Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Avengers

The Times quoted Paul McMullan former deputy features editor of Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct News  of the World as telling “a judicial inquiry” that “Phone hacking is a perfectly acceptable tool, given the sacrifices we make, if all we’re trying to do is to get to the truth.” The Times (“British Inquiry Is Told Hacking Is Worthy Tool," NYT, 11/29/11)  quoted McMullan going on to ask if “we really want  to live in a world where the only people who can do the hacking are MI5 and MI6.” And McMullan put the icing on the cake when he commented, “For a brief period of about 30 years, we have actually lived in a free society where we can hack back.” If what the Times described as McMullan’s "jaw-droppingly brazen remarks" seemed beyond the pale, they make sense if you consider him as a character in a forthcoming Thames Television series modeled on The Avengers. You remember that Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg starred in that highly popular sci fi and fantasy show back in the 60’s. Well, we can’t be sure until we have hacked into Rupert Murdoch’s private phone, but who knows? Perhaps all the wild antics McMullan describes which included spending “two weeks locked in a hotel room with Princess Diana’s gym instructor” were inspired by The Avengers. Speaking of  Princess Diana, car chases were all the rage until tragedy struck. “I absolutely loved giving chase to celebrities,” McMullan said. “How many jobs can you have car chases in? Before Diana died, it was such good fun.” McMullen could easily take over the role played by Macnee and how about his comely former superior Rebekah Brooks as Emma Peel? And what will these twenty-first century Avengers  avenge? Of course the fact that only enforcement officials get to spy. As we all know, fantasy sells.

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