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loose ends (2) - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-07-24 22:19
Subject: loose ends (2)
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:calmcalm
Music:porcupine tree
Those of you with slightly shorter memories, and slightly lower thresholds of boredom, will recall a few months ago I mentioned that Max Mosley, the head of the FIA, was caught by a News Of The World sting as he took part in an afternoon with five working girls.
Instead of slinking away into a corner to watch his life drain away, as so many others have done in similar circumstances, Max took the NoW to court for breach of privacy and the fact that the paper said the `orgy' had `nazi overtones.'
I thought it would take ages for the case to reach court, and once again I was wrong because the case ended today, and Max won.
I actually began to warm to Max during the case. His evidence was devastatingly candid and he spoke movingly of the effect of the media circus on his wife and sons. Although he seems not to have been thinking about them very much while he was having his little bit of, as we say, slap and tickle.
Anyway, he won, and the judge awarded him £60,000 in damages. The NoW will also have to pick up the legal tab, which altogether will see it having to shell out in the region of a million quid.
Predictably there have been cries of `freedom of the press' and `freedom of expression' and `public interest,' mostly from the kind of papers who carry out this kind of shabby reporting, and there's currently a bit of a debate about how the case will impact press freedom. When papers like the News Of The World talk about press freedom, what they mean is the freedom of the Press to do whatever it fucking well wants. My own feeling is that it won't impact it at all. I said before that the NoW, which specialises in this kind of stuff, is consequently a lot more careful than some papers about standing their stories up. This time, I think, they got carried away. If they'd stopped at reporting that Max had taken part in a sado-masochistic session, they would probably have got away with it. But because of who his father was, they couldn't resist the `nazi' thing. The News Of The World, and other papers like it, will be back doing this kind of thing again.
I am, of course, massively in favour of Press freedom. I'm also massively in favour of the right of private - and public - citizens to their privacy. The Press constantly have to walk a line between the two, and I'd like to think that, by and large, we keep our balance. Where press intrusion is justified, it should be allowed; where it's not, it should be punished. Where it's just to titillate the readership and boost circulation, it should be punished to the limits of the law.
I've got no reason to be an apologist for Max Mosley, but I'm glad he won. If he makes one editor think twice about some sloppy project, it'll have been sixty grand well-spent.
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User: robsoft
Date: 2008-07-24 22:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was going to post about this - I'm glad I didn't. You said pretty-much everything I was going to say, and you said it far more eloquently and with far fewer words. :-)

I'm glad he won too - and like you, during the course of the coverage I warmed to the guy. I don't know if you read the pdf from the beeb site but it's quite amusing in places.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-24 22:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I haven't had time to go through the summation today, but I get the feeling the judge spent most of the trial trying to keep a straight face.
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User: robsoft
Date: 2008-07-24 22:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There are a couple of nice comments in places.

You can imagine the occasional smile must have crossed his face while he was deliberating.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-24 22:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can imagine it's one of those cases that makes being a High Court judge worthwhile. He'll be dining out on this one for a long time.
How the whole thing impacts on Max as head of the FIA, I don't know. I can't imagine Prince Albert of Monaco or the King of Spain or any of the crowned heads who host grands prix will be mad-keen to be seen in public with him. I understand he was due to step down after next season anyway. He might well just keep his head down until then, although you never know with Max.
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-25 00:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

"loose ends"

*snicker*
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-25 00:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

"He might well just keep his head down until then"

*nuther snicker*
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-25 22:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad to see your recent surgery didn't do any harm to your fnarr glands...
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-25 22:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Picked up "Under a Violet Moon" at a yard sale today in perfect condition for $1.

Thought of you.

Giggled.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-25 23:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*hmm...*
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-07-25 20:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The new Private Eye says that the NoW didn't pay the prostitute the money it said it would, forking out 12,000 instead of the 25,000 it apparently promised. This is not surprising. There should be a campaign bringing their inability to pay to the attention of everyone who might try and sell their story to them. Get the money first, then give them the story.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-25 23:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I heard that, too, a few weeks ago. It's what I'd expect from an operation like the NoW.
Incidentally, `Woman E,' one of the working girls involved in the afternoon's jollies, has given an interview with Sky News (prop. R. Murdoch) which seems to contradict the account of the News of the World (prop. R. Murdoch)
For anyone who wants to check it out, the interview's here.

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