More on power and the media… July 4, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, Economy.
News International’s efforts to manage the scandal had, you imagined, back in 2006, seemed like a costly undertaking. One that involved, among other things, paying for the continued employment and legal fees of Mulcaire and Goodman after they were charged. Over the years since, however, as something like the whole truth has slowly emerged, that failed damage-limitation exercise has resulted in the conviction of six senior journalists – including one editor and three news editors – with trials of 12 more journalists scheduled. It has seen News International – now News UK – pay millions of pounds of compensation to more than 700 victims of hacking, with several thousand more potentially able to sue. It has shut down the most popular Sunday newspaper in the world and prevented Rupert Murdoch’s companies taking a virtual monopoly of satellite broadcasting in Britain. And it has engendered one of the largest police investigations in Scotland Yard history at a cost of £32.7m so far, plus a trial that will cost £100m. As damage limitation goes it was about on a par with the burghers of Hamelin trying to short-change the pied piper.
And here’s where we are today.
As well as effectively ending the particular dark arts in question, the trial has, you trust, altered for ever the instinctive fear and favour that our political leaders and the police have demonstrated towards News Group. Still, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband remained happy enough on this day of all days to do Murdoch’s advertising for him, gurning with a front page. I don’t know for sure of course, but despite everything, you imagine New York allowed itself a little smile at those images, before trying to get back to business as usual.