As someone who followed the Leveson Inquiry with the kind of furrow browed concentration a slavering dog applies to a careless barbecue operator, the subsequent trial and inevitable revelations therein were front and centre on my radar.
Whether it’s the machinations of an ever hungrier media desperate to pad out their empty pages that enthralls me, or the theatrical hand wringing of a public completely taken aback that such things go on at all, let alone to feed their interest, I know not.
I guess I just like the idea of seeing those for whom the concept of personal responsibility is an abstract get a slapping.
If you’d have told me last weekend that two of the key protagonists in the phone hacking scandal had been having an affair, with each other, while one of them had been married to Grant Mitchell, I may well have exploded. It’s precisely the kind of sludgy, morally questionable motivator towards evil that one dreams of in these situations and when I found out that not only had this happened, but that Rebekah Brooks’ love letter to Andy Coulson was available for public consumption, my ear was pressed against the radiogram faster than you can say DAB.
And yet I felt nothing but empty as I listened to words, carefully and privately chosen by Brooks to communicate her helpless despair to the man she loved as she slowly realised their relationship was over and she could do nothing about it. Those words were intended for one person, and to hear them voiced by a radio presenter because it was important to a jury to “understand how well [the couple] knew each other”, simply reiterated to me how wrong it is to listen to things not meant for one’s ears. Let alone publish them for the vicarious enjoyment of others.
In a way it was a relief. I’m glad to know that a pocket of humanity still lurks somewhere within me. Most of the people I’ve spoken to about this believe Brooks is getting her comeuppance and deserves every humiliation she receives.
They probably have more in common with her than they’d like to believe.
Images: Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe, ontd.