Thursday, July 28, 2011

Press criminality! Abuse of power! Who knew?

Doesn't it say a lot that many of the ... er... revelations that have brought this crisis to a head had been in in plain sight for some time?

Not wanting to take anything away from Guido's investigative powers (after all, he seems to have ... er... unearthed it first), but the evidence that Piers Morgan broke the law by listening to Paul & Heather McCartney's messages was not obtained by patient digging through unpublished papers gathered by subterfuge, or a painful process of tracking down reluctant witnesses and coercing testimony out of them. No. It was brought to light after someone read an old copy of The Daily Mail.

And then, there's that marvellous secret video - obtained using cutting-edge investigative surveillance techniques in which a private conversation between Rebekah Brooks and ... er... a Parliamentary Select Committee in 2003 ... which revealed evidence of criminality. Evidence that was pounced upon by the authorities within only eight years of it coming to light.

I still love that pause where Ms Brooks plainly feels a sharp tap on her ankle from Mr Coulson's direction.

You know you're above the law when you can make a public confession of criminality without showing the slightest concern. You also know a great deal about British journalism that - even though there's been plenty of columns from The Great and The Good over the years about how politicians need to stand up to press barons, it needed a journalistic class-action of the kind we're seeing now to bring this matter to a head.

Without taking anything away from the journalists who have now done so, this story falls in the bleeding obvious column much more squarely than it fits in the one marked who'd have known it?

Now that's power for you.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Not that I wish to defend Morgan but listening to such messages ain't breaking the law. Morgan's always acknowledged the existence of such practices and others (tapping phones & searching dustbins). He even wrote a book about it (The Insider). However, he claims he never ran a story using them or requested them.

On the other hand, Staines has 2 DUI convictions and a driving without insurance conviction. There was also something about bankruptcy.

Consider your sources, ffs.