"most defensible was sport"

Journalism Anthony Lane of The New Yorker has a piece about the phone hacking scandal which doesn't say that much that is new but neatly suggests how the British media must look from outside:
"This barrage of print has one overriding effect: in Britain, you cannot hear yourself think. You never really notice this until you leave the country, whereupon the white noise suddenly stops. The noisiest paper, without doubt, was the News of the World, which resounded with three continuous notes. The first and most defensible was sport; last year, the paper laid bare a match-fixing racket in Pakistani cricket—a bigger and more lucrative deal than it sounds. Then, there were television performers, who furnished an astounding proportion of the paper’s stories. (When historians come to measure the age of Murdoch, that symbiosis between media will loom large.) Last and most cacophonous, there was the assumption, or the ardent hope, that somebody, somewhere, was having sex with somebody he should not be having sex with. Viewed from outside, what this fixation suggested was a giggling braggart, fidgeting in the school playground, and pointing at girls with whom he would never stand a chance."
Is that true?  I'm genuinely not sure what the print media culture looks like in other parts of the world, if there is this kind of devision between tabs and broads.

I'd be interested additionally to know what you make of Roy Greenslade discussion about the hierarchy of death which exists between the red tops and broadsheets and which demonstrates once again that news doesn't and cannot seem to exist without an adenda. Something isn't news unless someone decides it is.

[Updated!  Greenslade himself has spotted it too.]

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