What spell does Rebekah Brooks hold over Murdoch?
Now I appreciate this phone hacking malarkey looks set to over-shadow all her other misadventures but by golly the lass has a lot of previous.
While at the News of the World, she oversaw its controversial campaign of “naming and shaming” convicted child sex offenders, after the murder of Sarah Payne. The paper’s decision led to angry mobs terrorising those they suspected of being child sex offenders, which included several cases of mistaken identity and one instance where a paediatrician had her house vandalised, apparently by people who misunderstood her occupational title to be the same as paedophile.
Grossly irresponsible. Someone could quite easily have been killed. Quite possibly the paediatrician…
Soon after becoming editor, Wade ran the headline “Bonkers Bruno Locked Up” concerning the mental health problems of former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno. The next day The Sun ran a 600 word reply from the head of the mental health charity Sane, and since then has adopted a style guide on covering mental health stories prepared by the same charity.
Frank Bruno was completely away with the mixer (he allegedly thought he was Frankie Dettori) so there might seem some scope for humour except serious mental illness isn’t funny if you think about it for a second. And to stick the boot into a “National Institution” at his lowest ebb for a cheap laugh shows a lamentable lack of judgement and judgement is essentially what you pay an editor for.
On 3 November 2005, it was reported that Wade had been arrested following an alleged assault on her husband (Ross Kemp). She was later released without charge and the police took no further action. The Sun had been running a campaign against domestic violence at the time.
All these calamities and Brooks’ apparent reputation of being a right cow to work for could have ended or impeded her career long before the phone-hacking stuff (which undoubtedly will) but the reverse seems to be the case. So what has she got on Murdoch?
I very much doubt it’s sexual (but see later) because she ain’t a looker. She’s got a visage that is enough for dairy farmers to get restraining orders and an arse the size of Hungary miss-matched with racing tits.
A BBC reporter said Murdoch regarded her like a daughter… Hmm… Not so sure. It was widely reported that his marriage to a Chiness woman few years ago was part of an attempt to get his foot in the door of that market. This implies to me that Murdoch tends to use family for business and not the other way around.
Of course Mrs Brooks is close pals with Dave and Samantha Cameron and on that subject The Telegraph’s Peter Oborne has this to say…
It may well be dangerous for David Cameron to ditch Mrs Brooks. She may have acquired a great deal of information about him and the senior members of his cabinet, both at those quiet Chipping Norton dinners and quite possibly through other, nefarious means. Mrs Brooks is cornered and liable to strike out. But that is a risk the Prime Minister must take.
This only firmed up my hunch that the key to understanding how Rebekah Brooks got to where she is this. She is to quote Lyndon Johnson on J Edgar Hoover, “Probably better … inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.” She knows where the bodies are buried.
I have to at this point remark on the general tone of that Telegraph piece though. Just read the whole thing and see if you agree with me. It gives the hint throughout of all sorts of sordidness amongst the “Chipping Norton” (yes, I know!) set which makes it sound like the Happy Valley set.
Enough wild speculation on that score but I was quite struck by the fulsome praise Oborne heaped upon Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian. Now far be it from me to speculate that The ‘graph and the Graun are expecting the contagion to spread to the Times and sense blood may soon be in he water. If The Times takes a whack here where will it’s readers defect to? Well I used to read The Times a lot. When it pay-walled guess which two papers replaced it? Have to say I don’t really miss it. I’m not suggesting the Guardian and Telegraph are planning a pincer assault on the old Thunderer. Not at all. It’s just what I’d do in their position.
Anyway, enough of that. Time for the inevitable Downfall mash-up.