of dead soldier’s relatives, the request for contact details of the Royal Family and the news that former PM, Gordon Brown was contacted by Brooks (who by now was editor of The Sun) to tell him that they were running a story about his son having cystic fibrosis and “tried to persuade him not to spoil the newspaper’s exclusive by announcing it himself”. In the end you are left with a bitter taste in your mouth, an odd feeling in your stomach and a throbbing feeling in your head as you ram your head into the desk to try and make it stop.

This sort of shit-flinging gubbins is exactly what the press have been doing for years. Look at the hounding of Diana. Look at the praise of the footballers, only to then see the destruction of a ‘sex-mad striker’. Look at the way they treat the common person. The same daft article at winter saying that Christmas will be banned. The girl with her baps out on the very first page we see upon opening. the endless shite offers of free DVDs that are a rip off at that price. The tabloids (and some broadsheets) have been living in a self-made bubble for years. They have been protecting themselves by throwing so much shit that anyone who tries to take them on finds their credibility destroyed and the public, unthinkingly, disliking them. Well now NotW has spoiled the party for everyone. The bubble has burst, the paper is gone and the debate (and enquiry) rages on.

While the Sun on Sunday may appear in the next few weeks, the credibility of the British papers may take longer to reappear.

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