Tuesday, 5 July 2011

How Low Can The Bar Go?

Very rarely is there a story that makes you think “what the fuck?!” in a fairly angry and confused sort of way. It’s a story which you read and the first reaction before anything else is “....WHY?!” I have read some stuff about the News International and News of the World (NOTW) phone hacking, but not really read that much into it. As I’ve said previously on here, I’m not that into celebrity news. There is a market for it though, so it is hardly surprising that a newspaper which deals in that market might use underhanded methods in order to get their scoops. I don’t agree with it at all; all I am saying is that I’m not surprised it happens. It was brought to my attention, much like most of the countries when Andy Coulson, who used to be NOTW editor, had to resign from his position working for David Cameron as his communications director. Back to the point at hand, hacking celebrities is something which when you hear about it, you might be appalled. I personally thought “that was a bit fucked up” but didn’t think it was too bad. Not acceptable, granted, but much worse things go on. I then read the story that has received quite a lot of attention from various media sources. I have taken the quotes that I used from The Guardian.

“The News of the World illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guardian has established.”

...Wow. I saw this and I was speechless. My first response was “...WHY?!” Seriously, what the fuck were they thinking? The story continues and to be blunt, is sickening.

“In the last four weeks the Met officers have approached Surrey police and taken formal statements from some of those involved in the original inquiry, who were concerned about how News of the World journalists intercepted – and deleted – the voicemail messages of Milly Dowler.The messages were deleted by journalists in the first few days after Milly's disappearance in order to free up space for more messages. As a result friends and relatives of Milly concluded wrongly that she might still be alive.”

This is fucking disturbing. I seriously cannot believe that a news group would stoop so low to get a story that they would trick a missing girl’s family into thinking she was still alive. That is beyond sickening. The Guardians story goes on to say another side effect of this disgusting approach by the NOTW.

“The deletion of the messages also caused difficulties for the police by confusing the picture when they had few leads to pursue. It also potentially destroyed valuable evidence.”

Milly Dowler was killed in March 2002. It is widely believed that the man guilty of her murder has been convicted of it finally, Over 9 years later, Levi Bellfield was given a second whole life term for her murder. He was already serving life for murdering two women and the attempted murder of another. I cannot imagine the pain anyone goes through when a loved one is murdered, but to have it dragged out for 9 years is beyond comprehension. The NOTW must have had something to do with this dragging out, deleting messages that could have been key evidence in this case. While typing, David Cameron has said that:

“If they are true this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation. What I've read in the papers is quite shocking, that someone could do this, knowing that the police were trying to find this person and find out what happened.”

I read now that the parents of Milly Dowler are going to seek damages from the NOTW. I think that they deserve so much more than they will inevitably get. No amount of money I’m sure will make up for what the NOTW have done in this case, but they deserve to be given the chance to bleed them dry. I really hope that they do. I also hope that the police can convict anyone responsible for this taking place. I see The Guardian said that more pressure has been placed on Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. If either of them is responsible for this taking place, they deserve to be placed in a room with Milly’s parents and forced to explain their actions. They also need to stand before a judge and a jury and do the same thing. I understand Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who allegedly accessed Milly’s phone, is already in prison. He deserves to face further charges over this. I’m pretty sure something can be found to charge him with out of this case. If no-one is punished, then justice is not done for the family of Milly Dowler, who had suffered enough already without this latest blow that they were given false hope and the investigation was perhaps extended all thanks to the actions of the NOTW.

I looked at the front pages of this morning’s newspapers and noticed something quite interesting, albeit not surprising. Most of the major papers have the NOTW story as either their main headline or on their front page. None of the tabloids however have any reference to it. I hope they do cover it in their paper, but it wouldn’t shock me if they didn’t. There is probably an unspoken agreement amongst them to not highlight one paper’s misdeeds, so not to have their own revealed. You scratch my back etc. What concerns me now is that the bar has been lowered this much, what else is there that will be revealed? What other completely fucked up story will come out this phone hacking saga?

I feel sick to my stomach about this story. Fuck the News of the World for this one. They’ve done some pretty underhanded stuff in their time, but this is a new low. A new low I am struggling to get my head around. The original question I asked is still unanswered. “....WHY?!” I haven’t read the NOTW in a long time and this will likely stop me from ever reading it again. I really hope that the Dowler’s get all they can from News International. I hope that everyone else they’ve hacked sues them as well so they are given a clear message that practices such as these are not acceptable and so they are held accountable for the damage they have done, and they hurt they have caused.

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