Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A day in the office at News of the World

Although the offices are now closed, the final issue printed, and the presses stilled, I can reveal that someone left a Dictaphone running during one of the normal days of work. So here it is; a transcript of Monday morning at News of the World.

Journo: Good morning, Rebekah. Did you have a good weekend?

RB: I have never knowingly had a weekend. If, at any point, weekends did happen while I was at News of The world, I was not informed, and I certainly didn’t authorise payment. Although I have heard that weekends were widely-practiced on Fleet Street, particularly in the late 1990s.

Journo: Oh. I thought you said on Friday that you were going for a meal with the Camerons?

RB: I don’t know the name.

Journo: Really?

RB: Not at all. I did not know that ‘David Cameron’ worked for the British government until 2011, and I’m sure he would deny that he’s ever met me.

[the door swings open and Rupert and James Murdoch walk in]

Journo Good morning James, I’m glad that you’re here, actually, I needed to ask-

RM: This is the most humble day of my life -

JM: Sorry, what were you going to ask?

Journo: Well, after you left on Friday, I discovered that my copy of -

RM: This is the most humble day of my life -

JM: Sorry, just ignore him. Do go on.

Journo: So, as I was saying, when I was tidying up my office on Friday, I discovered that my thesaurus had been closed. Now, I wouldn’t ordinarily mind, but I had spent literally minutes sifting through the pages to find a good synonym for ‘scum’ (with fewer than three syllables so that our readers wouldn’t feel alienated). I left the office for a minute to answer the phone, and when I returned, all my hard work was lost.

JM: The closure of a book with 160- odd pages is something that is a grave thing.

Journo: Well, it’s not just that.
Obviously, after noticing the book was closed I tried to open it again. I promptly discovered that the pages were stuck together with superglue!

JM: I’m as surprised and shocked to learn that as you are.

Journo: Hmm. Do you know who glued the pages of my thesaurus together, Mr. Murdoch?

RM: This is not an excuse, but your thesaurus constitutes less than 1% of the books in this company.

Journo: So you did it?

RM: No. But I would be willing to make you a rather generous cash payment to make this whole mess go away. I think that, frankly, I’m the best person to clear this up.

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