… although I’m starting to be a little bit surprised.

Not, however, at the latest allegation that the NOTW hacked the voicemail of 7/7 victims. What’s really struck me since I wrote the last post is the slowly developing picture of life behind the scenes at News International. It’s a strange mix of sinister global media manipulation and utter comical incompetence.

On one hand we have Rebekah Brooks as CEO, heading an investigation into her own company (now, where have we seen that approach to impartial investigation before?). But then they send out their secret surveillance team to spy on a Metropolitan police officer, suspecting that he might be having an affair with… his own wife.

Come to think of it, though, it’s all part of the same process. The huge power and assumed immunity from the law has led to complacency and laziness. Why even bother gathering news in the traditional way, when you can just hack EVERYONE’S voicemail? There’s a fair bit of mission creep in there, too… hacking the voicemail of a Premiership footballer’s new girlfriend is a way of generating a salacious and exclusive story. But hacking the voicemail of Milly Dowler? You’re only going to hear her friends and family saying the same things that they said in the official press conferences. Apparently there are worse revelations to come; judging by how wanton and undiscerning their hacking tactics are starting to appear, I can fully believe it.

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