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This, is a defence of the tabloids, if you like. In the Spectator.

Last two paragraphs:

Now, you might disapprove of some of the `dark arts' that tabloid journalists use -- phone hacking, for instance -- but if they always played by the rules they'd rarely get the scoop. Some of these stories are trivial and hardly of vital national importance, but others are not. Without the unscrupulous, appalling, `shocking' behaviour of red-top reporters, we probably wouldn't know about Cecil Parkinson's infidelity or John Prescott's affair with his secretary. We wouldn't know about the match-fixing antics of Pakistani cricketers or the corruption at the heart of Fifa. Yes, the ink-stained wretches regularly desecrate the graves of dead girls, but they also speak truth to power and they do it more often -- and with more impact -- than the broadsheets.

So the defence is that tabloids uncover the private lives of politicians - I forget how either of those affairs were relevant to their performance as politicians - and corruption in sports, which is so terribly important. Truth to Power, baby.

So by all means condemn the News of the World for its newsroom culture, a culture that encouraged reporters to think it was acceptable to leave no stone unturned in pursuit of an `exclusive'. But before you get up on your high horse, remember that without these Fleet Street foot soldiers Britain would be a more corrupt country in which the ruling class could engage in all sorts of nefarious practices with no fear of being caught. Without its tabloid newspapers, Britain would be France.

Is that all it would take? Kill the tabloids? I have a new plan ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 7th, 2011 at 03:17:11 AM EST
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