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Who Wants Yesterday's Papers?,
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This review is from: Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain (Kindle Edition)Graham Chapman leaned back on his Lombok Canton dining chair, scratched his left ear and pondered. He wanted to review Dial M for Murdoch, but were the dangers worth the risk? Tom Watson, Gordon Brown's chief enforcer, was a dangerous man to cross. Had not Mr Brown already declared war on Mr Murdoch? Wouldn't criticism of his thuggish henchman be a foolish move? Better, perhaps, to review that interesting book on the 70's by Dominic Sandbrook. The rain continued to beat at the window at what was shaping up to be the wettest April for years.
Ok, well if you can get over the awful 'thriller' style of this book, which some readers / reviewers appear to like, the story itself is well worth reading. But, that's easier said than done. Even when Mr Watson is not casting himself as the suave hero of this tale, a Bob Woodward for our times, he manages still to annoy just by his bad writing. 'Rebekah Wade, a mischievous, red-haired tabloid queen...inspired fatherly feelings in the ageing patriarch.' Private Eye's gentle parody of 'Lupert' might include such a sentence, but it takes a good journalist to send up this awful tabloid style. Why is Tom Watson writing like this? Does he not know better or has he just read too many editions of the Sun? No one, of course, knows what Mr Murdoch's feelings towards Rebekah Wade were. He may have felt fatherly. He may have felt somewhat other.
Anyway, if you are not yet bored by the decline of the Murdoch dynasty, this book covers recent events in some detail. And it is, no question, a story of shocking corruption and cowardice. Those people, including Mr Watson, who have fought to expose it deserve their credit. The four stars are for the topic. Personally, I find the subject itself endlessly fascinating. It is one of those subjects, like Howard Hughes or Titanic or OJ Simpson or 9/11 or (choose your own subject that interests you, but bores your partner and most of your friends) that is just good to read about and even the poor writing of the people who bang out such books can't entirely kill.
Graham decided to leave the review there. Dusk was creeping in. His eyes were tired and his head ached at the strain of doing a bit of work. It wasn't, after all, as if he were getting paid for this stuff. And, anyway, so what if they hacked Hugh Grant's phone? More fool them and the suckers who paid to read what the old whinge-bag had to say. 'Who wants yesterdays papers? Nobody in the world.' As a wise man once sang.