Contrary to much popular right wing opinion, I’m not skipping around in full smug mode saying ‘I knew it!’ about the demise of the wretched News of the World.
It’s true that all the people involved, the wretched Coulson bloke, the vile Brooks woman are Tory supporters, mates of Dave and trusted by him. It’s true he looks like a right wazzock at the moment but that will pass.
We are all now becoming aware that this underlying attitude among the ruling elite is very bad for the country and reinforces our cynicism and dull rage against ‘them’ who ever they are.
I did know the Tabloids were owned, run and administered by the most bitter, envious right wing bigots this country produces. I knew they lied, cheated and stole at every opportunity, and they will continue to do so until finally they can do so no more. I knew they were at it, at least I suspected it but I couldn’t prove anything.
The fact that so much more than any of us dared imagine has finally burst out in a spew of unspeakable revelation has been so unpleasant that my smugness is in hiding.
A few years ago a mate of mine, you may have heard of him, Craig Charles, was arrested in the middle of the night on a very serious sexual assault charge.
For those of you only familiar with the initial press rage against him, those who missed the long and exhausting high court case, Craig was found not guilty of all charges by a jury comprising mainly of women. I just want to clarify that now.
However, Craig was arrested at around half past midnight on a Saturday night, he was taken into a police station and questioned.
The following morning the News of the World had the story on the front page. Yes, the following morning, Sunday morning it was in the paper.
Let’s just go over that time line once again. Saturday night, 12:30, Craig was arrested. Sunday morning, from about 6 in the morning when the papers are dropped off at the newsagents by the delivery trucks, it was all there in gory shock horror detail.
Now, you don’t need to know much about newspapers to work out that for the front page story to have taken place literally a few hours before the paper is ‘put to bed’ i.e. the typesetting and layout are complete, the presses start whirring up and the whole wretched ugly process starts takes a bit of time. It’s not like updating a blog. But hats off to them, they did it.
On a side note, the text layout on the front page story was very clever.
“Red Dwarf star Craig Charles rapes woman, turn to page 2 for full story.’ So you turned to page two and then it said ‘….it was alleged today.’
So, what myself and many people who knew Craig surmised was that the only way the press could have known about the arrest was if the police had informed them. What I didn’t suspect in my naivety was that the police got paid for telling them which of course is now so blindingly obvious I feel like a supine wet liberal apologist for not thinking it.
It literally must have been an officer involved in the arrest ringing the NOTW as Craig was cuffed and led off into the night. It’s even possible they had informed the press before the arrest had taken place.
What we do know for certain is the story was all over the papers BEFORE Craig had been charged with an offence. He wasn’t charged until mid morning on the Sunday. This fact was brought up in the court case and the judge presiding clearly smelled a number of rather unpleasant rats.
This was years ago, long before any phone hacking scandals, long before any of the present motley crew of lying Tory supporting scumbag running dog lackeys of Murdoch imperialism were on the scene.
It’s how the tabloids operate, they are a malign influence on our culture, they corrupt and defile by their very existence, they are not worthy of the name newspaper.
I admit right here and now I am middle class, privileged, vaguely intelligent, widely travelled, lucky, sensitive, aware and possibly occasionally caring person. I try not to be judgmental, I try not to look down on people less fortunate than myself.
I am going to continue to strive not to be judgmental except in one very specific area. If you read tabloid newspapers, if you support bullying and powerful corporations like Murdoch’s News International by buying their wretched old rags and reading them, you are a nothing short of a moron.