You’ve almost got to feel bad for now-defunct British tabloid newspaper News of the World. Self-proclaimed as “The World’s Greatest Newspaper” with top-spot circulation, the 168-year old newspaper published its last edition on Sunday, bidding a “very proud farewell” to its readers amidst a phone-hacking scandal that started out with a dead 13-year-old’s phone and later involved a former prime minister and other newspapers also published by News International Ltd., Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper division.
If someone else was guilty of phone-hacking, the staff at the paper would’ve had a field day, just like they did in 2006 with “Britain’s top policeman” Sir Ian Blair; the paper called his behaviour “highly unprofessional,” even though he was only recording his own phone conversations with higher-ups.
Or when the newspaper went after Sharon Shoesmith, the head of a London-area children’s council, who refused to take the fall after employees committed crimes on her watch. The paper wrote about Shoesmith, as reported on The Media Blog :
“Did this apology for a boss really believe that if she put on a sad face…she’d get away with this? Did she believe that would be enough to satisfy an angry, repulsed nation and detract from her mind-boggling incompetence?”
One could ask Rebekah Brooks the same inflammatory questions, except Murdoch seems to be jealousy guarding his executive, who’s moved up in the company since her stint as editor at NOTW from 2000 to 2003. Still, angry NOTW staffers had the last laugh through their cryptic crossword. And despite previous plans, Murdoch withdrew his company’s bid for British Sky Broadcasting on Wednesday.