Private Eye have an awesome front cover this week, calling Rebekah Brooks to the Salem Witch Trials, following her arrest as part of the hacking investigation.
(Thanks for the image @SuperRetroid)
Now, I wouldn’t comment on a trial whilst it’s in progress, and so I’m not placing an opinion at all on the particular issues she’s charged with. What I’m commenting on is the way that the media in particular have gone after her.
There were a lot of people that have been called to the Leveson enquiry. And most of the ones that have caught the media attention have been men. Andy Coulson, Jeremy Hunt, James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch. All of them have been called with an eager glee that is not about justice, but is about finally getting a chance to talk negatively about this powerful group of people. And the fact that a woman dared to join this power group – shock horror! How very dare she!
The way that the media attack Rebekah Brooks is different to the way they attack others. Rupert Murdoch is attacked because of his age – the crazy old coot. James Murdoch is attacked because he has a wealthy father who gave him a job. Rebekah Brooks is attacked because she is a woman. The men dress “sombrely” for court, Rebecca Brooks dresses in an “almost puritan style” although with her hair still loose.
The media so quickly forgive Chris Brown and Gazza, and yet no interview or comment about Rebekah Brooks is free from a mention of her arrest for assaulting her partner. This was even brought up in the Leveson enquiry for Gods sake – did she remember the night snigger snigger. I’m not saying that we should forget this instance of domestic violence because the victim was a man. I’m saying lets have some consistency here people!
I’m not saying that Rebekah Brooks is in some way a victim of the men around her. I’m saying that she’s been their equal, and the media can’t stand it.
The way that Brooks has been condemned and patronised by the media from the first second available, is a condemnation of all women who aim for powerful positions. And that is why the Private Eye cover is so apt. The witch trials burnt through areas affecting many women at a time. Once one woman is accused and found guilty, it’s “proof” that there are more out there. The way the media and politicians are baying for Brooks’ blood is a danger to all women who want to join the power-circles. You’re not welcome here. If you dare put a foot through our door you are fair game and expendable.