What’s in the news these days?

a)     New reports of famine in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, and northern Kenya, alongside the difficulties of getting food and medical aid to areas in which famine is partially caused by what’s often referred to as the ‘political conditions’.

b)    The so-called phone hacking scandal in which News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch and his clan are embroiled – but which is not really about News Of the World reporters hacking Sienna Miller’s phone to get the juicy bits about her sex life, but more about Murdoch’s successful bid to be in the business of power and political influence (David Cameron included), rather than in the business of the fourth estate.

So how to deflect a scandal that may lead to severe restrictions of one’s sphere of influence? Use your own PR company, and have one’s editorial cartoonist link a) with b). The Times of London, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, had resident cartoonist Peter Brookes draw up “Priorities,” a cartoon depicting a group of starving figures in a desert environment; one figure clutches the tell tale empty begging bowl, and states, “I’ve had a bellyful of phone hacking.” (Peter Brookes, btw, has a thing for drawing starving Africans.)

Ah, Murdoch. Don’t project your anxieties/self-loathing onto the bodies of starving Africans. That’s you, there, who’s had the bellyful. It’s almost like Brookes modeled the figures in his cartoon on Murdoch – right down to the big ears.

Further Reading

When is a coup a coup?

Breaking with its habit of tolerating military coups, more recently the African Union has made it a policy to challenge unconstitutional transitions of power. Why not in Zimbabwe?