While the world takes in the news that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been harvesting personal data and communications on an industrial scale, one citizen of The Republic does not seem at all concerned with the news. Step forward Rupert Murdoch, whose occasional excursions onto Twitter have not so much as mentioned the whistleblowing achievements of Edward Snowden.
And if confirmation were needed that this is the Murdoch line, his obedient hackery and punditerati was on hand over the weekend to confirm it, starting with the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie, who appears all too regularly on the paper review part of The Andy Marr Show (tm), yesterday with Sophie Raworth sitting in. Monty moved quickly to move the NSA story down the agenda.
Why should it not be so important? Well, this kind of thing was what we needed, because, if we all stopped and thought about it (which he hadn’t), we’d realise that there are all those terrorists out there, and we have to be kept safe from them. So it was all for our own good, and in any case, apart from terrorists, there were people peddling pornography, and these were also A Very Bad Thing.
Monty then sprayed his credibility up the wall (again) by saying that pornographic images of children should be made illegal, which they already are. But hey ho, he’d done the bidding of His Master’s Voice. Was this a lone voice? Well, no it wasn’t, as the Super Soaraway Currant Bun has demonstrated, via its non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn today.
“Lay off our spooks says furious Hague” thunders the Great Man’s headline, after Master ‘Ague had also appeared on the Marr Show, and had not been even slightly furious. The piece continued “Mr Hague insisted ‘law abiding citizens’ have ‘nothing to fear’ ... he will make a full statement to the Commons today in which he will praise the UK’s hardworking spies, aides revealed”.
Then readers hear from a former SAS soldier that “The intelligence agencies deserve our support. We should trust them”. So that’s enough of that, kiddies – as you were. All that was left was for the Sun to hatchet Edward Snowden, and routinely belittle the risk he has taken in revealing the extent of the snooping to the wider world. This was easy for Rupe’s downmarket troops.
“Geek who blew the whistle” proclaims the headline, telling readers that Snowden is “geekish looking”, just in case they didn’t get it first time. Clearly Murdoch and his pals aren’t too bothered about what happens to Snowden. And it’s an interesting coincidence that the empire which thought nothing of snooping to sell more papers has no problem with Governments doing something similar.
That might come in handy at the FCPA trial. Not that Rupe thinks that way of course.