Two weeks ago, Britain was a nation lost, permanently ill at ease, with a mutant, hybrid government and an air of meekness and gloom. There wasn’t anything to distract us, to feel particularly ashamed or proud of—everything was just a bit depressing. Nine out of ten news stories were about Kate Middleton’s hats (too Canadian?) or clavicles (too pointy?). In Europe, we would have just looked insensitive if we had complained about our dull, entrenched problems, given the exuberant sleaziness in Italy and chaos in Greece.
[Guest post by Gabriel Debenedetti] This morning’s News Corp parliamentary hearing in London boasted more than its fair share of explosive moments, from the absurd to the slightly frightening. As Rupert Murdoch appeared old and occasionally hard-of-hearing, his son James seemed both shrewd and uncompromising. Up next was the reviled Rebekah Brooks, who came across as fatigued and unsympathetic. With the hearings fresh in our minds, TNR brings you the top ten moments from the proceedings: 10.
[Guest post by Alex Klein.] Today’s Wall Street Journal editorial has the title “News and its Critics”—obviously, it’s missing a word. The piece’s real title should be “News Corp and its Critics,” or even better, “News Corp vs. its Critics.” It’s a piece by News Corp, for News Corp. The problem is, the ugly 1044-word attack on the company’s “competitor-critics” alternates between catty defensiveness, a drunk beat poet, and utter incomprehensibility.
[Guest post by Alex Klein] "In Interview, Murdoch Defends News Corp." proclaims a much-buzzed headline on the Murdoch and News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal. It's a stretch of a title. The 700-word piece is less "interview" than stenography, a generous opportunity for the mogul to swagger, project confidence, and bend the truth. There are a lot of so-sad-it's-funny quotes, but the best by far is Murdoch's promise to institute a "protocol for behavior" at all of his newspapers.
[Guest post by Alex Klein] The country of my birth is parodying itself. We’ve spun around the roundabout of funny and turned off directly into sad. The News of the World’s Pandora’s box is daily spilling out even fresher hells, so embarrassing in their corporate-journo-politico complicity that one could almost forgive Rupert Murdoch for burning a million emails worth of evidence — well, almost. Today, we learn that NOTW tried to hack Gordon Brown, Prince Charles, and 9/11 victims. Then they tried to buy the Queen’s phone number. In times like these, England rarely turns to the clergy.