The antics of the British press are infamous worldwide. Yet their latest tactic - tapping into mobile phones to get scoop exclusives - has thrown the news world into the courts.
"The balance of the media with their red-topped assassins, are the biggest beasts in the modern jungle". In a quiet pub in Dover, tabloid-hack-turned-publican Paul McMullan holds a phone in each hand and reveals just how stupidly simple it was to access the private phone messages of his prey. According to him, it's a practise that's been endemic to journalism in Britain since the late 90s. Yet, when a 'News of the World' journalist was found to have paid a private investigator to leak information on the Royal family, Rupert Murdoch's executives claimed it was nothing more than one rogue journalist: "one bad apple!". In the inquiry that followed, Scotland Yard found the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire had targeted hundreds of prominent people, including a cabinet minister. Insiders claim Murdoch's political power has stalled the investigation thus far. Yet even as the list grows and whistleblowers come forward, the News Corporation seems confident of weathering the storm: "where is the proof?", says former editor of The Sun, "they've had six years to look at this and not one piece of evidence has been found".