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Friday 25 November 2011

Leveson Is Served (5)


The Leveson enquiry has paused until after the weekend, but press coverage of yesterday’s testimony has produced a revealing moment – or maybe that should be a moment of non-revelation. The assembled hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre produced lots of copy covering the appearances of Sienna Miller, J K Rowling and Max Mosley, but something was missing.

Readers get the full story of J K Rowling and her being snapped by long lenses just about anywhere she went – whether or not the PCC ruled against it – and the creepy affair of the hack’s letter in her daughter’s schoolbag. Most of Sienna Miller’s testimony is relayed, including her not being able to trust friends after her phone had been hacked (but she hadn’t figured it out).

The omission comes in coverage of Max Mosley’s appearance. We are told that he went after the Screws for their coverage of what he got up to in private. We are also told that Mosley, like MP Tom Watson, made a mafia reference to News International, that the article was written by Neville Thurlbeck beforehand, and that the Screws bullied one of the participants into signing it off.

Who says I'm f***ing useless talking about f***ing?

Yet something is missing. Where might I find it? Happily, my occasional sparring partner Simon Hoggart at the Guardian has more. He tells that Mosley “has two great enemies”, these being Rupe (hence the Screws sting), and the Vagina Monologue. Dacre had accused Mosley of “unimaginable depravity” after the Murdoch press had published their expose.

Mosley commented “That reflects badly on [Dacre’s] imagination. I have no idea of Mr Dacre’s sex life ... he may have some sort of strange sex life, but it is not up to me to go into his bedroom, film him and write about it ... he is completely naive, obviously, about sex. That’s not a criticism, it’s a fact”. One cannot imagine Dacre reading this with any pleasure.

And so it came to pass that the Daily Mail covered the day’s events at the Leveson enquiry, but “Daily Mail Reporter” (code for “I don’t want my name associated with this, if it’s all the same to you”) managed to spare the editor’s blushes. I’m sure the omission was purely coincidental, but that pig flying past the window just now was a real whopper (geddit?!?).

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