Saturday, 9 July 2011
News of the World: A Devil's Advocacy
I am reminded of Captain Renault in 'Casablanca': "I'm shocked - shocked - that gambling has been allowed on the premises" Claude Rains tells Bogart, before accepting his roulette winnings with a gracious "thank you".
The News of the World is a muck-raking organ. That is its point. In order to muck rake well it is necessary to be a) unscrupulous and b) unsentimental. If we do not want muck-raking, fine, let us let the muck settle. The sanctimonious outpourings of the public (and of course politicians, for whom the death of the News of the World will be most welcome) is symptomatic of that sentimental view of the world which believes that things ought to be perfect. Kill the News of the World and you bury all sorts of nasty stuff that will never see the light of day.
NB I have not personally bought a copy of the News of the World for about 35 years. We liked to buy the Observer for the sport and the NOTW for what had been raked from the muck.