Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Questions we never thought they'd ask

There's a documentary a week at the moment exposing the staggering extent of Rupert Murdoch's hold on the Establishment.

And they'll continue as more comes out and lies become omissions and omissions become confessions.

Last night's Dispatches corralled a handful of hacks, PRs and coppers for whom these will become a reguar gig, and useful one for those who've lost their jobs.

We were reminded of what we've always known: that a Blair government built on spin needed News International to get elected, what we suspected - that he needed the nod from Murdoch before invading Iraq - and what only tabloid insiders would know - that the News of the World features desk had shedloads to spend on stories. Although with £3 million plus to play with, I'd have expected them to find Lord Lucan, Martin Bormann and Madeleine McCann, not a few pantsdown "exposes".

And there was the blatanly obvious. Cameron's decision to hire Coulson was in hindight disastrous, but at the time, tactically inspired.

But the most interesting thing to come from this has been the dawning realisation of those involved that the penny has finally dropped.

When Coulson and Brooks sat before the Select Committee eagerly talking over each other, at pains to "admit" they did regularly pay coppers for info, they felt securely ringfenced enough to brazen it out like Guantanamo interrogators fessing up; "how do you think we cracked it?" safe in the knowledge that thwarting an attack on the White House was all the justification needed.

How times change - and how many other such confessions will come back to haunt?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in press freedom here is a great debate by Worldbytes, where volunteers consider the Counter Leveson Inquiry, a campaign launched by the online journal Spiked. Journalist Patrick Hayes challenges participants not to go along with the inquiry's dangerous assumptions. He argues that free speech and a free press with no 'buts' are essential for democracy.