Friday, 22 July 2011

To all those complaining about the amount of coverage of phone hacking

You don't think systematic illegality, cover ups, obstruction of justice and possible attempts by the people involved in all that to influence police and politicians, possible collusion between the police and politicians with those same people, is not the real issue?

Yes, the discussion has moved on from the phone hacking per se, because the problem has turned out to be much bigger and more more pernicious than just hacking into the voicemail of celebs, John Prescott and the occasional murdered school girl.

You may say that the News of the World acted illegally, and in accessing Millie Dowler's voicemail, it added to the torment of Millie Dowler's family. But it only did so in a misguided, pettily criminal effort to get the exclusive, to sell newspapers. Whereas the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, even the likes of The Telegraph, are exploiting this - and thus adding to the torment of Millie Dowler's family all over again - in pursuit of political ends - the break up of Murdoch's hold on the British media.

Bollocks, say I. News International did a lot more than seek to sell newspapers. They appear to have obstructed a police inquiry, bribed police officers, and possibly attempted to suborn very senior police officers. Senior executives seem to hold too much power of politicians, past an present. I am quite confident there is a lot more shit to be squeezed out of this story, but what is already known is sufficient.

Yes, some of the coverage is a bit over the top, but what do you expect? It isn't just the News of the World that has to sell papers, you know, and I don't think a headline like "New Developments In Alleged Accessing Of Voicemail Messages Some Years Ago That's Been Dragging On For Years" is going to boost sales. Blame the sales driven, profit fixated, lowest common denominator, Jordan-is -automatically-news culture of the press (I blame Thatcher). There is a real issue underneath all the froth and the media wankfest - just like there was with the expenses scandal, which featured a similar wankfest - but you're trying to deny that.

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