Friday, 23 September 2011

Hackgate: What's Wrong With Jemima Khan?

When Hugh Grant  - coincidentally a close friend of Jemima Khan - was getting over his 'I'm not gay' publicity stunt with Devine Brown, he courageously appeared on Jay Leno's Tonight Show (NBC).

The applause had hardly stopped before Jay leaned forward, touched his arm and said "What were you thinking of?" to laughter and quite warm applause. Hugh Grant trotted out his tale of woe, and the rest is history.

But Jemima Khan fluffed her opportunity entirely when faced with the somewhat less daunting Sienna Miller.
Jemima Khan, apparently seeking inspiration

We can tell from the flatulent hagiography that ensued that this interview was a buddy-buddy set up to allow JK to confirm her credentials as Hackgate's Leading Investigative Journo, while giving the fragrant Sienna Miller the chance to gloat about her victories over the evil press and confirm her credentials as a crusader for privacy rights; far from being a well thought out article on privacy, this was 'pull the ladder up girls, we're winning'.

My point is (finally!) that the one question she should have asked - and being such a close friend, could have asked was "If you really care about privacy - not just your own privacy - why did you take the Murdoch shilling?"

Because it was obvious from the start that News Corp was on the ropes, it was obvious that the money offered was hush money, as executives were (figuratively speaking) dropping past every 20th floor window. And the ferruginous Sienna - certainly one of the first to make a fuss - must surely have had a great chance of winning a bundle, while using her day in court to expose the tactics of the (apparently) hated paparazzi. And yet she didn't.

And while JK used the interview to tell us what a brave woman Sienna is, despite being "tiny in a leather armchair, all golden and smiley and the personification of pretty", and yet never asked the one question that would have rescued said actress from a future of being "the one who caved in first"; the one who took the money and ran.

I make no judgement on Miss Miller; I'm sure she had her reasons, and they could very well have been good ones. But I seriously doubt the abilities of JK, who would have us believe she is a great fighter for freedom of information (she supports Julian Assange's attempts to get people killed all over the world) and simultaneously a great fighter for privacy.

But then, Assange's actions only threaten soldiers, diplomats and secret service, not her and her chums - and maybe it's privacy for herself and her chums that she seeks - so long as the press pay her turn up when it suits her, and so long as she gets to write more news-lite articles for the Indie, the Guardian, the Spectator ...

Freedom of information needs real friends, not publicity seekers fighting to avoid extradition  to Sweden, and privacy need reviewing for all, not just publicity-obsessed folk who simply want a 'pause button' when it suits them.

So the question I'd like to ask all these editors who pay JK for this drivel is, "What Were You Thinking Of?

See also #Twitter: Hackgate