Press freedom from government is an important keystone of a free society.
However, only governments can truly regulate. A bit of a catch 22.
What went on is despicable and phone tapping is not the nadir of journalism but a sick example. The papers that are being holier than thou also employ people to sift through dustbins and camp out on the street outside bereaved families.
The press have a responsibility to both inform and provide scrutiny. Both include a sense of entertainment, otherwise people wouldn't buy their product. But by dragging the watchdog of government so low, Murdoch is in danger of giving governments the moral high ground and that is a scary thought for advocates of a free society.