It would appear that the name ‘gutter’ press cannot possibly be low enough to describe the revelations of the News Of The World ‘journalists’ responsible for the latest allegations of phone hacking. Now, it is not like me to get on my high horse, as friends of this parish are aware. Oh no, not me. No sir. And nor will this be the most erudite or accurate piece that is written on the subject, and its a shame you won’t be able to read it over your Sunday breakfast. But it is about time that the most sanctimonious, fickle, hate-peddling, gossip-mongering, rumour-starting, life-wrecking, sensationalist ‘publication’ was finally shown up for what it is, and always has been: a pressed, folded and published choker of rhino shit that leaves more than just ink on the fingers and a stink in the air.
The revelations this week that the phone hacking campaign, that the NOTW had been actively pursuing for several years, had switched from celebrities and politicians – fair game according to the readership that continued to read it – to the victims of murder, rape and the associated horrors of both crimes has tipped the balance in not just the lefty, holier-than-thou broadsheets of Islington, but across the country. That such targets as Millie Dowler, the victim of an abduction and murder, and the latest revelations this evening that those connected with the families of the Soham murder vitcims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, two 10 year old girls from a Cambridgeshire village, had been targeted is starting to result in the greatest crumbling of a British publishing institution that has had it coming for too long. That this publication can possibly be read, let alone stocked or purchased by retailers, is almost as inconceivable as The Sun being stocked in Liverpool.
The irony of course being that the very paper that would be at the front of the nation’s bare-chested, printed-in-Tenerife, lager-fuelled and tattooed charge, with it’s literal pitchfork, burning torches and mild-squint should now be at the centre of a very real backlash is almost breathtakingly amusing, had the subject mater not be so utterly abhorrent.The larger repercussions for the editor in that role at the time, Rebekah Brooks, the Chief Executive of News International, are wider reaching. She is currently leading the investigation into phone hacking at the NOTW, yet she was also the editor at the time of these latest allegations. So how, exactly, can she investigate herself thoroughly and not smell a little fishy – if she finds herself innocent? Also, how can the editor of a newspaper renowned for its undercover investigations, stings, exclusives and revelations not be aware of what was going on? They knew. Of course they did. They proposed it. They sat in planning meetings to orchestrate it. It was bloody strategic!
They were also, allegedly, in cahoots with members of the Metropolitan Police Force, and regularly exchanged private information for cash with them. And how do we know that? Saint Rebekah of Innocence told us so when sat in a parliamentary committee next to her previously vilified and guilty ‘bastard’ AndyCoulson, the previous editor of NOTW – a man that tried to improve his reputation by becoming David Cameron and the Conservative Party Director of Communications. There are not many better “out of the frying pan, into the shitpot” career moves, unless you decide that stealing money and beating pensioners was too much, so chose the path to righteousness by fucking endangered mammals in Oxford Circus screaming “Mugabe for the Nobel Peace Prize!” whilst wearing an Eton boater.
The rag that pushes the twisted morality of its one-eyed readership has tripped itself up, by falling off the very high-ground that it pontificates from as its own landscape. And I, personally, am rubbing my hands at the prospect of watching the paper fall like Saddam’s statue. And I feel sorry only for the victims of the hacking, and those affected by it – and by that I mean those celebrities, politicians and members of the public whose privacy was trampled over in the interest of selling papers. Nothing else.
And the readership that has bought the filth for years on a Sunday, pouring over the revelations and lies that it built its reputation on can finally see that they have been part of the problem, by funding it and going back for more. It is understood that Ford has just pulled their marketing and advertising spend, and others are set to follow. With no readership, and no advertising revenue, there can be little to support it. But also, I hope the ‘journalists’ responsible for dumbing down this island’s attention span and growing the desire for fame-hungry, talentless, page-fodder hang their heads in shame. Were they just ‘following orders’? Well, they can follow the easiest one their readership knows and will deliver: fuck off. To the resounding sound of boos.
Follow me on twitter @benopause