Friday, 15 July 2011

Rebekah Brooks: Until We Meet Again ...

Rupert Murdoch's 'fifth daughter' and formerly Fleet Street's most powerful woman has stepped down as chief executive of News International, claiming her position had become untenable. But over the last few days what's kept Rebekah Brooks in post? Only her possible use by the Murdochs as a firewall to protect them. Once Brooks was no longer effective in that role, retaining her became pointless.

Nonetheless with customary disregard for the truth, in her resignation statement the spaniel-coiffed schmoozer thanked Murdoch for his wisdom and kindness; son James was acknowledged as an inspirational leader who'd shown her loyalty and friendship. No great burning of bridges, then. But not quite as cosily Elizabeth Murdoch, set to be given a seat on the board of father's News Corp empire, said Brooks had "completely fucked the company." Talk about bringing them up in your own image.

In a gleaming new strategy meanwhile, Rupert and James have assumed a contrite stance; they've apologised widely for the NOTW's methods, and agreed to grovel before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. But all may not be as it seems. The Murdochs' move is akin to some American TV evangelist caught embezzling his mad church's income, who throws himself on viewers' mercies in a show of weeping repentance - and retains his position.

Meanwhile rival Associated Newspapers, owners of the delusional Daily Mail, are preparing to fill the vacuum left by the News of the World by launching a similar low-market rag (not too similar, presumably) in a couple of weeks.
Columnists will include Kelvin MacKenzie, while names under consideration for the new tabloid are similarly uninspiring: The Sunday, or The Sunday Lite. Can't wait for a sub-Mail-esque take on the Sabbath; I wonder who'll be appointed editor?

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