Latest Charges Take Phone Hacking to a New Level of Horrible (VIDEO)

andy coulsonThe notorious News of the World phone hacking case has taken yet another dramatic turn: British authorities have announced 19 charges including former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks and David Cameron's former communications chief Andy Coulson on the grounds of "conspiring to intercept communications." Those communications being (in case you somehow managed to miss this months-long drama) "voicemail messages of well-known people and those associated with them," including such celebs as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Paul McCartney, Heather Mills, Jude Law and Sienna Miller; as well as several British officials and, disturbingly, the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. (Coulson vehemently denies doing anything to interfere with the investigation of Dowler's abduction.)

And Coulson should respond to the allegations regarding Dowler, at least, because those are most damning of all.

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It's the involvement of this girl's tragic story, to me, that takes this case to a completely different level. I'm not saying celebs don't deserve privacy, but there's a huge difference between hacking into Sienna Miller's messages and those of a 13-year-old girl killed on her way home from school. A 13-year-old girl who was, at the time, still classified as "missing." A girl whose family hoped was still alive. It's too horrifying to even contemplate.

Tabloid journalism is, I think, a slippery slope: Everybody's racing to get the latest gossip, the breaking news -- the line between setting up camp outside Angie & Brad's with a camera to document Shiloh's every wardrobe change and listening to Angie & Brad's voicemail can probably seem pretty thin. But to mess with a violent crime, particularly one involving a child, is a very different (and terrible) story.

I hope Andy Coulson is telling the truth.

Do you think the latest phone hacking charges make this case even more horrible?

Image via The Guardian

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