《经济学人》:电话窃听丑闻,卑之何以堪
日期:2011-07-20 10:45

(单词翻译:单击)

The phone-hacking scandal
电话窃听丑闻

The lowest low
卑之何以堪

Jul 7th 2011 | from the print edition From The Economist print edition

The phone-hacking saga jeopardises more than merely the News of the World: it threatens Rupert Murdoch, the press as a whole, the police and politicians

电话窃听事件不仅仅危及《世界新闻报》的安危,它也威胁到鲁珀特·默多克,整个新闻界,警界及政界的未来。

UNTIL this week, the victims in the scandal over the illegal hacking of mobile-phone messages by the News of the World seemed mostly to be celebrities, royals and others too privileged to command much sympathy. For the tabloid, that was a useful mitigation in the court of public opinion, if not in law. No longer. The sordid antics of Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday paper—owned by News International, Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper outfit—look more promiscuous and more gravely criminal. And the circle of blame and taint is widening.

截止本周为止,被《世界新闻报》非法窃听电话信息的受害者大多数都为名人,皇室成员等,他们因身份特殊,享受特权,不会得到多少同情。对于《世界新闻报》来说,这将有力的缓和公众舆论所施加的压力,可在法庭上就行不通了。但是,现在公众也不会施以谅解了。传媒大亨默多克的新闻国际旗下的英国新闻出版单位——星期日报是英国最畅销的报纸。他们哗众取宠的丑恶行为看来更杂乱无章,罪大恶极。目前,受到谴责与世界新闻报同流合污的人物网正在进一步扩大。

The big difference is Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was murdered in Surrey in March 2002. On July 4th the Guardian reported allegations that Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working with News of the World journalists, hacked into Dowler’s voice-mail in the days after her disappearance, removing some messages to free up space when her account became full. The effect was to make her family think she might still be alive. The relatives of people killed in the terrorist attacks in London of July 2005, and of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, might also have been targeted. Ditto the families of two girls murdered in Cambridgeshire in 2002: in a bizarre cameo in what is an increasingly baroque saga, the actor Hugh Grant made that link in April, in a covertly recorded interview with a former journalist. Tom Watson, a Labour MP, made an even more serious charge in Parliament on July 6th: that News International paid people to interfere in a murder case “on behalf of known criminals”. The firm says it doesn’t understand that accusation.

女学生米莉·道勒于2002年3月在英国萨里郡被谋杀,年仅13岁。对米莉的窃听使整个事件大为不同。2011年7月14号英国《卫报》披露《世界新闻报》雇佣私家侦探格伦·穆尔凯尔在米莉失踪几天后窃听她的手机语音邮箱。当米莉邮箱内存已满时,他删去了部分邮件以便使新的邮件能顺利进入语音邮箱。这一行为给她的家人造成了米莉仍然活着的假象。伦敦2005年“7.7”恐怖爆炸案死者的亲属,以及在伊拉克和阿富汗牺牲的士兵家人的电话可能也被窃听。同样,2002年在剑桥郡被杀害的两个女孩的家人也成为了窃听的对象。在这一愈演愈烈的长篇荒唐闹剧中演员休·格兰特也奇怪的客串了一把。今年4月《世界新闻报》的一位前记者也对他进行了“秘密的采访”。 工党议员汤姆·沃森7月6日在国会对《世界新闻报》提出一项更为严厉的指控:新闻国际雇人以已知罪犯的身份干预谋杀案件的调查。新闻国际表示不理解这项指控用意何在。

Mr Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 for hacking voice-mail messages of members of the royal household, along with Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s royal correspondent. At the time, and for a long time afterwards, executives at News International insisted that Mr Goodman was a lone, rogue operator. In the past few months that defence has collapsed, amid a deluge of civil cases brought by the lengthening list of hacking victims, pay-offs, and the arrest of more journalists. Yet the Dowler development has supercharged the scandal—not just because of its callous immorality but also because it potentially involves perversion of the course of justice, a new level of criminality.

穆尔凯尔在2007年曾因窃听王室成员手机语音邮箱与《世界新闻报》的皇家记克莱夫·古德曼一道锒铛入狱。在那时以及其后的很长时间内,新闻国际的执行官们坚称古德曼的行为是穷凶极恶的,但这只是他的个人行为。过去几个月随着被牵扯入案的受害者,抓捕的记者以及涉案金额的增多,该辩护被推翻。然而米莉·道勒事件的发展使得电话窃听不仅仅是个丑闻了。世界新闻报记者的麻木不仁和蓄意颠倒司法公正使得这一事件变成了犯罪。

Hanging separately
分别绞死

If much of this is true, there were no qualms, and few limits, in the way the paper went after scoops. There might be serious legal and commercial consequences for News International. But others have been discredited, too—not least the police.

如果大部分的指控为真,那么《世界新闻报》记者抢先报道新闻时没有良心上的不安,也毫无顾忌和限制。新闻国际将接受严厉的法律惩处,承受巨大的经济损失。其他涉案人员也得名誉扫地,至少对警察先生们来说。

On July 5th News International acknowledged that, last month, it gave the Metropolitan Police a set of e-mails documenting (illegal) payments to police officers from News of the World journalists in 2003 and after. That is only the latest aspersion cast on various police forces by this affair. The police in Surrey seem to have known about the Dowler hacking but overlooked it. Worse, the Met itself stands accused of failing for several years to notify potential victims of hacking and failing to pursue leads: the evidence for many recent allegations comes from notes seized from Mr Mulcaire in 2006. The Met launched a fresh probe, under new command, in January. But its contacting of targets remains mystifyingly lacklustre.

7月5日新闻国际承认上月曾寄给伦敦警察厅一组电子邮件,证明在2003年及以后《世界新闻报》记者给予警察的(非法)报酬。这是该事件对各警察机关最新的一次“诽谤”。萨里郡警官对道勒电话被窃听一事知情,但选择视而不见。更糟糕的是,伦敦警察厅也被指责在过去的几年没能告知受害者可能被电话窃听的危险,以及没能追踪信息。最近很多指控的证据来自2006年对穆尔凯尔的询问笔录。一月,伦敦警察厅在新的要求下展开了新一轮的调查。但警官接触到的案件仍然乏善可陈。

Whether intentionally or otherwise (News International says it wasn’t), the news about police payments deflected attention onto Andy Coulson, the News of the World’s editor from 2003 to 2007—and thus, indirectly onto David Cameron. Mr Coulson resigned from the paper in 2007 after Mr Goodman and Mr Mulcaire were convicted, though he insisted that he knew nothing of their nefarious methods. He resigned again, this time from his job as Mr Cameron’s communications chief, in January this year, as the hacking scandal escalated. Mr Cameron’s judgment in hiring Mr Coulson after his tabloid escapades now looks ropier than ever

不管是否是有意为之,(《世界新闻报》称这是无心之过)警方收受贿赂的新闻使人们将注意力转向了《世界新闻报》编辑安迪·库尔森和首相戴维·卡梅伦。库尔森2003年至2007年在世界新闻报任职,2007年在古德曼和穆尔凯尔被判有罪后辞职,尽管他坚称自己对于这一穷凶极恶的手段毫不知情.随着电话窃听丑闻的升级,今年一月库尔森辞去了卡梅伦的首席信息官一职。在库尔森的小报越轨行为发生之后,卡梅伦雇佣库尔森的决定如今看来越发糟糕。

As it happens, Mr Coulson’s predecessor as editor, and News International’s current chief executive, Rebekah Brooks (above, with Mr Murdoch), is a close friend of Mr Cameron, too. Mrs Brooks was in the editor’s chair in 2002; if the latest hacking allegations stand up, her position looks at least as compromised as Mr Coulson’s was in 2007. But, so far, she has rebuffed calls for her resignation, declaring herself “shocked” at the latest charges and promising to “vigorously pursue the truth”. Critics wonder whether Mrs Brooks, who has in the past been insouciantly unco-operative with parliamentary inquiries into phone-hacking, or indeed anyone else at News International, with its history of collective obfuscation, is well-placed to do that.

巧合的是,新闻国际现任主编库利百加·布鲁克斯也是首相卡梅伦的密友。布鲁克斯2002年起在《世界新闻报》担任编辑,是库尔森的继任者。如果最近的电话窃听指控成立,那么她的职位看来与库尔森2007年时一样岌岌可危。但到目前为之,她断然拒绝了让她辞职的要求,声称自己对于最近的指控大为震惊,并承诺积极调事件真相。批评家认为,不论以布鲁克斯过去在议会对于电话窃听事件的调查中散漫不合作的作风,还是以新闻国际的其他人员集体装糊涂的历史来看,他们是否会履行承诺,配合调查仍是未知数。

For the moment, at least, Mrs Brooks appears to be protected by what insiders describe as an intense, almost familial bond with Mr Murdoch, who is said to prize her business acumen and contacts: Mr Murdoch this week called the recent allegations “deplorable”, but stood by her. Events might yet test just how much their bond is worth. Public anger has already persuaded several advertisers to suspend their dealings with the News of the World; some readers may choose to boycott it.

至少目前,据知情者所说,与默多克紧密的,几乎家人似的关系保护着布鲁克斯。据说,默多克曾夸奖布鲁克斯在商业上的敏锐及高超的交际手腕。这周,默多克回应最近的指控,称其是“可悲的”,但仍支持布鲁克斯。他和布鲁克斯的这种关系到底有多重要尚未证实。公众的愤怒已经使得一些广告商中止了与《世界新闻报》的合作,部分读者可能会联合抵制这份报纸。

Still, Claire Enders, a media analyst, thinks the commercial impact is likely to be modest, given the paper’s dominance in the Sunday newspaper market. Much worse, for Mr Murdoch, is the slim chance that the scandal might affect his bid to buy the rest of BSkyB, a hugely profitable satellite broadcaster in which News Corporation, his parent company, already has a 39% stake. Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, looked set finally to approve the deal after a consultation on its impact on media plurality ends on July 8th. Meanwhile Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, is obliged to consider whether the holders of broadcasting licences are “fit and proper”. It is “closely monitoring the situation”.

尽管如此,媒体分析家克莱尔·恩德斯认为,以《世界新闻报》在星期日报所占的市场主导地位来说,窃听事件造成的经济损失可能不大。更严重的是,这一事件有可能使得默多克对天空广播电视台的收购泡汤。天空广播电视台是一个利润十分可观的卫星广播电视台。它的母公司新闻集团目前已占其39%的股份。文化局长杰瑞米·亨特在对此项收购对媒体多元化的影响的进行磋商后,似乎终于于7月9日批准了这一交易。同时,广播监管机构英国广播委员会有责任衡量广播牌照的持有者是否是“适当人员”。他们目前正在密切监管有关情况。

In the gutter
沉溺低级趣味中

And it isn’t only the Murdoch press that is set to feel the backlash. Whereas in America journalism is a respectable, even venerated profession, in Britain it has always been regarded as grubby. But it has rarely been so reviled as now. Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, wants a public inquiry into the culture and regulation of the press; Mr Cameron agrees that there ought to be one or more inquiries, after criminal proceedings are over. One result might be a change to the current model of newspaper self-regulation; the Press Complaints Commission, the toothless body responsible for it, has handled the hacking affair woefully.

感受到了这一事件强大的反冲力的不仅仅是默多克的新闻出版机构。尽管新闻界在美国是被尊重,甚至崇敬的职业;但在英国人们通常认为媒体是肮脏不堪的。可现今对媒体如此的痛斥实属罕见。英国工党领袖埃德·米利班德希望对新闻界的文化和监管进行公开调查;卡梅伦同意在刑事法律程序进行完毕之后对此事展开一个或更多的调查。可能导至的一个结果是报社现行自我监管方法的改变。对此事负有责任的报业申述委员会并没有实际的权利。他们已经处理了电话窃听事件,但结果并未使公众满意。

Most MPs were in the past much more diplomatic about the press, especially the Murdoch stable, which, so exaggerated legend had it, could decide the fate of governments. But the calculus for politicians has suddenly shifted. Mr Miliband’s tough stance towards News International—he joined the clamour for Mrs Brooks’s resignation—would have been unthinkable in the Blair years. Mr Cameron shied away from calling for his friend’s head too, but described the allegations as “truly dreadful”. And there may be more to come in this mad, metastasising story.

过去,大多国会议员跟媒体,特别是跟默多克的媒体集团打交道时更加老练。默多克的媒体集团是个传奇,能够决定政府的盛衰。但是,政客们的演算突然发生了转变。埃德·米利班德对新闻国际强硬的立场以及呼吁布鲁克斯辞职在布莱尔执政时代是无法想象的。卡梅伦也不敢与他的朋友反目,但他认为这一事件的确让人“毛骨悚然”。然而,这一疯狂的,时刻变化的事件还远远没有结束。

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重点单词
  • interferevi. 妨碍,冲突,干涉
  • delugen. 大洪水,暴雨,泛滥 v. 泛滥,大量涌入
  • modestadj. 谦虚的,适度的,端庄的
  • proben. 探针,探测器,调查,查究 v. 用探针测,详细调查
  • impactn. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力) vt. 挤入,压紧
  • legaladj. 法律的,合法的,法定的
  • executiveadj. 行政的,决策的,经营的,[计算机]执行指令 n
  • accusationn. 控告,指控,非难
  • merelyadv. 仅仅,只不过
  • calculusn. 微积分