The News of the World published its last issue on Sunday, with a eulogy proclaiming "The world's greatest newspaper 1843-2011" and a collection of some of the tabloid's most famous covers. But will quickly squashing the paper involved in a phone hacking scandal -- and do you really think that's unusual among tabloids? -- also temper the damage to Rupert Murdoch's media empire? Murdoch met in London on Sunday with Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks and the two left the meeting with Murdoch's arm around the embattled exec. But there were some interesting articles to spring forth in the aftermath: The Daily Mail published a piece by an anonymous "Murdoch insider" claiming that the 200 journalists at NOTW were sacrificed to save the "self-glorification" career of Brooks. More:
"From the day Rebekah rose to the top, that reputation was surrendered to her desire to mingle with the rich and powerful. Under her leadership, the News of the World and The Sun became crammed with trivia.
No editor behaved like she did. When Prime Ministers spoke to Kelvin MacKenzie, one of Rebekah's predecessors as editor of The Sun, they were scared stiff of him.
When Prime Ministers spoke to Rebekah, they were love-bombed. That was a betrayal of the papers and a betrayal of their readers.
She had the same, craven relationship with public relations practitioners. Scores, if not hundreds, of front-page stories were written by the PR men. They would think up a headline and story and The Sun and News of the World would run it, word for word. Some of them were complete fiction."
Legendary Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein wrote in Newsweek that the scandal could be Murdoch's "Watergate," while Reuters pondered whether Murdoch deputy Les Hinton could take the fall for the scandal. Over at The Guardian, Roy Greenslade criticizes the sentimental farewell of NOTW:
"The final issue of the News of the World unashamedly appeals to the emotions of its audience while casting itself as a victim of circumstances beyond its own control.
In the course of 48 pages celebrating its supposedly finest moments, it seeks to play the hero while attempting to disguise its villainy. Indeed, some of the villainy is given a heroic gloss.
Without wishing to dance on a dead newspaper's grave, especially while the body is still warm, it cannot be allowed to get away with perpetuating yet more myths amid the cheap sentimentality of its farewell."
The Daily Mail noted, though, that staffers seem to have gotten in some good farewell shots in the last NOTW crossword puzzle.