I felt like a lunatic. There I was, a perpetually un-rested working mother, wide awake and giddy before sunrise. Sneaking out of bed and tiptoeing downstairs to watch a live feed of (woo-hoo! woo-hoo!) British Parliament. Grinning like a kid on Christmas morning. Giggling like a full-on fruitcake.
My gift: a pointed Parliamentary probe of media baron Rupert Murdoch. Reporters at his now-shuttered News of the World tabloid had for years been illegally hacking into private phone systems and bribing police as a means of news-gathering (read: gossip-mongering). And Murdoch — whose behemoth News Corporation owns Fox News and newspapers from the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier to The Wall Street Journal (as well as Tattoo and Truckin’ Life magazines, which tickles me) — was finally and formally being needled about his knowledge of the corruption. I relished every tense, awkward moment.
Why would I savor the sight of an old man being smacked around for unethical practices? It’s a learned response. I’ve developed a taste for watching arrogant, power-mad, billionaire newspaper owners get called on the carpet.
“He or she who controls the media, controls all,” says my friend Annie Bardach, a local resident and Newsweek reporter-at-large. “Check out what the Berlusconi monopoly did to Italy. That is the cautionary tale for all of us.”