the state of things
A Crapulent Bag of Self-Righteous Fuck
by Douglas Lindsay - 10:21 on 06 July 2011
Media in ferment. Nothing the media likes more than to get to talk about itself.
Public inquiry? Oh yes, that will make all the difference. Perhaps we can get Lord Hutton to take the chair, and he can listen studiously for three months and then decide that it was all the fault of the people whose phones were bugged. If they hadn't had phones in the first place… only themselves to blame… the very act of purchasing a mobile phone is tantamount to inviting the media into your life… no blame attached whatsoever to the media or the government…
Rebekah Brooks, blah blah blah. Rebekah Brooks, bizzarely-haired, husband-assaulting renegade. Calls for her resignation, blah blah blah. What difference will that make? Will it mean she'll be out on the streets? Will it mean all her friends in media and political circles will storm her house with torches and cast her from the village? Will she find herself living in a forest, eating berries and wiping her disingenuous arsehole with leaves? No, of course it won't. She'll resign, she'll slip quietly into a brief period of gardening leave - wherein she will be hand-fed grapes by eunuchs, and massaged by illegitimate slave children from the colonies - and then she'll be back doing something else for a lot of money.
No one should give a fuck about Rebekah Brooks. No one should give a fuck whether she lives, dies, spends the rest of her life in prison, has a threesome with Blair and Cameron (go on, picture it, I dare you…) or becomes Prime Minister and commits mass genocide of the intellectuals. She's not the story. If she resigns by the time I've finished writing this, or by the time you read this, it will not change anything. Won't change her life, won't change the way the newspapers operate, won't change the colossal cock of British popular culture.
The story is the way the media control the news agenda. The story is the links between the media and government. The story is the power of the press and the media owners. (I shan't call them press barons; that terminology probably just makes them all feel like big, fat, arrogant, cigar-smoking, Orson Wellsian behemoths.) The story is the press being politicised, so that every story they cover is skewered right or left, anti- or pro- government, in such a way that it's impossible to establish truth. The story is the fear of government in the face of such media bias. The story is the media abusing press freedom, using it to exercise control, and then defending that freedom to say what they want with all the self-righteous fury of Senator McCarthy defending America from the Communists.
More than anything, the story is about the fact that this is what the British public want. Everyone knows the media will do anything for a story. Anything. Is hacking someone's phone that much worse that hordes of slavering journalists camped outside someone's house waiting for every twitch of a curtain? Don't think so. Don't even think it's as bad. But the mass journalistic scrotum, shoving microphones in faces and demanding answers, is an accepted standard.
The only thing that creates change in the western world is market forces. If collectively the British public decided that the media did not deserve their business until they began to report unbiased, non-sensationalist news, then the tabloids would have to change. But that will never happen. The media are in ferment, they're talking about themselves, but eventually it will burn itself out and everything will happily return to the way it was before they got into ferment in the first place.
As a consequence we get the media we deserve: a crapulent bag of self-righteous fuck.
That's the story.
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