Hackgate Debate

Daisy Waugh listens in on the great debate on phone hacking.

Media Party Lines

Two words. “Milly” and “Dowler”.

Well, yes.

Put them together with “deleting” and “voicemails”. And that’s all that needs to to be said, really, on the whole  matter. Isn’t it? Anyone capable of doing that —

I don’t think they did it though.

What?

Well — it’s just what happens when the mailbox gets full up. Isn’t it?

…The point is, it’s none of our business what these people get up to…Hugh Grant…And that little opera singer girl. Welsh girl. Whatsername?

Can’t remember.

These newspapers think they can ride roughshod, in the name of public opinion.

Public interest.

That’s right. But what’s in the public interest about knowing that Hugh Grant flirted with that secretary? When he was also going out with Jemima.

Well, it’s massive…

It’s exactly these sort murky waters we’re dealing in…And then you’ve got the Prime Minister riding that woman’s horse…

I don’t think that’s part of it, is it?

Really. Isn’t it? You tell me. And then the little Welsh girl — I don’t remember what her beef was.

No. 

They paid her off. I’m pleased to say. But do you remember what a sweetheart she was? When she first came on the scene? 

Oh, she was adorable.  

And then the press come along — you see? I really don’t like the look of that redheaded woman, though. Do you?

Never trust a redhead!

You’re so right!

Well, they arrested her again. Didn’t they?

They should lock her up for what she did to Milly Dowler. Seriously…And everybody else, too. Anyone who ever accepted the Murdoch shilling!

But not the Daily Mail bods!

No. Fair enough. But — I think  that one actually belongs to the Guardian family.

Oh God! Not the Guardian…Really?

Well. I’m fairly certain. Which I think is owned by Amnesty International.

Are you sure?

…No. Yes. Not sure. Is it?

I don’t think so. Amnesty International’s a charity, isn’t it? Mostly. I don’t think they own newspapers, per se. I think you’re getting muddled with something else…I  thought J.K. Rowling was a bit OTT. Did you see her?

I didn’t, no…But  if the press invaded her privacy, then they should pay for it. That’s all. Slamdunk. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. It’s a zero-tolerance situation. If you ask me. Everyone has a right to privacy.

What about…Saddam Hussein?

Well. He’s dead. Isn’t he?

OK — no, but what about actual, legitimate, “investigations”, quote unquote. Where wrongdoing is…sort of occurring…? Do you think journalists have a right to hack into phones under those circumstances? Because this is what’s at stake. Isn’t it? If journalists can’t sort of go about their business…

These journalists have had it coming a long  time. They should start learning who’s boss.

Well — all right. You’re right of course. But, for example — I’m just being devil’s advocate here, Sindy! — what about MPs’ expenses?

Yes. What about them?

If it hadn’t been for the Daily Mail we would never have heard about them at all…

As I say, I do think the Daily Mail may be an exception.

OK, but it’s still written by, you know, journalists. And I don’t suppose they came by the expenses scandal just by politely asking for them to be handed over.

They did, you know.

Did they?

Yer big nelly! Freedom of Information!

…Oh.

These newspapers — most of them — have an agenda. They’re not actually working in our interest. You do realise that, don’t you? 

Yes, of course.

They’re trying to sell news. You know? And you can’t really do that.

No…

News is news. It’s not something that’s up for sale.

No! Especially now. When you can get it all online for free.

Touché, my friend! Daily Mail online! No one actually buys newspapers any more anyway! Except idiots.