The Thick of It

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Phone hacking: a story

A tabloid newspaper journalist walks into his Monday morning editorial meeting.
He editor asks him what stories he is running that week.
He says he has an exclusive that a famous person is having an affair.
The editor says great, lets run that on our Sunday front page.
"One thing" he says to the journalist, "is our evidence reliable? I don't want us to get sued."
"That's OK" replies the journalist, "we've got recorded evidence of the two people discussing the affair."
"How did you get that?" asks the editor.
"From their mobile phones" says the journalist.
"Oh" says the editor, realising that phone tapping or hacking is illegal. "Lets run the story anyway and never discuss this again. Good work."

It couldn't happen could it? An editor would never sanction that for the sake of an exclusive would they?

Clive Goodman's letter confirming that the editors of the News of the World knew about phone hacking should be no surprise. Andy Coulson knew, so I'm sure did Rebbekah Wade and James Murdoch.

The cuts in this story get deeper, making it even more absurd that David Cameron still felt it OK to employ Coulson even though he knew this had happened on his watch. The more this story goes on, the more the wagging finger wags at Cameron.

Cameron thought News International support was more important than keeping his office clean, so he overrode any concerns. This was naive and he will continue to suffer for it.

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