From Rod Liddle, in the latest Spectator:
I felt, as we all rounded with glee upon the MPs two years ago, that sooner or later [journalists] would cop it, a feeling of foreboding compounded by my trade’s astonishingly sanctimonious outrage that we were having a privacy law imposed upon us by judges.
Read the whole thing: it’s rather fine.
I’ve been amazed by the response to the NOTW hacking scandal and the media’s reply to it.
Apparently there is nothing worse in this world than hacking into the mobile phone of a murdered schoolgirl. Well, maybe I’m not alone in thinking there could be worse things, such as those where people die not from madmen, but stupidity implemented by government and reinforced by an unthinking media, not just on people who live in faraway countries of which we know nothing. Nor the horrible means of death of young schoolgirls in counties which our own common sense (a sense not common, it seems, with our governing nor media classes) tells us is actually pretty uncommon.
But what I mean is the avoidable, commonplace and equally shocking deaths in places we know where our loved ones, our relatives, our neighbours are. And whose deaths are routinely ignored by a stupid, press-release government and a media whose ignorance borders on the mendacious.
Well, it’s time to be a bit callous here but it needs to be said: Milly Dowler was dead, and as much as you may complain about the NOTW’s actions thence, it didn’t make a lot of difference. She was still dead when the NOTW did what it did. And the police weren’t that much closer to finding her killer when the NOTW did what it did. The police hadn’t actually done a lot, though the NOTW had. Sherlock Holmes would understand, even if the editor of the Observer does not.
What I do think makes a lot of difference is the following story, covered by everyone. You may remember it. What I think is interesting is how quickly the usual suspect news outlets have dropped it. I’ve done a google to see where they might have followed it up:
The BBC. Nope.
The Guardian. Whaddyathink?
The Independent. Uh-uh.
Well, I guess in the wonderful Cameroonie world in which we now live, the hacking of a mobile phone of a tragic young murder victim is more important than the deaths of our grandmothers from lack of water – lack of water! – in our state-funded NHS hospitals. But of course you can’t fault our wonderful NHS.
Nor any drop to drink, indeed.
Day 3 and the duck story is still at stage 4, going on stage 5. The Baby Farm that is BBC News wishes it could get beyond that, but unfortunately they, as always, rely on the Guardian to provide the facts of a huge Watergate-style corruption-going-all-the-way-to-the-top scandal. Fat chance! Personally, if I wanted to investigate a huge Watergate-style corruption-going-all-the-way-to-the-top type scandal, I’d out-source it.
Maybe to someone like honorary Open University doctor Mary Louisa. I know it’s hot in Tuscany at the moment, but heat rash doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll rabbit on about the Scott Trust Ltd being an offshore tax dodge or anything. Richard Murphy would have a fit if she did, and we can’t have that. But who knows? Maybe Our Pol could come up with something useful for once in her sad, deluded life. That would be one-up on her dad.