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leveson inquiry - wow, that's a lot of testimony to read this week
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Re Leveson Inquiry and Phone Hacking

Paul McMullan lays bare newspaper dark arts at Leveson inquiry - okay, this him defending tabloid actions with various creepy and creepier justifications. It really has to be read to be believed.

Full Text here.

Also more relevantly in the politico-media sector, Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks 'knew about phone hacking at NoW' - we are shocked, shocked I say.

Hugh Grant and the Dowlers testify - okay, was Hugh always so sarcastic? I am going to watch every movie he ever made.

And because I keep losing this link (I keep assuming it's on the Guardian, I don't know why), Hugh Grant Is a Super Spy!, or, how he wore a wire and a reporter fails every Evil Overlord rule in the book.

...seriously, I never liked him before. What the hell, Hugh.

ETA:

Kind of a very brief overview of some of those affected by phone hacking: Leveson inquiry: media victims give their side of the story - depressing, enlightening, and chilling by turn, from the famous, the semi-famous, from parents, children, and victims.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/118005.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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I'm assuming you saw the Daily Show bit on this when it all came out. SHEER BRILLIANCE. Hugh Grant is the most virtuous man in all England.

No! I will tonight, though!

I am so crushing on Hugh now. Some of his responses are so deadpan they're hilarious. His actual testimony isn't anything to sneeze at either; it's very hard to read it and read about his efforts in this and not kind of half be in love with him. And his response to punitive attacks by the tabloids now for his campaign against the phone hacking is like watching someone playing chicken with a group of semis on a highway....and winning.

I don't think I have ever been happier in my life. THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

Sheer perfection, isn't it? Every once in a while I get struck all over again with how much I love Jon Stewart.

Grant has been pretty amazing in all of this. I love how he speaks so easily about his arrest with a hooker as part of his "I don't have a good reputation" bit. It cracks me up but is also impressive.

Thanks for the newer links. I haven't constantly kept up on this, but have been watching off an on since things really blew up. It just blows my mind some of the shit that happened.

Grant has been pretty amazing in all of this. I love how he speaks so easily about his arrest with a hooker as part of his "I don't have a good reputation" bit. It cracks me up but is also impressive.

I love when that's brought up. I'm pretty sure if he ever had a huge amount of shame about it, it was burned out in the like, three months of constant coverage when it happened.

It's neat to watch him work so hard on this, though, and while I'm sure it began as much more personal than a social issue, I get the feeling that it has become a social issue for him, above and beyond the personal, and that's impressive.

His lack of shame is awesome. Because really, if he tried to avoid it that would just make things worse. Just rolling with it takes away everyone else's power over him. It's a hard approach to take, but he's proof that it works.

I think it's neat to see him have a social issue. I'm hit or miss on his movies (some of them I love), but I never before this would have thought of him as in any way a thinker.

I think it's neat to see him have a social issue. I'm hit or miss on his movies (some of them I love), but I never before this would have thought of him as in any way a thinker.

Me either, to be honest.

Just rolling with it takes away everyone else's power over him. It's a hard approach to take, but he's proof that it works.

He has a very "bring it, bitch" going on, but in a very British way.

I don't know... personally I've always thought he seemed like an intelligent guy and my personal take on the whole hooker scandal is entirely different from most people's in that I tend to respect men who pay hookers a lot more than men who assault non-professionals.

Because let's face it, if a guy is sexually frustrated for some reason (he cannot get any or not the right type or whatever), he has three options:

1) stay celibate, if necessary sublimating like crazy
2) pay a professional, preferably paying them well
3) assault or abuse the trust of a non-professional

Yes, the ideal would be to find the right someone, but some people just can't. For these people, the only options I find acceptable are 1 and 2, but human nature being what it is, 1 is just too hard for most men. And my absolute rejection of option 3 means that I actually approve of option 2.

The puritanical assumption that some people make -that everyone is capable of choosing and sticking with option 1 lifelong- is just unrealistic and the cause of too much violent crimes, IMHO.

I do not find using the services of a prostitute inherently more shameful, especially if one is single, which I believe he was at the time of the scandal. He may have had a girlfriend at the time, but that is not the same as swearing marriage oaths and if they had a private agreement that he violated, it does not seem inherently more shameful than just cheating on your wife. Less, if anything.

I think you've made a well-reasoned argument, but I disagree based on two points.

#1. I think if you've been living with someone for as long as he'd been with Hurley at that point, you are to all intents and purposes married. And in many countries you would be considered common-law married, and have all the rights and responsibilities of a married couple. Here in Canada you're common-law after two years of cohabitation.

Now, he and Hurley could still have had an open relationship whether they were married or not. Whether they did, I don't know. But unless they already had an arrangement in place, cheating on your girlfriend of seven years with whom you share an electric bill, I'd say that's just as shameful as cheating on your wife.

#2. When you have sex with a prostitute, there is a non-zero possibility that they have an abusive pimp who is coercing them into sex work, or that they have been trafficked into the country and are to all intents and purposes a slave. If either of those scenarios were true, you'd effectively be raping that person without knowing it. Now, I realize there are plenty of sex workers who don't fall into either of those categories, but for me, it's too much of a risk.

I've never been in a relationship with someone who's gone to sex workers in the past (that I know of, anyway) so I can't say for certain that it would be a dealbreaker. But it would certainly cause me some grave concerns about the relationship and my partner. Your (and any other individual's) mileage may vary.

I would differ with your opinion about cheating; if the relationship is formalized in any way, including "this is my girlfriend," I feel that cheating is equally awful. Whether or not it's a long-term or legalized agreement, someone who cheats is breaking the trust of another person and hurting them.

Listening to Paul McMullan's evidence often defied belief. I still don't have the words for it.

And Hugh Grant was all kinds of amazing. I definitely don't remember him being this cool. But, damn, that man rocks. How did that happen?

Listening to Paul McMullan's evidence often defied belief. I still don't have the words for it.

He's basically the epitome of everything wrong with tabloid reporters all in once really skeevy package. His comments make my skin crawl. And he's in court, and so freaking blase about it!

And Hugh Grant was all kinds of amazing. I definitely don't remember him being this cool. But, damn, that man rocks. How did that happen?

SERIOUSLY. I'm kind of blankly staring going, "...have you been hiding like, your entire life or something?" Who knew he could just--bring it like that.

I think McMullan's evidence is crucial, though, because it shows the other side of it. I'm not defending McMullan in ANY way here. But it shows how someone can engage in activities like this over a long period of time and still maintain a self-image as a good person. A false self-image, obviously, but I suspect other journalists who engaged in phone hacking were probably similar to McMullan in that they really, truly don't see it as wrong. It seems a lot closer to reality than Rebekah Brooks or James Murdoch or Andy Coulson talking in public about how terrible this invasion of privacy is and how distressed they are it somehow happened on their watch.

No, I get what you're saying and thank you, I couldn't put my finger on that particular mindset.

It seems a lot closer to reality than Rebekah Brooks or James Murdoch or Andy Coulson talking in public about how terrible this invasion of privacy is and how distressed they are it somehow happened on their watch.

Yeah, McMullan didn't try to pretend empathy, but the Murdoch cartel faking at having feelings kind of completely fails in the face of him and the other people they were hiring.

Oh, I don't disagree. His evidence is more than crucial. It still totally makes my mind boggle, though.

And I agree that it is way more realistic than Brooks, Murdoch and Coulson saying they have no idea how it happened and isn't it terrible that it did. I will never buy the idea that they knew nothing.

Re: Brooks? Absolute. Fucking. Bullshit. She's told Tom Watson (MP who's driven a lot of the hacking inquiry) that she'd destroy him for going against her.

If they knew nothing, they were woefully, WOEFULLY incompetent. Incompetent to the point where it would be a wonder they could dress themselves in the morning without assistance. And would have been signing off on huge monetary outgoings for no apparent reason. They knew. They just also knew that everybody was doing it and nobody was ever going to get caught because they had crooked policemen in their pocket.

News Int'l even hired private eyes to try and dig up dirt on the lawyers representing phone hacking plaintiffs, followed them around and filmed them with their kids. Those aren't the actions of a respectable company who are shocked (shocked, I tell you) that rogue employees secretly did wrong. They thought they could make the whole thing go away by continuing the same tactics that got them into this mess in the first place. Look at how they flat out lied to the parliamentary inquiry in the summer re: the Harbottle and Lewis letter. Although H & L smacked them down royally for it. Did you read their submission? It was hilarious and beautiful.

To be fair, I doubt News Int'l was the only company doing this. I expect the other red tops were as well. News Int'l just happened to be the ones who got caught.

P.S. Just in case you're interested, a summary of H&L's submission to the parliamentary committee which includes links to the submission itself. And all the comments are worth reading, but I think this is my favourite comment thread. All of the above can really be summed up as, "Don't piss off your lawyers, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

Edited at 2011-12-03 07:20 pm (UTC)

I've watched something like 90% of this inquiry; it's like free entertainment (mostly because it's not my country.) Hugh Grant is the worst witness ever, but he is highly entertaining, I agree :).

He's just ACTIVIST BRING IT and hilariously, the tabloids basically are doing just that in retaliation and he's WHATEVER PROSTITUTE I KNOW KEEP TRYING. The McCanns are totes getting my utter admiration for their sheer determination now. After all they went through with teh tabloids, they aren't afraid anymore, and considering what the tabloids already did to them since their daughter vanished? It's very much a what the hell else can they traumatize these people with.

All of them are amazing.

I've been glued to this entire insane scandal (scandal doesn't seem like the right word for something as serious that involves police corruption, but it'll do) since the summer when it first broke. Astounding. The testimony from the family members of victims broke my heart, but something about Sienna Miller testifying as to how she ended up suspecting her friends and family because of all the leaks really got to me. Damn.

Not a scandal, maybe an imbroglio

Yeah, i don't normally give a damn about Sienna Miller one way or the other (I think she's an okay actress but she doesn't grab me), but that testimony of hers got to me too. I mean, the false accusations (that she would've thought were true, because how ELSE could the papers have got hold of the info?) must have done some serious damage to her relationships.

I believe several of the litigants against News Int'l are people who used to work for celebrities and got fired for supposedly selling info about them to the tabloids, when in fact the info came from hacking. They not only lost their jobs but would've had a very tough time finding new ones in the same field. Who's going to hire someone who got the sack for selling their old employer out?

I thought the McMullan testimony was the most interesting, though. I mean, here's a guy who hacked and isn't ashamed, who has all kinds of justifications. You get to see the mindset that would've allowed someone to do this and still maintain a self-image as a good person.

Sienna and the woman who worked for Elle and whose life became a freaking B movie just hurt. I think what hit me most was the way the tabloid coverage forced them into isolation from their family/friends/support network because of the tabloid-inspired paranoia.

Oh wow, the trial is horrible, the phone hacking and especially deleting the messages on the missing girls phone making police and her parents think she's alive. I hope they get some kind of punishment for their actions.

and Hugh Grant made me smile, I feel the insane urge to love him to, it came out of nowhere. He's very charming as well.

He is! He makes me happy.

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