I really wasn’t going to write about this whole hacking thing. I really wasn’t. I mean what justice could I do to a story about how a newspaper is accused of hacking and edits the voicemail of a murdered 13-year-old girl? A paper accused of hacking the families of other murdered children? A paper accused of hacking the phones of relatives of war casualties? The same paper which publicly screeches about protecting children from paedophiles while violating the privacy of those it’s pretending to speak for? The paper which talks constantly about war heroes while committing acts so cowardly that even a coward would be disgusted (I know. I’m just such a coward). God! I wouldn’t know where to begin?!??
So I wasn’t going to. Today I was torn between three lifechangingly important tantrums.
On the one hand I was feeling all righteous about lambasting the growing trend in the daily mail of telling an entire story in its headlines. I mean how lazy the fuck is that?!?! Do they employ sub editors any more? What happened to punchy but intelligent headlines that draw you into good copy? Jesus. Headlines. Wankers.
On the other hand I was feeling punchy as fuck about the sick way the papers go all gooey about prepubescent girls. Leering over pics of five and thirteen year old girls like some sort of fucked up paternal voyeur standing watch over a blossoming flower and pretending they aren’t just filthy old men hiding behind a veneer of greasy, slimy, sweaty morality. Whether it’s the standard drooling about how Kate Moss’s little sister is some thirteen year old english rose or whether it’s the mail splashing out for long lense pap shots of Suri or whoever they want their 50+ mail readership to have a 16th birthday countdown for!
On another hand entirely I was going to have a big rant about my own personal experiences with PR companies lately. Like how the fuck do they exist? They’re like middle-men for copy that shouldn’t even be news. I had a theory that they might be failed writers like in that episode of Spaced set in Kentish Town Nandos but I can’t even give the fuckers that sort of backhanded compliment. One press release they wrote for me had a 22 word fucking headline. And a 56 word opening sentence?! Jesus do you know how shit you have to be to produce copy that bad? Like R.E.A.L.L.Y. shit. Shitter than a truck full of shit. PR companies: right up there with Estate Agents and Recruitment Consultants in the ambition without talent stakes.
|I don’t have a picture for this, I just want you to see how a fifty-six word sentence looks, it’s really long, I mean, I’m exhausted writing it and keep having to stop myself pressing full stop because I’m trying to show you how long this is when you try and read it in one breath|
So where was I?
Sorry… No. Really. Completely lost myself there.
Oh yeah. OK so. I was torn between those three little ditties when James Murdoch came out and said that this Sunday would see the last edition of the News of the World and suddenly everything changed.
It was like shots ringing out in Dallas. Cue bullet time. Yeah everyone will remember where they were when they found out. The shitstorm about hacking, the advertising pullout, the twitter campaigns, the petitions and the non-News Corp press drooling over the freshly killed corpse of a tabloid. Lovely. Everything’s changed!
Except what exactly has changed? I mean nothing really. Really? A bit of liberal backslapping over lost jobs? This shit’s still the same as it ever was. Before I could even break out the sherry and party poppers and don my crumpled paper hat I had that sinking feeling you get when something has happened that’s good but is quickly gonna turn very bad.
You see it dawned on me. All those advertisers. The one’s I’d messaged in the collective rush of blood to the head that twitter had experienced this week. Well they’re just gonna switch to other news international media aren’t they?! And the News of the World? Well it was just gonna be replaced by another version of itself.
News Corp and news international are like a fucking hydra man! You cut off one head and another grows in its place. Worse still. WE didn’t cut anything off. As much as twitter hacked away about hacking the NoTW could have carried on. But the brand was tainted. News International surgically removed it to limit any damage or fallout. Coming back phoenix style with a fresh new brand, advertising revenues and readership secure! Cue the Beatles gently serenading us “here comes the Sun, and it’s alright” – It would have been much better if NoTW had limped on, bleeding out, haemorraging News Corp credibility til the infection spread upwards into Murdochs brane.
What just occurred is a massive cloud emanating from the silver lining of the whole hacking scandal which was in itself a cloud. Like the Arab spring. All those people protesting and fighting for a regime change. They topple that-there-fucking-despotic-regime and when the dust settles and the press move onto royal weddings and tsunamis they’re left with the same shizzle under a different name. And worse still. A lot of people who aren’t sub-human scum are losing their jobs. The grunts who worked to earn a crust at NoTW are all wondering how something they have nothing to do with has cost them their jobs. Ok so sympathy may be thin on the ground here but come on. Very few of us do a job we truly love for a cause we really believe in (otherwise there wouldn’t be whiny blogs like this).
But there is hope. This particular cloud has a silver lining. It’s like a cumulonimbus of clouds all circling up and down and throwing out bits of silver and cloud and silver again. Alright, alright. Enough cloud analogies.
You see in jettisoning an entire paper to save herself, with the backing of her paymasters, Rebecca Brooks is still keeping the whole tainted affair very close to the Murdoch stable.
As long as she remains there will always be the hacking stain on News International’s sullied reputation. Better still there are 500 odd people with a lot of insider knowledge who have reason to hate her. So don’t be too hasty in trying to get rid of her. Because she’s the one thing that can still make things go tits up for news international. And the longer she stays the more damage her name could do to the Murdoch brand!