Yesterday it was revealed that former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had been the victim of the News of the World hackings.
In a very sympathetic interview Brown told the BBC that he wept when NOTW published details of his newborn son’s health condition (he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis) and further disclosed that the hackers (this time working for Murdoch’s Sunday Times) had also “blagged” (translation: sweet-talked) access to Brown’s bank account.
“I just can’t understand this — if I, with all the protection and all the defenses and all the security that a chancellor of the Exchequer or a prime minister has, am so vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics, unlawful tactics, methods that have been used in the way we have found, what about the ordinary citizen?”
Indeed. Terrible story. Especially the part about Brown’s son.
CNBC’s Simon Hobbs, a native of Britain (and quickly becoming a personal cabler favourite), had some harsh and revealing words regarding Brown today.
In a pretty awesome clip from Morning Joe Hobbs railed against the idea that the British political establishment were victims here. Quite the contrary, they have been entirely complicit.
Gordon Brown was in politics for 13 years, effectively at the top of British politics, and he never mentioned [the hackings] then. And that was the rufty, tufty world in which he lived. It’s only now that Murdoch is on the ropes that the left-wing of the British establishment is putting the boot in.
Because for years and years — did you see [Brown] in that picture smiling with Rebekah Brooks?! — they need him! They needed Murdoch to win elections. They needed the Sun! They needed the Sunday Times! They needed the News of the World! And Brown is furious at the end of the day Murdoch didn’t support him personally in his bid to regain Prime Ministership against Tony Blair. Brown is an angry, angry man!
Hobbs goes on, and the five-minute is worth watching. Not the least because once you cut through all the splashy headlines, and public outrage (or British public outrage, America has yet to really catch on) what’s at the core of this story is Murdoch’s too-cozy relationship with British power, and their lax attitude towards it…up until now.
Related note: So glad CNBC is giving Hobbs more screen time. He’s great.
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