Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette of the Rich and Famous => Topic started by: Twik on July 06, 2011, 10:47:13 AM

Title: UK phone-hacking scandal
Post by: Twik on July 06, 2011, 10:47:13 AM
Apparently, there's a big scandal breaking in the UK about the New of the World hacking into phone messages of, well, it seems anyone who might ever appear in the news. Including families of victims of terrorism and other crimes.  Details at (

Of course, most of this is a criminal matter, not etiquette. But the article includes two wonderful examples of "non-apologies," including this beauty from the head of the newspaper (grammar, etc., just as quoted):

It is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position.

Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues.

I don't know whether it's poor English, or clever writing, that she claims that she never sanctioned the allegations, not the acts themselves.
Title: Re: UK phone-hacking scandal
Post by: jimithing on July 06, 2011, 11:24:33 AM
Well, I can't really blame her. At this point, this case has not gone to court, so they *are* allegations. I agree this isn't an etiquette issue, it's a legal one, and I'm sure she's not going to make any statements that would implicate her in this matter since she is facing criminal charges.
Title: Re: UK phone-hacking scandal
Post by: Twik on July 06, 2011, 12:40:14 PM
Yes, they are allegations, but she didn't make the allegations - the police did. So, everyone knows she didn't "sanction" them, and has no need to apologize for them.

What she needs to say she didn't sanction is the actual criminal acts that people under her authority have been convicted of. Note how she carefully did not apologize for *those*.

The PI's apology is also a magnificient piece of apologizing but not really:

"I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done. I've been to court. I've pleaded guilty. And I've gone to prison and been punished. I still face the possibility of further criminal prosecution.

"Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure. There was a constant demand for results. I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically. But, at the time, I didn't understand that I had broken the law at all."

In other words, a big dose of "I'm sorry you feel that way. Now leave me alone, because I'm the one who's really suffering. How was I to know hacking into phones was illegal?".
Title: Re: UK phone-hacking scandal
Post by: Reuth on July 06, 2011, 12:48:11 PM
She should have said that she did not sanction the alleged actions. Saying she didn't sanction the allegations means nothing at all. It is interesting, I can't tell if it was poor wording or very deliberate.
Title: Re: UK phone-hacking scandal
Post by: Master_Edward on July 06, 2011, 12:59:13 PM
I think this is strictly a legal matter and has nothing to do with etiquette.