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Thursday 9 December 2010

Burying Potentially Bad News

While there is yet another day of student protests – the Met’s finest have just “kettled” a number of demonstrators in Parliament Square as I type – Young Dave’s chief spinmeister Andy Coulson is back in court, and very little attention is being paid to the occasion.

His appearance, as a witness in the trial of former MP Tommy Sheridan on perjury charges, is not connected directly to Phonehackgate. But the implications for the former editor of the Screws are potentially serious: one slip under questioning – Sheridan is defending himself, and so is the one asking the questions – will provide ammunition for anyone who wants to see him out of Downing Street.

So it might be thought that much of the Fourth Estate would at least be maintaining a watching brief. But that thought is disproved by a scan through the papers: the Independent carries the story, although it’s in the Crime section and not Politics, and the Guardian mentions the Indy’s piece in its press roundup.

There is nothing on the case in the Daily Mail, or Express. Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun also draw a blank, maybe because they’re trying to inflate a non-story about an Al Qaeda attack on a live episode of Coronation Street (there isn’t).

And Coulson’s appearance is no mere formality: next week, Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who went to jail for his part in Phonehackgate, will take the stand. Young Dave and the rest of the Murdoch “family” will no doubt be hoping that their stories match up.

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