6 June 2013
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.
Looking up from reading a copy of Mad Magazine, the former editor of the now defunct News of the World, indignant at being interrupted, blithely entered pleas of “What, Me Worry” to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.
Ms. Brooks then left the court with her spiritual advisor, Alfred E. Neuman, who spoke to the awaiting media throng saying, “What, She Worry? She is planning to move to Australia to take up a prestigious position at the Poowong Post.
I wish to apply for the position of Journalist, as advertised in your esteemed newspaper.
I received a cutting of the advertisement in the mail, sent to me by a former colleague who fled to Australia seeking a better climate. You might know her; she works as a barmaid at your pub and goes by the alias of Sheila.
I am not sure where Poowong is located, but it sounds like a lovely place. According to Sheila, it is in a dairy farming district in Victoria, but I have been unable to ascertain the exact whereabouts because I donated my laptop to the police as a contribution to the Scotland Yard Christmas Raffle. Those police do such a wonderful job protecting we Brits from the low-lives who attempt to undermine the very fabric of our society, so I was more than happy to have it confiscated.
I have had extensive journalistic experience and have even been editor/chief executive of two major British tabloids. In fact, I have become quite a celebrity, but have tired of the limelight. I want to migrate to Australia with my husband to live a simple rural life and slip into obscurity.
That is not to say that being appointed as a journalist with the Poowong Post is slipping into obscurity. I believe it to be a highly prestigious position. I would be delighted to be at the forefront of breaking news in your town.
In fact, Sheila has already given me a few leads. She says that the Easter Billy Cart Derby was fixed by the local s.p. bookie, that judges of the Country Women’s Association annual cake decorating competition were bribed with cases of whisky, and that the prying telephone exchange operator is having an affair with the Catholic priest, who is enjoying three other sexual liaisons.
This presents me with the opportunity to illustrate my extra-journalistic talents and pro-activity, which I am sure you will applaud. I could bribe the phone exchange lady for all the local gossip she eavesdrops on, in return for keeping mum. I could pay the local policeman for inside information; that would be easy because it was his wife who won the CWA cake decorating competition. And as for the local bookie; well, let’s just say I am very handy with secret tape devices and could get some inside running on your next picnic race meeting. And the Catholic priest might be surprised to read transcripts of his expressions of lust, by courtesy of a device hidden under his bed by yours truly. Yes, pressing the flesh is what it is all about.
I will be the biggest thing to happen to Poowong since electricity was connected. You do have electricity don’t you?
I can guarantee that I will quadruple your circulation within a month and even turn the national spotlight on your little backwater which I would turn into a tsunami. The media will swarm like flies to a Poowong cowpat.
However, that brings a minor point to mind. A shy, shrinking violet such as myself does not desire any adulation for stirring up media frenzies. I have had enough of that. I would prefer to go by the nom de plume of Verity Virago, and not be available for any interviews, especially television.
I must stress that you should not fear for your position of editor. I am known for my loyalty and integrity; just ask any of my former employees at the now defunct News of the World.
Do not bother to reply. I will simply assume I have been successful in this application, and will be there in three weeks time to commence duties. If there are any unforseen circumstances, such as bail complications or passport seizure, I will let you know with plenty of advance notice.
PS: Does Poowong have mobile phone reception?
Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to phone hacking charges
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.
The former editor of the now defunct News of the World entered pleas of not guilty to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.
The 45-year-old is charged with offences including conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The scandal led to the closure of the tabloid, and eventually to the Leveson inquiry into press standards in the UK.
She is due to stand trial in September.
Her husband Charlie Brooks also pleaded not guilty to allegations of covering up evidence.
Other senior staff, including the tabloid’s former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and former assistant news editor James Weatherup, also pleaded not guilty to charges related to phone hacking, while her personal assistant pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Brooks was arrested in July 2011 along with other members of staff over charges related to the unlawful interception of mobile phone messages to generate front page news stories.
The scandal, which prompted the closure of the mass-selling News of the World and a year-long public inquiry, sent shockwaves through the British establishment as it revealed the close ties between the country’s media, police and politicians.