Naomi Campbell, Blood Diamonds And A Media Feeding Frenzy

Congratulations, murdered and mutilated Sierra Leoneans! You finally have a celebrity angle, meaning your obscure little story has been given its brief moment in the limelight, before being reassigned the sort of news value that couldn't hope to trump a Cesc Fabregas transfer rumour. And so to Naomi Campbell's testimony at the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor in The Hague. Who'd have thought the first Campbell to be summoned to The Hague would be Naomi? At this rate, the first Blair to be subpoenaed will be Lionel, with the old trouper accused of accepting a ruby tie-pin from the Burmese military junta during his ill-fated Name That Tune, Rangoon! tour in 1987. But back to Naomi, of whose historic appearance you will no doubt be aware, on account of it having led every major TV and radio news bulletin today, with Sky News and the BBC News channel obligingly screening an uninterrupted feed of it. Print and webwise, this newspaper ran a live blog of madam's turn, as did the Times. A terrible oversight by Der Spiegel and the New York Times, you'll agree, but the good news is that a most prodigious array of news outlets gave madam blanket coverage, and we shall explore that edifying clearing of the schedules in more detail shortly. As you will know, Naomi was ordered to give evidence after Mia Farrow alleged that representatives of Taylor gave the supermodel a diamond in the dead of night in 1997, after they'd all been guests of Nelson Mandela at some charity dinner in South Africa. Despite earlier denials, the supermodel today conceded that she had been given a few "dirty looking pebbles" in this manner – and news outlets streamed every ruddy word. If you wished to distil the entire apocalypse-hastening event into a single exchange, it would probably be the following. Declaring she and Taylor had met only once, Naomi attempted a winningly self-deprecating smile and told the court: "I'd actually never heard of Liberia at that time."