Finally,we have the pay-TV piracy scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch's already beleaguered global media empire.
This has more twists and turns than a John le Carre novel. But, simply put, the BBC and The Australian Financial Review, among others, have alleged that Murdoch companies ran a black operation promoting shonky digital cards for set-top boxes that ripped the guts out of their pay-TV competitors.
Read beyond the 10th paragraph of any report on the matter and you get lost in a mind-blowing maze of corporate acronyms and who's up who. But on my weird names theory of scandal, I am entranced by the appearance on the News “Operational Security” payroll of two Israeli ex-spooks, Reuven Hasak and Avigail Gutman, and a German “master hacker,” Oliver Kommerling.
Naturally, Murdoch's myrmidons have wheeled loyally into line. “An exercise in breathless and repetitive – endlessly, endlessly repetitive – sliming that lacked even the most minimal requisite slime, and which damned only one organisation. The AFR and Fairfax Media," shrilled the Herald-Sun's Terry McCrann. The Australian rocketed to hitherto unscaled heights of fury, a remarkable feat in a newspaper whose daily adoration of the lint in its own navel has no match in the English-speaking world.
Topping it off was a long letter from Rupert's Australian chief, Kim Williams, who accused the Fin of “tar and feathering ... shameful stuff ... falsehoods and fanciful conclusions” and, best of all, “reputational damage on the altar of journalistic prejudice”.
This from the maw of the global media octopus that phone-hacked the royal family, celebrities and the victims of crime and war by the hundred. From the gang that systematically bribed British police officers and public officials. From the mob that runs America's vile Fox News Channel, notorious for its right-wing bias and outright lies.
Through the looking glass they go. "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."