Monday, July 11, 2011

The Worst is Yet to Come?

Apparently the reason why it was necessary to close down the News of the World will become clear in a year's time. According to Rebekah Brooks, that is, when she addressed the doomed newspaper's staff. Which begs the question, of course, just what does News International think will happen over the course of the next twelve months which will repulse the public even more than the current revelations of hacking murder victims' phones and bribing the police, (amongst other reprehensible behaviour)? But there's the rub - whilst we all like to throw up our hands and declare how revolted we are by the newspaper's behaviour, there's another part of us that secretly wants there to be even worse revelations to come. Revelations that will leave us aghast at their horribleness, and leave us feeling revolted and disgusted. A case of saying: "Oh God, that's disgusting. But please tell me more. In lurid detail." So, what do we think could be the most repulsive revelations?

How about if the News of the World's private detectives had not just hacked the phones of some female celebrities, but had secretly filmed them having sex. Not just any kind of sex, but full on hot lesbo action. Would that be sleazy enough to shock our jaded palates? No? Well, what if it was then revealed that these secret films weren't for publication, but for Rupert Murdoch to whack off over, (it's the only way he can get it up these days - allegedly)? Would that be sordid enough? OK, then try this on for size: not only did their detectives hack the phones of murder victims, but they obtained photographs of their horribly mutilated bodies. Photographs that some News International executive then whacked off over, (see how I'm being careful here, allegedly masturbating over lesbian porn is one thing, alleging, even satirically, necrophilia is something else altogether). Would that be sufficient to really repulse us?

The semi-serious point I'm groping blindly toward here is that the excesses of the News of the World were, in part, fuelled by the reading public's apparently insatiable appetite for shocking revelations about celebrities and sensational crime stories. Arguably, if people hadn't kept lapping up the sorts of stories that the paper's phone hacking turned up, then they wouldn't have kept on doing it. Obviously, the primary responsibility for the appalling behaviour of the paper lies with the individual journalists and editors who instigated it, and the News International executives who allowed it to carry on, anyone who has ever read a tabloid has to bear some responsibility.

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