RUPE HYPOCRISY CAUGHT ON TAPE
For some reason, when Private Eye published selected highlights of Rupe’s talk to Sun staffers last month (“Murdoch On Tape”, issue 1342, page 7), there was none of the seismic reaction that occurred last night after Channel 4 News broadcast the same material: one can only assume that the immediacy of hearing The Great Man in his natural environment is what did it.
And, to no surprise at all, Rupe’s troops are not about to tell their readers that their boss has gone before the Commons culture Committee and told of how it is the most humble day of his life, while going before the hacks and denouncing Police, politicians and anyone else he can think of and whining that his poor little empire is being picked on. And the rest of the Fourth Estate fares little better.
The Mail has at least reported the story, but it is slanted towards the required angle, that journalists are being victimised, the Police are allegedly using heavy-handed tactics and are “incompetent”, and that what his hacks did was “next to nothing”. This is understandable, considering the Mail titles were top of the Operation Motorman charts – buying information obtained illegally.
How the Eye reported it (click for larger image)
What the Dacre hackery does not tell is that this meeting was recorded because Rupe has lost the trust of his downmarket troops. While there are still some spinners and other useful idiots on the right who really believe it was the deeply subversive Guardian that closed down the Screws, the fact remained that it was Rupe Wot Done It, when he had no need to do so. It was used as an excuse for a seven-say Sun.
And, having dumped on one group of trusting hacks, he then dumped on the remainder, keeping well out of it while the rozzers fetched up at 0600 hours sharp outside the houses of many unsuspecting hacks and their families (one might sympathise more with them, had those hacks shown any of the same towards those similarly treated that they reported upon).
Moreover, as Peter Jukes has pointed out at the Daily Beast, Murdoch has been caught saying different things to different audiences. Bunging the cops for information was bad when addressing the Commons Committee, but in the “Meh” category when addressing Sun staff. Being humble was replaced by being vindictive. Transparency was replaced by “get a warrant”.
The phone hacking scandal was “next to nothing”. And, to top it all, he told the gathering of unfortunates “just trust me”. Well, at least one of those hacks doesn’t trust the SOB, and there are now calls for Murdoch to be summoned to appear before the Commons culture Committee to explain himself. It’s rather like seeing the last gasps of a football manager who has lost the dressing room.