Is life a theater piece almost entirely concerned with transformation and fragile illusion. Certainly, the News Corp scandal has explored those fugitive relationships between the criminal, the downright irritating and the tawdry sensationalism of seeing the oppressor squirm, metaphorically with the hope that some of the involved will be twisting in the wind…
Justice. Few would argue that the at least $100,000 a year cost to incarcerate a News of the World Reporter in the criminal justice system is expensive. But where did it all begin? Yes, News of the World does remind one of Anthony Burgess’s dystopic world in Clockwork Orange. Or, at the furthest extreme, working for Rebekah Brooks was to find oneself at the heart of an Stanley Milgram experiment,the notorious examination of obedience going to the heart of what it is in the human nature that can allow it to act without restraint. pressing shocks of suffering until life was squeezed out of the subject…
“The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.” –Stanley Milgram, 1974
Ian Leslie’s contention in this consistently startling and fascinating book is that lying, far from being bad for us, is an essential part of who we are. Lying, he believes, drives evolution: the cleverest tactician is more likely to survive than his or her more doltish companions. It also gives us a sharper, alluring reproductive edge and even makes us more balanced people. Without lies, we become sick, depressed or even mad; weighed down by the terrible burden of too much reality. ‘All men are liars,’ according to another Biblical source: Psalm 116:11.
But it’s not just men. All children are liars, too. Between the ages of three and four, children suddenly become more practised at deceit. It’s all part of their learning how to play games. Lying, Leslie believes, is good for the imagination.
There has been very capable studies by the likes the Rolf Loeber, Farrington and others who have illuminated the causes of youth crime and the importance of addressing anti-social and dysfunctional behavior before the onset of the teen years, let alone adulthood. How can this paradigm be applied to the Rupert Murdoch school of thought; a modern day Fagan dispersing his minions over the national landscape in search of editorial dividends.
“It was endemic. It happened,” Hoare said of phone-hacking, in an interview with the BBC in March. “People were scared. If you’ve got to get a story, you’ve got to get it, and you have to get that by whatever means. That is the culture at News International,” he said….Hoare’s claims were passed to Scotland Yard last year but they said he declined to give evidence. Coulson has since been arrested and bailed over allegations of phone-hacking and bribing police. Just a week ago, Hoare made new allegations in The New York Times about journalists making payments to the police, and about the use of “pinging,” the illegal use of mobile phone signals to locate people. Read More:http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/19/no-evidence-of-third-party-involvement-in-whistleblower%E2%80%99s-death-police/#more-79638a
Given an understanding, coherent, into any child’s psycho-social functioning, it appears we are able to predict which tyky grade oner show the
potential to be tomorrow’s criminal actor or accomplice. To Loeber, the road to delinquency leaves a visible path, physical evidence, with the average youthful offender polluting years of indices and clues, such as bullying, aggression, animal cruelty, pyromania and theft, gratuitous violence and property damage, before they are reprimanded before some sort of justice system or parliamentary inquiry.
“It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again.” That’s how one former reporter describes the News of the World newsroom under editor Rebekah Brooks, the ferociously ambitious titian-haired executive who ran Britain’s top-selling Sunday tabloid from 2000 to 2003….
…Journalists who worked there in that period describe an industrialised operation of dubious information-gathering, reporters under intense pressure attempting to land exclusive stories by whatever means necessary, and a culture of fear, cynicism, gallows humour and fierce internal competition.
“We used to talk to career criminals all the time. They were our sources,” says another former reporter from the paper who also worked for Murdoch’s daily tabloid, the Sun. “It was a macho thing: ’My contact is scummier than your contact.’ It was a case of: ’Mine’s a murderer!’ On the plus side, we always had a resident pet nutter around in case anything went wrong.Read More:http://business.financialpost.com/2011/07/18/inside-rebekah-brooks%E2%80%99-newsroom/#more-72801
In the case of Team Murdoch, the resulting pain and suffering is masked, or even predicated by its sponsors enjoying wealth, high intelligence and prestigious social class origins, though it appears the deficit of mental health is of the same root as those of other charges that have descended into a criminal justice system that is equally unable to rehabilitate them.
At the same time, the pressure to get exclusive stories was so intense that dubious practices were barely questioned. “They were ’dodgy business HQ’. I’m not sure if people even realised it was illegal. It was a don’t-get-caught culture,” said the reporter of seven years’ standing. New staff would be given the cold shoulder until they’d proved themselves to be “thoroughly disreputable” so their colleagues could trust them.
“It was no place for anyone to pipe up and say: ’This doesn’t seem ethical to me.’ That would have made you a laughing stock.” …A fifth former News International employee who worked with News Of the World journalists at this time said its reporters were under “unbelievable, phenomenal pressure,” treated harshly by bosses who would shout abuse in their faces and keep a running total of their bylines. …
…Contrary to a popular perception that the tabloid threw large sums of money around to get stories, the news budget was extremely tightly controlled, the journalists said. One described how entire expense reports might be struck through with a red line without any reason given.
Readers who supplied a front-page story would typically be paid about 10,000 pounds, while story pitches negotiated by a publicist would command at least twice that. Smaller user-submitted stories would fetch a couple of hundred pounds. On Saturday afternoon, when it was too late for a reader to sell a story to another paper, their fee would often be reduced….
…This is another reason it was hard to believe senior editors were not aware of phone hacking and other expensive illegal services provided by outsiders, the ex-reporters told Reuters. Mulcaire, the private investigator later jailed for phone hacking, was paid more than 100,000 pounds a year by the News of the World. Read More:http://business.financialpost.com/2011/07/18/inside-rebekah-brooks%E2%80%99-newsroom/#more-72801
“No newspaper editor would not know what a 102,000 pound budget was used for. They knew about every 50 quid,” said the long-term freelancer.
Eavesdropping on voicemail or obtaining call logs was initially a money-saving measure, according to the former employees. Rather than committing a reporter to stake out a venue for as long as it took to catch out a couple having an affair, for example, voicemails could first be scrutinized to establish the time and place of a rendez-vous, saving the reporter time and the paper money.
As its uses became apparent, it was employed more and more.Read More:http://business.financialpost.com/2011/07/18/inside-rebekah-brooks%E2%80%99-newsroom/#more-72801