Saturday, 9 July 2011

press gang

How ironic is it that one of the biggest scandal mongering newspapers has been forced to shut as a result of a huge scandal involving it's own reporters.

Or scum of the earth ?

For those of you not in the UK the News Of The World is was a Sunday tabloid that filled it's pages with more kiss and tell stories then actual news. It's centre pages were generally filled with someones sordid sex secrets. The paper, which was owned by Rupert Murdoch, thrived on the shame and humiliation it could bring upon public figures. Murdoch is in the process of bidding to own all of BSkyB at the moment, questions are now being asked about his suitability to do so. I hope he is refused, even if he wasn't aware of what was happening, as the owner he has to take ultimate responsibility for all that occurs in his organisation.

The phone hacking scandal that caused it's downfall first came to light a while ago when it was revealed that they had tapped the phones of a few celebrities including Jude Law and Sienna Miller, who recently sued them and received £100,000 in damages.
However it has now been revealed that the paper also hacked the phone of a young woman who was abducted and murdered. When she was first missing and her family realised her phone was still active they kept it topped up and were leaving regular messages for her.
This paper hacked her phone and deleted some of the messages.
The phone was being monitored so of course this was picked up on, this led her family and the police to believe that she was still alive.
Apparently the police have also now questioned the families of two other girls that were abducted and murdered in relation to the same matter.

How fucking low and disgusting is that.
It's bad enough to pry into the lives of celebrities but the false hope they gave that family was cruel and senseless. There is no possible way that it did not occur to whoever deleted those messages what the immediate outcome would be.
The fact that mobile phones can even be hacked so easily raises questions about personal security, but there are also legal issues. The police need warrants to tap phones but if any nosy reporter with access to the right technology can do it then are any of us really safe from prying eyes ?

I know that nothing can ever compensate the family for the loss of their daughter, the person responsible has been imprisoned where he will hopefully rot, but I really hope they sue the paper. The trial has raised concerns over the judicial process because of the way they were treated, so one would imagine that they might not want to ever see a courtroom again but the NOTW should really be made to pay for the extra and unnecessary suffering they caused them and the severe invasion of privacy.
If Sienna Miller gets a hundred grand they should surely be entitled to way more then that.

But isn't it about time something was done about the intrusive nature of the press as a whole ? Even after the death of Princess Diana, where it is acknowledged that they played a part - her car was driving too fast to get away from the paparazzi that followed her every move, they still persist in hounding those considered by them to be legitimate targets.
We live in a society where gossip sells papers and magazines, and for those that court celebrity I guess any publicity is good publicity but a line has to be drawn somewhere.
And do the public that buy these publications not have to take some responsibility for encouraging them ? After all if nobody bought them they might have to have a rethink about the content.

Often at the end of one of the NOTWs salacious articles by some fame hungry slut who slept with a footballer and wanted to tell the world how crap/great he was in bed there would be a number to call if you too had a story about the same person. I wonder how many stupid tarts aspiring models see that as an opportunity to make a few quid, raise their own profile, and set out to sleep with well known people just so they can sell the story.
Quite a lot I bet.

I suppose there is justification for what the papers do if it exposes corruption and crime, but even then is it right for them to break the law to do so ? In the past serious criminals have been set free because police did not follow the correct procedures and the evidence obtained therefore deemed inadmissible in court. Yet it's fine for reporters to break the law and hack phones in the name of freedom of the press ? Then shame whoever the target was into public admissions of guilt.
Although so far it appears that all they have done is hack phones of unfaithful celebrities and distressed families.
So no, no justification there whatsoever.

The investigation into this is ongoing, a few representatives of the paper have been trying to justify their actions to no avail really. Last night one of them was pretty much annihilated by Steve Coogan . . . .

I always thought he was a comedy genius, last night he became a public hero.

Although the NOTW was the UKs biggest selling Sunday paper there are others, and the company that produced it will no doubt just change the name and be back again next week.

A lot of the big companies that used it for advertising announced that they were pulling out before the paper said it was closing, I hope they have enough of a conscience to not use ANY publication produced by the company in the future either. 
Otherwise it just becomes a token gesture.
Loss of revenue is the only way to hit them where it hurts, and for that to have any real effect on an organisation that's worth millions it needs to be sustained long term.
Hopefully other newspaper companies will also learn a lesson from this. But I doubt it.

And you really shouldn't believe all you read in the papers anyway.
Lets face it even the weather report is usually a load of bollocks.

I'm off to tart myself up and see if I can pull a third rate footballer.
I have a gas bill needs paying.


  1. The public who buy those newspapers are indeed very responsible. They create the financial incentives for the tabloids to snoop, spy and hack. It's good to see Steve Coogan (and his fellow shagger Hugh Grant) turning the tables on their tormentors.

  2. Well said! The News Of The World is an institution of my childhood but what they did, especially in the case of the murdered school girl and various other innocent people as well as their families, is sick, there is no other word that I can think of to describe what they did.

    Celebs are fair game when it comes to reporting on their lives but phone tapping crosses the line and is a direct violation of one's privacy.
    Heads should roll and Murdoch's head should be the first on the chopping block...ok, that concludes my rant for the year.

  3. It's been a long time coming. After all the moral high handedness of NOTW journalists splashing celebs bad habits across the pages it's nice to see their bad habits been exposed. They are the worst of Britain and have cheapened this country to the point of where our tabloid press is a laughing stock. Fuck 'em.

  4. I will not by those type of papers. I honestly could not care less who someone famous is fucking. I do not understand their popularity. But I guess that if you buy them it's kinda hypocritical to look down your noses at the paparazzi. I do not think that being famous means you should have no privacy.

  5. Yep, DCG. A seismic week in British media. Murdoch stinks. Did you see Question Time this week? Hugh Grant ripped the panel to shreds - there was buzz about it al over FB an Twitter. Anyway have a good night. I might be able to introduce you to a couple of players at West London Academicals. They drive Skoda's so they might at least be a safe bet if not flush with cash?

  6. sickening actually.

    fucking paparazzi must be fined and taxed higher than the average joe...

  7. i've only heard a bit about this ... thank you for going into detail, b/c it's probably the only way i'd actually stick my nose into it's info.

    un-fucking-believable what scum people can be

  8. I agree with Gorilla Bananas, and as such I refuse to buy gossip rags.

    Also... Rupert Murdoch is scum. Here in the USA, I shudder to think of Fox News Network, and I think News Corp's management of the Wall Street Journal has all but run it's quality to the ground.

    Money hungry management is a heavy burden upon the backs of genuine journalists.

  9. I guess we're all pretty much agreed here then.

    Those so called 'journalists' and their actions are disgusting.
    I don't buy the papers or any of the various celebrity heavy magazines, gossip isn't news.

  10. If nobody cared about celebrities these rags would go away.
    These rags will never go away. Sad, really.


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