Is Ian Hislop a Virgin?

We must thank parliamentary privilege for revealing today that Fred the Shred was an adulterer. Now we know that he was a lousy banker and cost the country billions. Before that, we were never sure. Just as we must be eternally grateful to Private Eye for the news that Andrew Marr was no saint either. And as such, was a hypocrite to ask politicians any questions about their private life.
But if Marr had been the only reporter to know about the Profumo scandal, would he have been ‘hypocritical’ to write the story? Indeed, if all journalists in 1960 led lives as blameless and boring as Ian Hislop, would Private Eye even exist?
Why should profitably famous people be punished more for their marital indiscretions than anonymous wastes of space? The Sun is not interested in what happened in your office photocopier room unless a suitable fantasy figure was involved. At least when the revelations emerge on Twitter, nobody seems to make much money. And that is the real measure of freedom of speech in this society, after all. How much money can be made from it. The argument is not about Human Rights at all, but a restraint of trade dispute.

This entire shitstorm is also about our moral and sexual identity crisis. If we had a healthy attitude to sex and relationships, there wouldn’t be any money in pillowtalk stories, and nobody’s careers would be in danger, and therefore no need for lawyers. But since the private lives of the rich and powerful are a prized media commodity, and help to feed our inhibitions, there is a lot of money at stake, and therefore a lot of law. Privacy has become a copyright issue, and nothing to do with morality, as the Anglesey Babes will soon find out.
The Injunctions Affair is a clear example of how our morality and laws are shaped by the sale-price of goods, not by any immutable philosophical edicts from on high.
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