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Actor Bites Tabloid: Hugh Grant Blows Whistle on News of the World — In April

10 July, 2011 (23:41) | Internet, Law - Civil, Media, Modern Life, Movies, Politics, UK History | By: Peter Kinder

 

Newport, Rhode Island: Fish Pier 7/5/11

         I’ve not seen US coverage of Hugh Grant’s whistle blowing on the News of the World hacking.  This clip from the BBC came via the invaluable Naked Capitalism daily links.

          Grant wrote an article last April in The New Statesman, the UK equivalent (more or less) of The Nation.  He reported an encounter with Paul McMullan, the former News of the World editor at the center of the hacking storm.

           He then bugged the hacker.  The story is too good in Grant’s words to rehash in mine.  Listen to the clip with the volume up, since there are some hard to hear parts.  The unshaven bloke second from right on the BBC news set is McMullan.

           Grant is as sharp and witty in news clips and in writing as he is on screen.  Style aside, the substance of what he says, which McMullan confirms on air, is shocking – even given what we know as of today.

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Comment from Tom Welsh
Time 2011/07/11 at 08:23

Sitting here in the UK watching the News International version of history unravel, is enjoyable! Alas, the joy is short lived because there is a failure to act upon the fact that this is a systemic problem that exposes the incestuous structure of relationships which are miscalled ‘public life’ in the UK. It appeal and market is created by it not being ‘public life’ . Church, Monarchy, Parliament and Fourth estate have now had their internal corruption and public hypocrisy exposed to little effect. Commentators need to grasp the fact that ‘Civic Faith’, the glue that held it all together, had evaporated long since. Everyone ‘knows’ the Church only serves self-serving clerics, the Monarchy sustains spoiled and increasingly vulgar cadets, Parliament is a market from which merchants sell their services and memoirs and The Fourth Estate is a panderer that distracts rather than informs provided its is profitable.

The truth of the matter is that we do not ‘know’. In spite of the billions spent on education in my life time, the UK is less of a knowing community than ever before. Any society that considered the function of the State and community was to ensure ‘Bread and Circuses’ , Consumption and Costa del Sol, progressively loses all those ‘habits of the heart’ that encourages us to reach beyond appetites and distraction. Murdoch understood our appetites better than any other panderer!

Comment from Todd Walker
Time 2011/07/11 at 12:47

Thanks Peter — great Link. Hugh Grant is putting his fame to good use! Of course, it’s also sweet revenge for what the media did to him in the Divine Brown incident.
But then, even she thanks him today: http://hellobeautiful.com/gossip-news/hellobeautifulstaff2/hugh-grants-prostitute-thanks-him-15-years-later-for-changing-her-life/

Comment from ANNE CRUDGE
Time 2011/07/11 at 15:50

It’s very satisfying to see Hugh Grant express outrage in such an articulate manner. McMullan appears as the ultimate sleeze.

By the way, the Sunday New York Times did have a very small mention of Grant’s part in this.

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