Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Prurient interest

Can you imagine how the NoTW would have reported on this case?

It seemed odd to hear Rupert Murdoch proclaim his love of ‘investigative journalism’ when exactly that has exposed the flaws in the media he supported.

I must admit, one thing that struck me was how polite we all seem to be, us and our liberal society, with all our politeness and political correctness. Many of us appear restrained from comment by our ideas of ageism, sexism and racism, for instance – but his paper never was.

They’d probably have kicked off with asking how an ugly old rich man ends up with a beautiful, intelligent, feisty, oriental wife young enough to be his grand-daughter. They were proud of their campaigns against known paedophiles so they could surely not have resisted pointing out that he would have been about 50 when she reached puberty.

Don’t give me that “they love each other” crap. That wouldn't play.

I bet the NoTW didn’t say “leave them alone in peace” when John Lennon decided to divorce his English wife and marry an oriental woman older than himself.

Or when Woody Allen married his (much younger) oriental adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn – which the NoTW could probably pitch to the prurient reader as both incest and paedophilia.

The bottom line for me, in my disgust at this situation, remains the hypocrisy of pandering to people’s lowest interests (because, yes, the people who regularly bought the paper do certainly have some responsibility in the matter).

The big difference to me remains the one between a panderer (the flatterer who tells people what they want to hear, without actually believing it themselves – a two-faced person) and someone with sincere, strongly-held, even if (to you and me) misguided beliefs. I have no desire to drag people into my value systems, so if you think Jesus lives on a flat earth (or voted Conservative) it has little interest to me.

What I seriously dislike remains the hypocrisy of pandering...writing invasive, unpleasant crap - low-brow, shit-stirring, gossip - and appealing to people’s lowest instincts, just to sell papers (get rich) and feel influential, while sneering (secretly) at how dumb your punters are.

In a free society (whatever that means) I think anyone retains the right to campaign for their strongly-held beliefs, even as part of a small minority...but to urge the crowd into hysterical mob behaviour and beliefs (while yourself not personally sharing those beliefs) still seems outrageous.

2 comments:

Julie Shackson said...

Hear hear! Good article.

FLY AGARIC 23 said...

"
I bet the NoTW didn’t say “leave them alone in peace” when John Lennon decided to divorce his English wife and marry an oriental woman older than himself."

Well said Toby...

NoTW, is mentioned in Polythene Pam: "She's the kind of a girl that makes the News Of The World,"

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