The cliché: "An appetite for scandal." After days of blaming Rupert Murdoch, et al., for the phone hacking tactics at News of the World, columnists have turned on the British tabloid-buying public itself, accusing the Brits of using papers with lax standards to fill the hole in their stomachs left by their national cuisine.
Who's on board "Here is the bottom line: British newspapers pay the police for scandal because the British newspaper-reading public has such an enormous appetite for scandal," writes Anne Applebaum in The Washington Post. The public has a "great appetite for the product of the guilty papers," says Andrew Rawnsley in The Guardian. Stephen Hume writes in The Vancouver Sun that "it’s the public’s insatiable appetite for manufactured scandal and celebrity sensation that made the News of the World into Britain’s biggest circulation newspaper." The public "finally began to take an interest in the methods used to fuel their diet of tittle-tattle," writes Mary Ann Sieghart of The Independent. Taking the metaphor a step further, she says of the past few decades of complicity, "Most readers simply preferred not to know, just as some would rather not know what's in their meat pie."