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Day: July 28, 2011

Phone Hacking, Piers Morgan and the Sunday Mirror

So News International were involved in phone hacking. The whole world went nuts. Everyone cancelling their Sky subscriptions. People claiming to have never read The Times or even an online story on The Sun. Lefties scrambling to show the reading world that they had never even touched a Murdoch tainted product. One person even tweeted that she had never even seen a TV with Sky on it. I laughed so much I had a rectal prolapse*

So as we sit here today with the rumours swirling around the Mirror Group and lets be honest most of us are pretty darn sure that phone hacking was rife amongst all newspapers in the late 90s and up to the recent day then why am I not reading tweets and blogs from everyone saying how they are boycotting all the newspaper industry these days? Whilst their is no hard evidence yet against any other newspaper the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. We know that people who did phone hack worked for other newspapers and when Piers Morgan says in a 2007 interview that Clive Goodman was just a ‘fall guy for an investigative practice that everyone knows was going on,’ and went on to say in a Desert Island Discs programme when asked about it:

‘To be honest, let’s put that in perspective as well. Not a lot of that (staff on newspapers phone hacking) went on. A lot of it was done by third parties rather than the staff themselves. That’s not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work.

‘I’m quite happy to be parked in the corner of tabloid beast and to have to sit here defending all these things I used to get up to, and I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do.

‘I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide, and certainly encompassed the high and low end of the supposed newspaper market.’

Now of course Piers Morgan is not going to come out and say that he knew directly of it now as it’s a shit-storm out there and he has a huge payday stateside that would be in jeopardy should he admit it but we all know deep down this practice was widespread. However the vitriol is not coming out anyone so there can only be two reasons for this. Either the story has blown itself out (which I do not believe) or that the media and government are so busy trying to take down the Murdoch’s that they have lost perspective on the actual crime.

The crime isn’t about one incident of hacking Milly Dowler’s phone It is about the culture of an industry and not just News International. If you want to take down News International and are using this as a crux then you have to attack other media outlets too because if you don’t then that’s just not cricket. If you are waiting until the hard evidence comes out against the other newspapers (which it will) then fair enough but I shall sit here watching the twittersphere and blogs with intent over the coming days, weeks and months.

The smoking gun has lots more smoke to blow before this one is over and if it doesn’t encompass the majority of Fleet Street then I’ll be shocked. Shocked.

*That actually didn’t happen.

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Dreams of being Prime Minister one minute, being a cold blooded murderer the next.

Yesterday saw the conclusion of a criminal case that for some unknown reason I have been following quite closely. It was the case of a 16 year-old who was accused of luring his ex-girlfriend to the woods near where they lived and bludgeoning her to death in an attempt to win a free breakfast off a mate whom he’d bet with that he would kill her.

Well Joshua Davies has been found guilty of the murder of Rebecca Aylward and you read the story and just can’t stop shaking your head is disbelief. A crime that makes no sense in any way imaginable and just goes to show us all just how little we know about other people at times.

Now it has been a fair while since I was 15/16 I will admit but I was blissfully naive of the dangers of the world. I know my mum didn’t want me meeting people I’d spoken to from the internet because I didn’t know who they really were but this was someone this girl already knew and her parents knew and trusted him. It just goes to show that for the 99.9% of us who are safe there is always that 0.1% that have a hidden side to them – a hidden side that is violent.

It is one of the flat-out saddest cases that I have come across for a long time. I know plenty of people are murdered and in the end the result is the same but this had been planned so coldly and there were so many opportunities for someone to smell a rat. I mean if any of my friends even at the ages of 15/16 had even hinted that they wanted to kill someone then I’d be smelling a rat and making bets like a free breakfast for it and then saying ‘Don’t say anything but you may just owe me a breakfast,’ to the person whom he’d made the bet with surely his friend should have worked out something was afoot. His friend – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – said that he thought Joshua was just mucking about. Holy shit Batman are you for real?

I know teenagers sometimes aren’t the brightest section of society but really you wouldn’t think something was wrong when someone said such things? He had been banging on about killing her for months and had slowly become more cold and serious about the whole thing but still none of his friends even thought to speak to an adult about it? I just don’t get it I’m afraid.

As for the blurred lines between the internet and reality then I quite frankly do not find that an acceptable excuse. Some comments on the stories I linked to earlier blamed the death on Facebook, well I’m sorry middle-class folk of England but Facebook is not to blame for this murder. The person who hit her repeatedly over the head with a rock is and that man is seemingly going to spend a long time in custody whether it be in a young offenders institution, jail or in a psychiatric unit.

The internet is not to blame. The person wasn’t driven to kill by the internet. He was driven to kill by either his own insanity or his evilness or a combination of the two. That is sadly the only question that is left to answer.

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