Tuesday 24 October 2017

Absolute power corrupts -- absolutely

A feeding frenzy led tabloids way over the line to satiate the hunger of the masses, writes Gene Kerrigan

The rest of the tabloids are remarkably quiet as the News of the World drowns in a swamp of its own excrement. Perhaps some are keeping quiet because of suspicions that they were playing the same game -- albeit, without the manic energy of Rebekah Brooks's troops at the News of the World.

The British politicians are remarkably noisy. Politicians who kissed Mr Murdoch's smelly hindquarters, slobbering over him and his media empire, their ambition unbridled, their fear undisguised, now proclaim their shock and horror. They dare condemn what the paper did only because Murdoch is now weakened, and there's more to be gained than lost by detaching their lips from his arse.

The end of the News of the World -- it's like a light has suddenly been switched on in a dark, humid cellar, and we see the rats of the political and media establishment rushing for cover. And with them, the police who stood idly by -- some of them with fattened wallets -- as the phone hackers treated even the grief of parents as nothing more than material to be harvested and traded for a few pence. This isn't just about newspapers. In fact, some redefinitions are long overdue. A newspaper is a product that aims to inform and entertain. It has a public service role, but also a commercial one. If it doesn't sell it doesn't survive. We may not like the compromises this creates, but I'm damned if I know a way around it. I'm sure I don't want to replace the scale and weight of a major newspaper with the fragmented and limited abilities of a range of blogs and websites -- useful in what they do, but no substitute.

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