the whippersnappers

Is life a theater piece almost entirely concerned with transformation and fragile illusion. Certainly, the News Corp scandal has explored those fugitive relationships between the criminal, the downright irritating and the tawdry sensationalism of seeing the oppressor squirm, metaphorically with the hope that some of the involved will be twisting in the wind…

Justice. Few would argue that the at least $100,000 a year cost to incarcerate a News of the World Reporter in the criminal justice system is expensive. But where did it all begin? Yes, News of the World does remind one of Anthony Burgess’s dystopic world in Clockwork Orange. Or, at the furthest extreme, working for Rebekah Brooks was to find oneself at the heart of an Stanley Milgram experiment,the notorious examination of obedience going to the heart of what it is in the human nature that can allow it to act without restraint. pressing shocks of suffering until life was squeezed out of the subject…

---As the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer put it: ‘Our sense of self is an artfully contrived fiction,’ and it doesn’t take much to break that fiction down. Most popular psychology books follow a depressingly familiar path: there’s some dodgy, if eye-catching, theorising at the beginning, then a raft of dubious statistics with a few not-terribly-good anecdotes to back them up. Read more: image:

“The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.” –Stanley Milgram, 1974

Ian Leslie’s contention in this consistently startling and fascinating book is that lying, far from being bad for us, is an essential part of who we are. Lying, he believes, drives evolution: the cleverest tactician is more likely to survive than his or her more doltish companions. It also gives us a sharper, alluring reproductive edge and even makes us more balanced people. Without lies, we become sick, depressed or even mad; weighed down by the terrible burden of too much reality. ‘All men are liars,’ according to another Biblical source: Psalm 116:11.
But it’s not just men. All children are liars, too. Between the ages of three and four, children suddenly become more practised at deceit. It’s all part of their learning how to play games. Lying, Leslie believes, is good for the imagination.

Perhaps the strangest lesson of all to be learned here is that we lie to ourselves as much as we do to other people. ‘Remembering,’ according to Leslie, ‘is an act of creative reconstruction.’ The brain filters information as best it can, but sometimes - quite often - it gets things wrong. To make matters more complicated still, we are endlessly suggestible creatures with surprisingly little faith in who we really are. Read more: may wish to consider the case of the Eastern hognose snake which, if threatened, will fake its own death by flipping on to its back and emitting a foul stench.

There has been very capable studies by the likes the Rolf Loeber, Farrington and others who have illuminated the causes of youth crime and the importance of addressing anti-social and dysfunctional behavior before the onset of the teen years, let alone adulthood. How can this paradigm be applied to the Rupert Murdoch school of thought; a modern day Fagan dispersing his minions over the national landscape in search of editorial dividends.

---But an e-mail uncovered during legal proceedings seemed to cast doubt on that claim. It contained a transcript of an illegally obtained conversation, drawn up by a junior reporter and marked “for Neville” – an apparent reference to the News of the World’s chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck. Because it seemed to implicate others in the hacking, the e-mail had the potential to blow a hole through News International’s fiercely held contention that one reporter alone had engaged in hacking. If Mr. Murdoch knew about the e-mail – and was aware of its implication – it would lend weight to the suggestion that he’d approved the payoff in an effort to bury the scandal. Mr. Murdoch told lawmakers he was not aware of the e-mail at the time, but in a statement late Thursday, former News International legal manager Tom Crone and former News of the World editor Colin Myler contradicted him.---Read More: image:

“It was endemic. It happened,” Hoare said of phone-hacking, in an interview with the BBC in March. “People were scared. If you’ve got to get a story, you’ve got to get it, and you have to get that by whatever means. That is the culture at News International,” he said….Hoare’s claims were passed to Scotland Yard last year but they said he declined to give evidence. Coulson has since been arrested and bailed over allegations of phone-hacking and bribing police. Just a week ago, Hoare made new allegations in The New York Times about journalists making payments to the police, and about the use of “pinging,” the illegal use of mobile phone signals to locate people. Read More:

---Charles Begley, an ex-News of the World reporter, has spoken out about the bullying culture. He said he felt close to breaking-point when, three hours after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York’s twin towers, he was ordered to appear at the paper’s daily conference dressed in a Harry Potter outfit he had been given to help the tabloid capitalise on the craze for the books about the boy wizard. “At that time, we were working on the assumption that up to 50,000 people had been killed,” he said then, according to tapes published in 2002 by the Daily Telegraph of a conversation between him and assistant news editorGreg Miskiw. “I was required to parade myself around morning conference dressed as Harry Potter.” It was during this conversation that Miskiw made a comment that was to become notorious in Britain: “That is what we do — we go out and destroy other people’s lives.”--- Read More: image:

Given an understanding, coherent, into any child’s psycho-social functioning, it appears we are able to predict which tyky grade oner show the most potential to be tomorrow’s criminal actor or accomplice. To Loeber, the road to delinquency leaves a visible path, physical evidence, with the average youthful offender polluting years of indices and clues, such as bullying, aggression, animal cruelty, pyromania and theft, gratuitous violence and property dama

before they are reprimanded before some sort of justice system or parliamentary inquiry.

“It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again.” That’s how one former reporter describes the News of the World newsroom under editor Rebekah Brooks, the ferociously ambitious titian-haired executive who ran Britain’s top-selling Sunday tabloid from 2000 to 2003….

Read More: ---Damian Collins, Conservative MP: "it's incredible that you as the editor were unaware what was going on." Ms Brooks responds, ''I think in some ways the opposite. I can't think of anyone in their right mind'" who would sanction eavesdropping on Milly Dowler's phone. Read More:

…Journalists who worked there in that period describe an industrialised operation of dubious information-gathering, reporters under intense pressure attempting to land exclusive stories by whatever means necessary, and a culture of fear, cynicism, gallows humour and fierce internal competition.

“We used to talk to career criminals all the time. They were our sources,” says another former reporter from the paper who also worked for Murdoch’s daily tabloid, the Sun. “It was a macho thing: ’My contact is scummier than your contact.’ It was a case of: ’Mine’s a murderer!’ On the plus side, we always had a resident pet nutter around in case anything went wrong.Read More:

In the case of Team Murdoch, the resulting pain and suffering is masked, or even predicated by its sponsors enjoying wealth, high intelligence and prestigious social class origins, though it appears the deficit of mental health is of the same root as those of other charges that have descended into a criminal justice system that is equally unable to rehabilitate them.

Read More: ---Vince: "Well one day I was at home threatening the kids when I looks out through the hole in the wall and sees this tank pull up and out gets one of Dinsdale's boys, so he comes in nice and friendly and says Dinsdale wants to have a word with me, so he chains me to the back of the tank and takes me for a scrape round to Dinsdale's place and Dinsdale's there in the conversation pit with Doug and Charles Paisley, the baby crusher, and two film producers and a man they called 'Kierkegaard', who just sat there biting the heads of whippets and Dinsdale says 'I hear you've been a naughty boy Clement' and he splits me nostrils open and saws me leg off and pulls me liver out and I tell him my name's not Clement and then... he loses his temper and nails me head to the floor." Interviewer: He nailed your head to the floor? Vince: At first yeah Presenter: Another man who had his head nailed to the floor was Stig O' Tracy. Interviewer: I've been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor. Stig: No. Never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to buy his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me. Interviewer: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor. Stig: (pause) Oh yeah, he did that.---Monty Python---

At the same time, the pressure to get exclusive stories was so intense that dubious practices were barely questioned. “They were ’dodgy business HQ’. I’m not sure if people even realised it was illegal. It was a don’t-get-caught culture,” said the reporter of seven years’ standing. New staff would be given the cold shoulder until they’d proved themselves to be “thoroughly disreputable” so their colleagues could trust them.

“It was no place for anyone to pipe up and say: ’This doesn’t seem ethical to me.’ That would have made you a laughing stock.” …A fifth former News International employee who worked with News Of the World journalists at this time said its reporters were under “unbelievable, phenomenal pressure,” treated harshly by bosses who would shout abuse in their faces and keep a running total of their bylines. …

…Contrary to a popular perception that the tabloid threw large sums of money around to get stories, the news budget was extremely tightly controlled, the journalists said. One described how entire expense reports might be struck through with a red line without any reason given.

Readers who supplied a front-page story would typically be paid about 10,000 pounds, while story pitches negotiated by a publicist would command at least twice that. Smaller user-submitted stories would fetch a couple of hundred pounds. On Saturday afternoon, when it was too late for a reader to sell a story to another paper, their fee would often be reduced….

…This is another reason it was hard to believe senior editors were not aware of phone hacking and other expensive illegal services provided by outsiders, the ex-reporters told Reuters. Mulcaire, the private investigator later jailed for phone hacking, was paid more than 100,000 pounds a year by the News of the World. Read More:

“No newspaper editor would not know what a 102,000 pound budget was used for. They knew about every 50 quid,” said the long-term freelancer.

Eavesdropping on voicemail or obtaining call logs was initially a money-saving measure, according to the former employees. Rather than committing a reporter to stake out a venue for as long as it took to catch out a couple having an affair, for example, voicemails could first be scrutinized to establish the time and place of a rendez-vous, saving the reporter time and the paper money.

As its uses became apparent, it was employed more and more.Read More:

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