Former News of the World (NoW) editors justified their hacking of the now-Duchess of Cambridge's voicemail, by uncovering the scandalous way in which celebrities purport to be ‘Mary Poppins-perfect’. Solely in the ‘public interest’ News Corporation employees have discovered members of the Royal Family are more than just the fraudulent benefit claimants, illegal immigrants and ‘a bit horsey’. Serious questions now relate to whether Kate is indeed made of ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’, or in actuality is just William’s ‘stinky bit of rough’.
With the investigative skills that would have made Woodward and Bernstein proud, NoW had hoped to unmask the hypocrisy of the rich and famous. Speaking in defense of the hacking of over 4000 people, one editor said: ‘There is no such thing as privacy when public safety is at risk. We need to know the personality flaws, soiled underwear and phone habits of suspicious characters. Do murdered schools girls sign off with SWALK, deceased British soldiers do selfies or victims of the 7/7 London bombings prefer lol or rofl? Politicians, actors, athletes, dead people…mainly dead people…they all have stuff to hide’.
The revelations do not stop there; NoW journalists also bravely unmasked Sienna Miller as a ‘serial nose picker’, Steve Coogan as a ‘closet burper’ and Paul O’Grady as someone who ‘sneezes loudly’. Before the closure of the newspaper, investigations were already underway to find out if Nicole Scherzinger was made of wax, if Kim Kardashian eats her own scabs and if Ant & Dec were merely ‘genetically modified sea monkeys’. Ironically despite all their hacking, particularly of convicted sex offender Max Clifford, they failed to uncover any acts of criminality. One journalist explained: ‘Public interest just means keeping the public interested. Which is why most of our headlines come in primary colours, with a pair of undulating breasts and an obligatory reference to World Cup soccer.’