Festering Nob of the Week

As an ardent complainer to anyone who will listen regarding press underhand tactics, pandering to populist pap and ignoring journalistic professionalism standards which would seek to present more than one side of an argument, I have long held News International as news source second closest to the devil incarnate.  Closest to the satanic heat is of course, The Daily Mail and stablemates.  A while ago I analysed over 1,000 frustration-inducing articles and I have the stats and the eyeball-scars to support my opinion.

So it is with measured glee that I watch the News International empire begin to unravel in the face of the awakening of politicians’ enlightened self-interest.  I’m sure they’ll stitch themselves back together soon enough, and no-one will go to prison, but for the moment it’s as though a Balrog has awoken from a century-long slumber and fought through the earth’s crust into the brains of those who ‘lead’ our country.  I’m just sorry so many innocent people had to have their privacy trampled for it to finally happen.

Now that the cat is enjoying itself among the pigeons, almost everyone in public life is under the microscope in some way. Either they were under News International’s microscope, or they are implicated in this whole sorry state of affairs and are now under the microscope of public scrutiny. It’s amusing to watch the press eat itself, with the exception of the Guardian which blew the lid off the whole can of worms.

Is it a coincidence that I read the Guardian? No. It’s not perfect, but my own scientific study leads me to conclude it’s the best available daily newspaper.

Let’s pass quickly through the multi-layered scandal involving cozy relationships between politicians and News International journalists, the mystery of Rebekah Brooks’ apparent invincibility, and the unconscionable behaviour of hacking a missing girl’s voicemail to not only listen to messages from increasingly concerned friends and family but also to delete them, leading to false hope she was still alive not to mention obstructing a police investigation. I’ll also skim over the fact that the same technique was applied to the victims of the 7/7 bombings. I’ll take a breath to mention that an additional allegation floating around that Rebekah Brooks called Gordon Brown shortly after the diagnosis of his son’s illness to tell him that she knew all about it already.  And I’ll just take this opportunity to cast a beady eye of disdain towards any line of argument seeking to hold one upchuck of a ‘private investigator’ solely responsible.

Let’s skip through all of that and get to the police and their non-investigation of the issue in years past despite multiple banners reading CLUE being waved at them.

Maybe they half-investigated it. Maybe they didn’t try too hard because senior officers were taking payment for feeding confidential information gleaned through their own investigations straight to News International journalists. I don’t know. I don’t have all the facts. Nobody does. Nor, I suspect, will they ever.

That doesn’t prevent me from shoving this week’s Festering Nob Award at Andy Hayman, a senior police officer in charge of a variety of things during the time these events took place.   I do so even though it’s only Wednesday.   Here is his reaction to a straightforward question from the people trying to get to the bottom of debacle:

To me, it screams Entitled Asshat Fake Affrontery. It may be that you’re leaning towards understanding his righteous indignation at such a question. Notwithstanding that it’s a question it is surely sensible to ask under the circumstances, it appears that Mr. Hayward left the Metropolitan Police in order to take up a position writing for a News International publication after harbouring a boyhood dream of journalistry.  You do not need to be a conspiracy theorist to arrive at a pretty damning negative inference based on that nugget of information.

I simultaneously want to puke and reach for the nearest copy of my other favourite news source, Private Eye.


5 Responses to “Festering Nob of the Week”

  1. 1 Mrs. G. July 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Asshattery is right. Who could imagine anyone in law enforcement to be on the take? Shaking my head disgustedly at his what appears to be feigned indignation.

    The stink is just getting smellier and smellier on US news as the stories of deception continue to unfold.

  2. 2 Jonathan July 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I think we need to build him a crown – and pronounce him Crown Prince of the Asshats. He’s probably only the tip of the iceberg too…

  3. 3 trash July 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    It was somewhat enjoyable to watch his reaction, you know, given that I live out in the Never-Never and don’t get to the theatre much. I would imagine it is the same reaction Judas gave to the other apostles before he slunk off for his date with that tree.

    And what sort of high-functioning moron would he have to be not expect that question? Oh the affrontery!

  4. 4 Jenn @ Juggling Life July 15, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I am wondering when Americans will wake up to the fact that maybe the man at the helm of all this is Rupert Murdoch–and maybe, just maybe, Fox News is not “fair and balanced.”

  5. 5 cardinal July 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Big grin on my face, as I just finished reading an article about Rebekah Brooks’ arrest today. My fingers and toes are crossed that there is enough momentum in the wave to crash Fox as Jenn has suggested.

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