Thursday, July 21, 2011

News of the news: The biggest story of them all

A photographer won a Pulitzer for a snap he took during the Malibu fire. It showed flames leaping in the background and a fireman dipping his head in a backyard pool. When it was discovered the photographer had suggested the pose, he was stripped of the prize and the shit hit the fan throughout the other major papers. They assigned me to help mitigate the public outrage that would surely follow.

We received one letter. From the same guy who wrote every Monday with a catalog of our previous week's grammatical errors.

The media are never so fascinated and frantic as when it's one of their own.

Like when the roughing up of Anderson Cooper stole the headline from the Egyptian revolution. The molestation of the 60 Minutes reporter made the revolution disappear entirely.

I'd never heard of the News of the World, but by most accounts, it is, was, typical junk news. I'm shocked, shocked to know corruption has been going on in there.

And now, the breathless accounts of every bit of testimony and every apology, then the editorials and critiques on every bit of testimony and every apology.

"After listening to Rupert Murdoch today, would you say we learned anything we didn't know before?"

"No, what I find particularly interesting is that he didn't tell us anything new at all."

"And James Murdoch?"

"The astonishing fact is, there were no new revelations in his testimony, either."

"Thank you, Lisa."

"Thank you, Steve."

(By the way, the picture I saw of Rupert and his young wife reminded me of this.)


  1. I didn't know the old geezer had a wife until I heard she tried to put herself between in him and a pie plate full of shaving cream at the hearing in London.

    Best In Show was a riot. Trivia: the mansion at the start of the clip is the Shannon Estate on Granville St. (Shaughnessy neighbourhood) in Vancouver. We bathe in reflected glory up here in the great white north.

  2. The only thing I hate more than news about the media is news about celebrities. I wonder if anyone remembers there are actual things going on out there in the world?

  3. what a great con the media pulls on us everyday. And we, dumb as a sack of hammers, gobble gobble gobble. While Rome (Pompeii?) burns!

  4. Anderson Cooper attacked! (In other news, revolution in Egypt, after the jump.)


  5. I miss out on all this fun without a TV. Of course NPR fills the gap. I drove all of 30 minutes today and heard 3 reports about this tweet: "Something is rotten in the state of Murdoch."

  6. LOL on THIS! We both love soup... We could talk or not talk forever...

  7. Rupert Murdoch is the poster child for every[one] who's ever needed to get their just desserts. At least publicly. I'll bet he goes home to Wendi and the kids and this fiasco isn't even a blip on his radar.

    Most importantly, is there anything betterer than "Best In Show"? I think not. I love soup too.

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  9. (Oops sorry, posted the wrong link so you have a deleted message.) We both love soup is such a classic movie line. Love the look on the old guy's face. As far as the hacking scandal, I think this faux movie trailer for Hackgate is all you need to see.

  10. Ok I give up. THIS is the link: Hackgate

  11. Katie, I was just about to post a comment (included in which would have been my total bafflement at your link), until I saw your corrected link -- it is so fucking funny; I'll play it five times (at least). I bow in your general direction.

  12. Ok, that's two times.

  13. Katie, actually, the first link - was that really an error? - could work on a certain Murdochian level of denial.

  14. I'm glad I made the effort to put the correct link in. Kudos to whatever twisted minds put that together so quickly. Yes I've watched that clip at least 4 times now and I laugh every time. Gotta love the soaring music. But my favorite part is the director credit at the end. Paula you're right though that my first link does seem rather fitting too.

  15. Hugh Grant is David Cameron, Colin Firth is Hugh Grant. Ahahahahaha

  16. "...and still find things to not talk about."

    I'm shocked, shocked, that anyone finds this shocking. Murdoch has been known for this kind of crap for at least 15 years. I thought it was common knowledge. Maybe it's because I worked in the news business? What's really shocking is that it took this long to call him on it.

  17. That’s what I would call the missing link ...

    wv: barful

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  19. Yeah, what Mac said, most notable among college instructors who live and breathe a staple of National Propaganda Radio ... it's a blast, when as a student, you stand up and argue with them from a point of fact, they don't know what hit 'em.

    More interesting to see Rupert's little ... to see Rupert's old lady take on all comers. I like her for that - reminds me of St. Paul's East Side. One of the largest Hmong communitys in the nation, most of it's origins, in America, into abject poverty.

    I almost slipped at the beginning of that last paragraph, didn't I? A snap judgement about powerful white men, perhaps.

    But what did RM see in her, deep down? Was it that feistiness, the determined loyalty? I only have to look out the window on a late Friday night as the Asian bar next door lets out to the sound of pounding woofers vibrating through the walls and floors as some really badass bitches duke it out for honor and imagined slights against their old man. I say that with all due respect ...

    You gotta love somebody like that, all that passion, misguided, raw and dysfunctional as it may be.

    One thing I did learn in school - the Hmong folks were known as the Miao, a derogative term coined by the invader Manchu. They were perhaps the original people and monarchy of China long, long ago, driven farther and farther south until relegated to the stature they suffer now.

    Most of the elders here now are of refugee stock, speaking pidgin English at best. Something about their culture though, a respect for family, a willingness to work hard and a simple sweetness of demeanor that shines out through even the most petulant of their children. Good neighbors if you can break the ice ...

  20. Katie, thank you for the laughs!

    Petrea, I think a lot of people in the UK knew Murdoch was a very bad person who ruined much of the UK press, but he was very powerful. The gullible readers of his tabloids weren't aware of his agenda, and the politicians sucked up to him as an endorsement carried the votes of the gullible. I hope this is the end of the Murdoch Empire in the UK. Not that the other tabloids are innocent, and I guess there is still fallout to come.

    Bandit, I'm fascinated by what you've said about the Hmong. Is Wendi a Hmong?

  21. Well, after all, it was his most humble day ever.