The Hacking Scandale!

It is not pretty! England's coming to grips with the hacking scandal perpetrated by Rupert Murdoch's newspapers is beginning to look like one of those English comedies that show up from time to time on PBS (Fawlty Towers, Benny Hill).Mr. Paul McMullan former editor, one-time journalist, and current pub owner testified to the merits of hacking (and hewing) before the investigating committee; it is, he claims, an effective means of arriving at the truth. McMullan also waxed philosophical: "Journalists in Britain have traditionally justified shady practices by arguing that they are in 'the public interest.' Asked by an inquiry lawyer how he would define that, Mr. McMullan said that the public interest is what the public is interested in."Full account in Tuesday's NY Times (NB: PG13).

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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