Former features editor of the News of the World, Paul McMullan, joins Howard Kurtz to defend his paper's use of phone hacking.
It's easy to see Paul McMullan is feeling the pinch of conscience. Decent people working as reporters simply do not hack into the phones of people–celebrities or otherwise–to get dirt on them, sexual or otherwise. Despite the sewer he swam in, McMullan is probably a decent chap. McMullan looked like anyone looks who has come to understand his past actions are reprehensible but he hasn’t clearly reached the hail Mary stage of remorse yet. How does one effectively confront one’s own complicity in despicable acts without true remorse? Remorse in this case can be demonstrated by calling out in no uncertain terms those who tolerated phone hacking (the correct term is "phreaking") in pursuit of a story.
McMullan exposed his raw underbelly when he said, “Why should anyone care about a celebrity’s privacy when he [the celebrity] makes $5 million per picture while everyone else is barely scraping by?” McMullan is the manifestation of Tall Poppy Syndrome.
When Morgan was the editor at NOTW, it wasn’t his job to sit outside the homes of politicians and the rich and famous and listen to their private conversations. But it’s for damn sure Morgan knew about hacking and its widespread use at both NOTW and the Daily Mirror where he also served as editor. Now all that remains is for others besides McMullan to come out and corroborate this fact. Against Morgan’s fierce denials, admissions by others will surely lead to Morgan’s firing at CNN–as it should. CNN is ostensibly not a tabloid, although one can barely tell the difference these days.
I hope, in the end, Paul McMullan has the courage of his seemingly newy minted convictions and forcefully and unequivocally exposes those (Murdochs, Brooks and Morgan) who aided and abetted these underhanded activities.
Mr. McMullan, the more you exercise the muscle of good character, the stronger you will get. Some wrongdoers from the Watergate scandal swam in the same kind of sewer but managed to come out clean on the other side. You can, too. Good luck to you, sir.
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