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April 13, 2011 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Hugh Grant's Linda Tripp. The movie star puts his press pass in his hat band and makes the front page with an exposé of a paparazzi.

The article is the latest development in the years-long, still ongoing British tabloid wire-tapping scandal, which has already claimed the scalp of one of PM Cameron's top aides. Background: A BBC precis of the scandal; a 22-minute documentary which explores it more fully, including an interview with McMullen
posted by Diablevert (35 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I read this in the paper version yesterday, absolutely wonderful.
posted by knapah at 6:02 PM on April 13, 2011


MLTVA = Much Loved T.V. Actress. I like that.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:15 PM on April 13, 2011


I was expecting something about Divine Brown actually.
posted by jonmc at 6:18 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The whole article strikes me as something of a Pap smear.

I'll show myself out.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Him Good question. You're not taping, are you?
Me [slightly shrill voice] No.


ACTING! GENIUS!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


I like it when the tabloid guy goes, "wait don't I get to finish my lemonade and cookies?" and Hugh Grant stammers, so politely, "No, it's best you just g-get the fuck out now," and the police tackle the tabloid guy just as he goes out the door.
posted by not_on_display at 6:55 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not into guys but I'd do Hugh Grant in a heart beat. Scrumptious.
posted by joannemullen at 7:01 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Much Loved T.V. Actress"

Felicity Kendal?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:44 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Money quote:

Me But don't you think that all these prime ministers deliberately try to get the police to drag their feet about investigating the whole [phone-hacking] thing because they don't want to upset Murdoch?
Him Yeah. There's that . . .

posted by nasreddin at 7:46 PM on April 13, 2011


mr_crash_davis: ""Much Loved T.V. Actress"

Felicity Kendal
"

My money is on Patricia Routledge.
posted by dejah420 at 8:32 PM on April 13, 2011


Part of is thinking that both sides made good points about privacy, but since we can't put the technological genie back in the bottle, the reporter makes a better case that the government shouldn't nr the only one who can tap cell calls.

The other part of my brain is wondering who that actress could be. In her sixties...much loved...oh no. It couldn't be...HER!?
posted by happyroach at 8:33 PM on April 13, 2011


the reporter makes a better case that the government shouldn't nr the only one who can tap cell calls.

Oh absolutely. Also, it's terrible that the government is the only one who can throw you in jail. I should be allowed to lock up Mr Jones across the road for violating Dreadnought Law 105 against looking at me funny.

Also, the government is the only one who can declaire war! That's just terrible. I'm going to declare war against Mr Jones and blow him up from my upstairs room, just like the government would from their jet planes.*

Because the government shouldn't have special rights that you and I and the News of the World don't have. I mean, who could be more responsible in looking out for the good of society, or more accountable for their actions, than the tabloid newspapers?

*Note to MI5: this is a joke
posted by Dreadnought at 8:51 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nobody knows who the MLTVA is, but whoever it is the betting's she's absolutely fabulous.
posted by Devonian at 8:59 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh absolutely. Also, it's terrible that the government is the only one who can throw you in jail.

Well, in the U.S., people do have the right to enact citizen's arrest.

Also, the government is the only one who can declaire war!

Is it actually illegal for private citizens to declare war? I mean I can see a lot of practical problems, but wouldn't it be nice if the Koch brothers had to pay for their own invasions, rather than getting the US government to do it for them?
posted by happyroach at 10:02 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of paparazzi, i recently watched a documentary called "smash his camera", and it was fascinating. The subject of that isn't probably your standard one, but it was fascinating, and i respected his diligence and style. It probably didn't help that the people criticizing him seemed pretty clueless. One argument against him was something along the lines of "if all art but his or the classics were destroyed, which would you prefer were surviving?", he said the classics, but really, i'd prefer the millions of photos of everyday life, not some stylized images that really wouldn't let future societies know much. Could just be me though.

Not really on the topic of wiretapping though.
posted by usagizero at 11:27 PM on April 13, 2011


Thats a really interesting conversation between two people who typically wouldn't have talked to each other.

Pap: If you live off your image, you can't really complain about someone . . .
Hugh: I live off my acting. Which is different to living off your image.
Pap: Yeah, but you're still presenting yourself to the public ...
Hugh: They don't give a shit. I got arrested with a hooker and they still came to my films. They don't give a fuck about your public image. They just care about whether you're in an entertaining film or not.

posted by memebake at 12:59 AM on April 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was quite interesting. Seems like Hugh Grant can write well enough.

I don't follow the celebrity news, but I find the paparazzi absolutely disgusting. If I were famous I think I'd probably snap at one point, diving into the crowd of photographers, arms flailing.
posted by Harald74 at 2:11 AM on April 14, 2011


One thing I hadn't thought about was that the paparazzi probably loathe the celebreties they cover. It's difficult to imagine how they otherwise can justify what they do, to themselves, looking in the mirror.
posted by Harald74 at 2:13 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that none of the mainstream press in the UK have repeated any of the allegations (although I bet they're digging like mad).

A couple of US ones have repeated the essence, but none of the British ones. The British ones mentioned it pore-publication, but not a sniff since the story went online about 36 hours ago.
posted by DanCall at 2:33 AM on April 14, 2011


This is not really comparable to what Linda Tripp did. Grant's subject is a knowledgeable player; Tripp's was an essentially innocent naif. He'd have to do much worse to descend to Linda Tripp's level.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:57 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it actually illegal for private citizens to declare war?

I think this is a time when the phrase "you and what army" comes into play. If you don't have one, a declaration is a rhetorical device. If you do, you are leading an insurrection, which governments do tend to frown upon.
posted by Diablevert at 4:10 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


My money is on Patricia Routledge.

"The Bucket Bordello; lady of the house speaking!"

Bloody Onslow with his lower-class brothel, bringing down prices and not attending the church picnic. Disgrace.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:12 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a quote from the piece that tyells you all you need to know about Murdoch and the way he operates:
Me Do you think Murdoch knew about phone-hacking?
Him Errr, possibly not. He's a funny bloke given that he owns the Sun and the Screws . . . quite puritanical. Sorry to talk about Divine Brown, but when that came out . . . Murdoch was furious: "What are you putting that on our front page for? You're bringing down the tone of our papers." [Indicating himself] That's what we do over here.
Me Well, it's also because it was his film I was about to come out in.
Him Oh. I see.
Me Yeah. It was a Fox film.
(Also, previously: a big round-up post on the phone-hacking thing I did about 7 or 8 months ago)

Latest news is that the Met have arrested a third senior News of the World Hack in their re-opened investigation. This is the story that just will not fucking die.
posted by Len at 5:43 AM on April 14, 2011


the reporter makes a better case that the government shouldn't nr the only one who can tap cell calls.

If anything, the scenario of perpetual surveillance, snitching, and blackmail McMullen describes, and seems to endorse, living in, sounds more like life in the GDR or the Soviet Union, than some happy libertarian fantasy. Which isn't surprising, I suppose, considering that that kind of "anything I can get away with should be legal" attitude is basically authoritarian.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on April 14, 2011


One thing I hadn't thought about was that the paparazzi probably loathe the celebreties they cover. It's difficult to imagine how they otherwise can justify what they do, to themselves, looking in the mirror.

I'd actually think their opinion is more indifference. They're motivated by money, pure and simple -- when it comes to how the celebrities are affected, they simply don't care.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on April 14, 2011


Latest news is that the Met have arrested a third senior News of the World Hack in their re-opened investigation. This is the story that just will not fucking die.

The longer it runs, the better. News of the World is a particularly vile newspaper and the London police likewise. The more shit that gets flung about the more likely that enough of it will stick to bring people to court and effect some change.
posted by Jehan at 7:02 AM on April 14, 2011


It's a well-written piece & a few snippets in it were news to me - thanks, Diablevert. I don't know why Roy Greenslade in the Guardian is so grumpily dismissive of it, claiming 'Grant's recording of an ex-News of the World journalist revealed nothing new about phone hacking but received global coverage'.
posted by misteraitch at 7:11 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that this appeared when the New Statesman was being guest edited by Jemima Khan. This will definitely give a lift to this story Good on her.
posted by adamvasco at 7:27 AM on April 14, 2011


Is it actually illegal for private citizens to declare war?

I think it's one of those "It's legal if you can pull it off". Succeed & you're a revolutionary hero. Fail and you're just another criminal/communist/etc.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:50 AM on April 14, 2011


I'm not into guys but I'd do Hugh Grant in a heart beat. Scrumptious.

Please keep letting us know who you'd fuck, random Internet person. Thanks.
posted by ODiV at 8:27 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd actually think their opinion is more indifference. They're motivated by money, pure and simple -- when it comes to how the celebrities are affected, they simply don't care.

Yes and no, I think, based on the conversation with McMullen. I'm not Brittish, and anyone who is may well think I'm full of it when I say this, but I think it ties into class as well. They have this phrase that i'd heard in a Smiths song a hundred times before ever learning what it meant --- "jumped up," someone who acts as if they were due the consideration of a higher class than the one they were actually born in. There seems to me to be a sense with celebrities there that to be one is inherently to be jumped up, to have committed the outrage of commanding reverence you are not due, and therefore there's more pleasure and cruelty in cutting them down, a sense of justification, if righteousness. You can see it in flickers in McMullen's half of the conversation, the sense that the celebs deserve to be plagued and humiliated for having dared to become rich off the public's admiration. America's relationship with its celebrities is not free of that, but I think there's far more willingness to be openly and simply admiring of success and fame, perhaps because Americans think they could get there, too. I mean, look at The Donald.
posted by Diablevert at 8:36 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


>he reporter makes a better case that the government shouldn't nr the only one who can tap cell calls.

Oh absolutely. Also, it's terrible that the government is the only one who can throw you in jail. ...

Also, the government is the only one who can declaire war! That's just terrible. ...

Because the government shouldn't have special rights that you and I and the News of the World don't have. I mean, who could be more responsible in looking out for the good of society, or more accountable for their actions, than the tabloid newspapers?


---

Interesting perspective. It makes me consider that, in the US at least, it used to be that imprisonment had to be determined principally by a jury of one's peers, declarations of war had to be approved by elected representatives, and that wire-tapping had to be approved by the issuance of a warrant by an elected judge. In other words, the government here may have had special rights not available to individual citizens, but not these, and given these limits to the government's powers, there existed a public standard that those were powers that no one party might usurp. Many people find it troubling that now there are so many well-known recent exceptions to these policies meant to limit tyranny, see?
posted by millions at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the story that just will not fucking die

I think it will die as soon as The Met and some other newspapers get properly dragged into it.

Unless the allegations of hacking the phones of the relatives of dead kids get proven, then all bets are off. The idea of a News of the Screws hack listening in on Milly Dowler's school friends talking about her murder, sheesh. The only thing which move that story off the front page would be an Abu Hamza / Gary Gitter suicide pact.
posted by fullerine at 1:20 PM on April 14, 2011


Phone-hacking investigation identifies more than 91 victims however at the hearing in the high court, Jason Beer QC, representing the Metropolitan police, gave an idea of the scale of the scandal. Beer said that the number of potential victims is "substantially" higher than 91 people.
posted by adamvasco at 10:53 AM on April 15, 2011


Please keep letting us know who you'd fuck, random Internet person. Thanks.

I'm thinking gun to my head, I get to pitch... Joseph Gordon Levitt.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:50 PM on April 15, 2011


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