Ever since the end of the football season proper, the print media has been filling its time reporting on the phone hacking saga, with the television and radio joining in with barely disguised glee.
I imagine many football purists raised the odd eyebrow over the allegation that Andy Gray's phone was hacked, probably to get nothing more of note than a couple of off-colour sexist jokes left there by a colleague.
As a professional cynic, I did wonder about the hacking in relation to the 'sources' cited by many in the print media (usually "a source close to the player/club") - both for transfers, very relevant now, and for player's personal lives (and you could cite numerous players here).
Nothing appears to have surfaced yet, but the police have said there are 'thousands of victims of hacking'.
One wonders whether we will see our players turning up in the future coverage of this, and in the case of transfers, whether clubs might seek legal redress for collapsed transfers where voicemails were deleted before the recipient ever heard them...
The last big phone hacking scandal was Watergate...or was that the first!! As we all know its nothing new but this latest scandal is made worse by the victims of tragedies being hacked as much if not more than the celebs.
You tend to think it comes witht he territory for celebs...of which i include footballers, sporting pros and politicians.. but the victims of crime being hacked takes it to a whole new level.
I'm not sure I approve of the idea of "it coming with the territory" - in the main, and with a few exceptions, footballers, film and TV actors etc. are simply people much like you and I going about their business of earning their living. 'Personal appearances' at events tend to be publicity events related to their work.
Even when they're 'off the clock' and on their own time, I see no reason to afford them any more attention than anyone else. Its slightly different for anyone who have a modicum of power to directly effect your life or mine. If they are acting in a hypocritical manner (i.e. politician promoting themself as 'family-oriented' while conducting an affair; sports person cashing in on their family image while having an affair) I have no problem this being exposed, but not by legally suspect means. By all means interview staff at hotels where they're conducting the affair, that sort of thing, but gross invasion of privacy a la phone hacking is IMO too far. Even the security services know the legal position of such activities and steer well clear without a court order...
I said 'tend to think it comes with the territory' more as an observation of what we witness actually happening rather than agreeing with it. Phone hacking is wrong under any circumstances ...unless you watch programmes like CSI and are waiting for the comeuppance.
Newspapers will do anything to sell a paper and technology including phone / computer hacking. Its the latest tool in the journos armoury to get the breaking news exclusive, whatever the cost, under any circumstances they consider necessary to get the story. Just look at all the palaver with twitter and players being fined by clubs for their remarks ... Babel.. an example. Kids getting thrown out of uni or not getting the place there in the first place by those with the power to offer the place denying or rescinding it based on a facebook discussion about drunken nights or remarks about teachers or whatever.
Im not especially interested in the love lives of players but there is a market for that sort of news which means newspapers feel that more information of that ilk is needed to satisfy demand therefore more suppliers who are more adept at getting hold of that sort of thing is needed (according to the papers...not me!!)
This latest thing of 'how to buy a football club' -how are these players and managers caught out so easily, they must have had media training and been made aware of the methods used to catch them off guard.
Phone hacking stinks. While there are people lining up for reality shows desperate for fame and a market who want access to them, the papers are going ot use fair means or foul to get the information. I find that unacceptable but I find it grossly unacceptable that victims of crime have had their phones hacked.
I think were on the same page in our views actually and lets hope that the legal eagles can sort it all out and some new laws will be passed re privacy etc.
"made worse by the victims of tragedies being hacked"
= = = =
100% agree with that bit. If it wasn't for that, we wouldn't be seeing even half as much fuss!
Agree completely with StJohnRed, fantastic post. I always hear this argument against celebrities that "oh celebrities are in the public eye when it suits, they use the media when they want to sell films, books etc. so this makes them fair game to trashing them" I've never understood that logic. At the end of the day the media and the celebrity are helping each other in a business sense. The rest of their lives are private and that has nothing to do with their business. In that sense, their private lives are private and unless as StJohnRed says, what they're doing privately doesn't affect the public then it's nobody's business but their own.
Regarding what's going on at the moment with News International, anything that can strip away the power of Murdoch and bring down his empire of controlling our governments; influencing public opinion to suit their agenda; and destroying the lives of perfectly innocent and decent people - then I'm 110% all for it. This isn't just about them, hopefully it will have an impact on those media outlets (like the BBC) that used to have a history of integrity in journalism, but have stooped to Murdoch's level in order to compete with his slick media business. I am hoping they can get the evidence to show he hacked into 9/11 victims and that can cut him off in the U.S. and hopefully make the idiots who watch Fox News realise they're being mugged off.
As a nation we seem to be getting the blame for the terrible behaviour of the newspapers, it is somehow our fault because we want to see that kind of 'entertainment', even the papers themselves try and justify it because of this.
I can honestly say that I don't buy newspapers, haven't bought one for years, for good reason, I am not interested in the lives of the rich and famous, I'm not interested i the narrow minded rabble rousing veiws that they'd like to peddle, I don't watch reality TV, nor do I watch the utter bilge that is currently being peddled as entertainment, some minor celebrity doing a fox trot or badly boiling an egg does not in the remotest float my boat.
I am glad the murdochs are getting their just desserts finally, one issue is that it probably wasn't just them and their papers, it's most likely all the rags, daily mail, mirror, star, express.
The other issue is that all of our newspapers are politicised, whether you like it or not there will always be a bias and that's an issue whether its the murdochs or anyone else that owns a paper.
Its a bit of a case of Which came first the chicken or the egg? Mass interest in private lives of celebs or some snippets being released and a clamour for more... sort of like the debate about violence and youth ...are they emulating what they see on tv or does tv reflect society?
When Wayne Rooneys private life is making front page news...you know theres something wrong.
With Wazza, I have far more problem with his runnning up to the camera antics than I do with about whom, where and when he chooses to play hide the sausage, and whether that person chooses to accept fiduciary reward for said liaison.
Of course, if Mr R decides to cash in on a squeeky-clean image, arm round Coleen and bab, before selling something, then its hypocritical to complain about such tabloid tattle. If, on the other hand, he's flogging stuff simply based on an image of sporting success, no reason to raise the issue.
But either way you lean on the issue, such 'tattle' can be got from previously mentioned ladies, without resorting to phone hacking.
I am exactly the same Reggie, I haven't bought a newspaper for years and I am not in the least bit interested in any of the reality TV shows including those about so-called celebrities (Jordan). Don't watch the phone in shows like celbrity come dancing or X pop factor or idols or whatever the hell it's called. In fact you're probably the first person I've come across that's the same.
In that sense, although I agree it's a bit of a cop out to say those who are viewing this trash are "to blame", they are however paying the wages of these programme makers (and the newspapers) and this gives them a motive to make more of this shit and so it goes on.
Well, it's a bit like the Bankers and bad mortgages, the bankers were culpable but so were the people that applied for those mortgages, it takes 2 to tango, so the readers and the papers were both partially responisble, then again, so are those morons that like to flout their love lives in the papers and on TV, they've helped to create a culture where people will read it.
The mortgages issue is a red herring - a number of people I knew applied for those 125% mortgages, and were positively encouraged by the mortgage sellers (probably on commission) to understate outgoings on things like food, so as to inflate uncommitted cash in calculations.
The sad thing is, you really don't need to deliberately understate that sort of thing, you do it without trying.
You can criticise average people for not knowing how the mortgage market works, but those same people believed what they were told by (often self-proclamed) financial experts who told them they could afford it. When you're sat in a bank and someone working there tells you you can afford something, you assume they have seen your bank account and can see how you're been running it, and can give good advice on it. Couple this with the naive thought that no-one in a bank would sell you a mortgage that would be almost guaranteed to lose you your house in a few years time, because you paid out more than the house was worth back then, and its worth even less now...
No, I blame the bankers for coming up with a roulette-wheel mortgage product, and getting a bunch of underqualified commission monkeys to flog them to unsuspecting, naive punters...