Home > Uncategorized > News International – why I was wrong AND right.

News International – why I was wrong AND right.

A few weeks ago, when all this broke, a mate rang me and asked what was going to happen.

Not much, I said. It’ll get covered up and I can’t see Murdoch suddenly becoming vulnerable.

Yeah, I know. I know.

That said, I think it was a rational expectation. Knowing what I know, it was hard to think it would go anywhere.

For a start, it’s nothing new. Rebekah Brooks admitted paying police for stories as far back as 2003. And this all really kicked off in 2005, with the Guardian’s revelations of Glen Mulcaire, then Operation Motorman and the subsequent Information Commissioner reports in the Guardian and BBC.

2005. Six years ago. It’s practically Paleolithic in terms of freshness. That Hugh Grant ‘bugging the bugger’ stuff happened in April, but it didn’t cause much of a stir outside of the small-circulation magazine where it was published. It’s only now he’s being invited onto Question Time.

Phone hackings, dodgy stories and a shocking corporate culture? Old news to those who read News of the World? Fake Sheiks and Royal Trappings, published in 2009.

Apparently staff used to record each others’ phone calls. Can you imagine working in an office with that kind of culture?

The public could have gone crazy at any of these points but they didn’t. They waited until the stream of shit was too much to ignore.

Then it kicked off because a dead white girl’s phone was hacked.

There’s a certain irony in that.

But there were other things that I said. One was that the Met was heavily compromised. I’m going to say that I was right on that one- with all the heads rolling I could set up my own bowls club.

The other – still yet to come through, but I’m sure that I’m right – is that this goes way beyond the News of the World.

For a start, the NotW wasn’t Mulcaire’s best customer. It only just made the top 5 at number five, beaten to the punch by that guardian of public totty morals, the Daily Mail – and it’s sister, the Mail on Sunday.

It would be nice to think that the mail was heavily investing in serious investigative journalism, but what are the odds?

The other reason is boringly corporate. NotW made money hand over fist with its stories, boasting a circulation most editors would kill their mothers for.

So do The Sun and Daily Mail.

And you know what sells? the dirty secrets of public figures.

Remember the McCanns? Putting them on the front page guaranteed a rise in circulation that day. People wanted to know about the saga of a dead white girl.

It’s not a shock – I know that the media is also supposed to be a guardian of the public, but they are also corporations that insist upon quarterly growth. Amazingly, corporations care more for money than anything else.

And I know the public are supposed to be informed participants in democracy, but mostly what they like is reading crap.

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