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Friday 25 May 2012

Guido Fawked – Still Wrong On Hacking

Last night, The Media Society honoured Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and journalist Nick Davies for their part in Phonehackgate and the precipitation of the Fall Of The House Of Murdoch. There was much praise for their courage in breaking the Omerta of the Fourth Estate. But, for one person at the event, it was all too much to bear, shelling out £125 to hear the paper he hates the most being feted.

Evidential proof? F*** me, what's one of those?!?

Step forward the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, and who clearly found the whole evening distressing – except, that is, when Nick Davies was speaking. Staines appears to be slowly realising, and appreciating, that bloggers like himself (and I include myself in that category) are not journalists. But as so often, he had to spin the occasion to his own agenda.

Davies told in forthright tones that the Mail and Mirror were as involved in criminal wrongdoing to at least the extent that the Murdoch press was. This Staines observed, but then dismissed as unfit for further analysis. But when Davies told that it was a “fluke” that the Mirror was not on the hook for phone hacking, The Great Guido was all ears.

Thus he restated his opinion that the Mirror would find itself hit with proceedings imminently – as he has suggested the paper would be on several previous occasions. On none of these occasions, however, has a single action been started against the former editorial home of the insufferable Piers “Morgan” Moron, and for this there is a very good reason.

Not yet in the feather duster category

The Screws got hit with all the lawsuits because not only did it retain the services of accomplished hacker Glenn Mulcaire, but also because their man kept records which came into the possession of the Metropolitan Police. It is for this reason that the Screws’ sister paper the Sun has generally kept clear of hacking claims – not that it wasn’t doing a little of it (allegedly, perhaps).

Thus the problem for the Met and all those lawyers: saying “they were all at it” is not sufficient proof for any kind of legal action. Nor is taking on trust the tendency of aficionados of the drive-by e-shooting, like Max Keiser of Russia Today and Press TV, to make accusations against Mirror executives which he cannot, and will not, stand up in court.

Staines may have also noted that, for papers merely suspected of illegality, claims of wrongdoing are a matter of utmost sensitivity, as witness the reaction of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre to Hugh Grant’s suggestion that his paper was also hacking phones. And the lawyers would be quick to defend the Mail, just as they would the Mirror. Why did Operation Motorman peter out, Paul?

Staines won’t get Moron without evidence, which he ain’t got. Another fine mess.

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