This blog, as the title suggests, has been observing the events surrounding Phonehackgate for some time. From the early days of the story, when the right leaning part of the blogosphere was howling down any mention of Andy Coulson’s part in the affair as a “non story”, to the eventual fall of Young Dave’s chosen spinmeister, this was unmissable stuff.
And the main reason was that Coulson, as editor of the Screws at the time of the trial and jailing of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and NotW royal correspondent Clive Goodman, could not have done his job without knowing that routine – and illegal - interception of voicemail was happening. His continued assertion that this action – underpinned by the payment of significant sums of money – could proceed without his knowledge never sounded credible.
That is why, earlier this week, I called out Telegraph man Benedict Brogan and suggested that his piece on the business was in the “famous last words” category. But Ben was not the only one weighing in on the side of the former Screws editor.
On September 4 last year, Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda, told his blog readers that “Coulson’s Accusers Can Go To Hell”. Dale’s pal Phil Hendren (aka Dizzy Thinks) spewed out a characteristic cloud of Whataboutery and claimed that it was a “non story” because nobody cared. And the routinely clueless Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) told his readers as recently as December 11 that “They huffed and puffed, Coulson still standing”, adding that “Punters now give Coulson a 96% chance of surviving”.
But then, Staines’ judgment has not been too good recently, as shown when he sprayed 500 notes up the wall betting that David Laws would not lose his job. His calls bear all the hallmarks of partisan denial – or he isn’t as well informed as he would have us believe.
No, the right leaning part of the blogosphere has not covered itself in glory on this one – the real credit has to go to one journalist, and one alone: step forward Guardian man Nick Davies, tenacious investigator and the man who brought us the go-to book on the workings of the press, Flat Earth News.
Davies, ably supported by his editor Alan Rusbridger, is part of the MSM, which is supposed to be so very last Century. Well, apparently not.