Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Of glass houses and stones

As Cranmer points out, they are all at it. And when it comes to illegal activity, The Daily Mail comes out top of the league table, with a colossal 952 incidents executed by 58 different journalists.

When you add these to the infringements of its sister paper The Mail on Sunday, we get a collective guilt of 1218 illicit dealings in personal data by 91 separate journalists belonging to the Mail Group. These statistics dwarf the crimes and misdemeanours of the News of the World, which in 2006 had a recorded 182 incidents by 19 journalists. Doubtless the past five years have seen a steady increase in these illicit dealings, but, pace News International, with total impunity.

But did we really need this information to know that much of the political output was low-grade garbage ... that it should have been ignored and scorned. Did we really need this to tell us that newspapers have for years been missing out on the serious stories, in their never-ending pursuit of tat?

Cranmer cites Ashcroft, who remarks on how many "blind eyes" have been turned. Where was the debate on what is acceptable in satisfying the prurient interest of the public? And where indeed was it? How many bloggers, for instance - and other newspapers - were happy to use the tat and tittle? And still are.

Hey, more than four years ago, I was writing about a fundamentally unserious media. How many of the gobshites, who are so full of themselves now, joined me in that debate? The tarnish spreads far wider than the NOTW. There are a lot of people who need to be doing some growing up, real fast - and some really hard looking in the mirror.