Did you see the cartoon in The London Times? It’s the one depicting the alien, looking children, supposedly Somalian. One of the children carries an empty bowl. He has his hand on his distended belly. The bubble reads, “I’ve had a belly full of phone hacking”.
The tweeters are up in arms. It’s distasteful! It’s ridiculous! It insults the starving! It’s offensive. The outrage grows in momentum with every comment. Twitter is aghast!
What is offensive here? Is it the cartoon? But cartoonists are supposed to be outrageous, are they not? Look at our Shapiro. With hands lobbed over mouths to muffle our glee we leap to his defence when he ‘offends’ the president.
Is it the fact that the phone hacking and the starving children are juxtaposed? That seems to be the one. How dare Murdoch be so crass as to use the starving children of Somalia to deflect attention from the heinous activities of his News Corp. How could he be so insensitive? The starving children of Somalia must be allowed to starve without derision.
I couldn’t help but wonder, reading all this outrage, how much attention did any of the outraged give to the starving children of Somalia before they saw this cartoon? When they looked at the real photographs of these unfortunate children while they sipped their coffee and nibbled their toast were they outraged? Did they look at the consequence of famine and think, ‘how could we allow such a situation to exist in the world’? Did they pause in their gluttony and think ‘it’s ridiculous that such starvation should be ignored; it is an offense to humanity that in this opulent world a single child dies of hunger; it is an outrage that anyone should know of the starving children of Somalia and do nothing’. I’m guessing not.
Look, the cartoon is offensive, I guess. And I suppose it’s in bad taste, but I think everyone is getting bent out of shape about the wrong thing. The point that the cartoon makes is a valid one. Why is everyone in the world focused on the – ‘so what it’s been happening for years and will for many years to come’ – matter of the phone hacking when there are some really pressing issues that need attention and action. If the governments of Great Britain and USA reacted so swiftly, decisively and effectively to situations of gargantuan humanitarian crisis as they do to a little invasion of privacy, perhaps there wouldn’t be such humanitarian crisis.
I’ve watched the phone hacking hearings, and if I may be so bold, it’s an outpouring of faecal matter. The Murdochs father and son suddenly have a personality lapse? Really? Did News Corp get to be what it is because Murdoch is a contrite little old man with a conscience? Give me a break. And that Rebekah Brooks with the magnificent hair. She reminded me of the before and after of Maggie Thatcher. After the groomers got hold of Maggie her voice was softer, in fact her whole demeanour was feminised. Did anyone buy Rebekah’s sweet woman act? What a tidal wave of bilge.
I’ve definitely had a belly full of phone hacking. I find it outrageously brutal that people are more outraged by a silly little cartoon, than by the fact of Somalia’s famine.