Stopping the press

Just when you think the world is going to the dogs, the dogs get busted doing something we all agree is still wrong. I don't think I'm the only one confessing to an unholy schadenfreude about Mr Murdoch's very public disgrace. It is right and just for crimes to be exposed and punished, but it's also very satisfying that a vile culture like the one of Murdoch's making should be turned inside out, exposing the pale wriggling creatures of its underside; that the baying press and marauding paparazzi should be turned back on those who have brandished both without scruple, and without honour.

At the same time, is my righteous pleasure in this downfall any different from the sentiments News of the World was feeding? Wasn't it scandal and disgrace that sold papers to seven and a half million people every Sunday? Aren't the reputable papers protesting rather too much, even as they print photos of Murdoch shielding himself from the paparazzi glare?

Possibly, but I think Murdoch is culpable nonetheless: culpable for turning the good and useful human capacity for outrage into appetite, and then pumping it full to bursting, to obesity.