I have only just found time to sit through the Rebekah Wade movie in which the Sun editor faces alone the august and titled members of a Lords committee boring on about media power.
It’s the first time I have ever heard her speak since she doesn’t do TV or radio or anything likely to annoy the man she calls unerringly and reverently “Mr Murdoch”. Yes, she’s very nicely spoken; not Keira Knightley-silly-debsy-nicely-spoken-oh-Mr Darcy; just nicely spoken in a classless but educated sort of way despite the odd hard g.
She certainly is unafraid to use the word “monetise” and that fact alone suggests to me she is positioning herself for a higher management purpose post-The Sun.
But meanwhile she has Bognor to look forward to – that’s where she’s dragging her reluctant staff this summer to meet “Sun readers”: Butlin’s I presume. She spoke of “Sun readers” as a discrete tribe yet later confessed that it’s impossible to sketch the demographics of eight million people (the readership figure of the paper in 2006) in a few words. Bognor is where the spirit of Sun readers will re-animate the staffers and inspire new zombie antics.
The famous hair is even thicker (AA Gill would say “boskier” for the literary fragrance) than photos suggest: as thick as a rake's Georgian wig, framing a pale, ovaloid face. She'd make a plausible Elizabeth Tudor. And perhaps the Lords’ nasty cheap video camera is to blame but her hair is scarcely flame, as it’s often described: a dull copper perhaps.
Her only slip up was when she called the PM “Gordon” before a nimble self-correction restored the distance she imagines we need to believe exists between her and Gordon. She knows we don’t believe her verbal feints on whether Mr Murdoch tells her when to jump (mainly because he has already admitted to the Lords telling editors when to jump). But she knows it’s very wise to maintain this fiction as a position for it indicates deferential goodwill on her part while hinting at her own independence of mind, one paradox that defines real life.
I was going to say she’ll go very far, this one, but actually she’s gone very far already.
See the movie, hear the popcorn click here