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Monday 8 October 2012

Leveson Is Served (20)


It might not have generated many column inches in the mainstream press, but the Leveson “Rule 13” letter sent to Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail, has caused significant discomfort to all concerned there, and especially the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who has been castigated for “failures of leadership” and of “failing to acknowledge the [PCC’s] failure”.

Oversee me, c***? F*** that for starters!?!

Fortunately, the matter has been lead item in the Private Eye Street Of Shame section in its last two issues (1323 and 1324), and so we now know that Leveson has also made the general point that the current system “failed to provide properly for adequate oversight of editors”, which of course is the whole point at the Mail: nobody, but nobody, oversees the Vagina Monologue.

That Dacre is now getting, as the Eye puts it, “uncharacteristically jittery” can be seen from the attack punditry he has ordered, with today’s example from Stephen Glover, that most miserable of miserable gits, being typical. “Leveson, and how the luvvies (who made millions using the media) should beware what they wish for” reads the headline, which sums up the predictably tedious content.

Here, Glover treads the well-worn path of kicking Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan, Jude Law and Max Mosley. Their activities are held to suggest that their views don’t really count, and that they may have used the services of PRs (which, in Daily Mail land, are by definition “expensive”, meaning the readers should be jealous because they have lots of money) means they are courting publicity for their own ends.

This it complete crap: slebs use PRs to field media enquiries and order their exposure, which is not the same thing. And trying not to over-expose slebs to the media soon gets the Mail ranting yet more loudly, as we saw last week with their vapid and thoroughly nasty attack on Jo Rowling for not giving them an interview. Moreover, Glover’s insistence on only mentioning phone hacking is telling.

Because it’s not just about hacking: as any fule kno, the Mail was top of the charts with Steve Whittamore, busted as part of Operation Motorman. The paper was heavily involved in illegal information gathering. And the Eye points out that Leveson’s Rule 13 letter contains enough specifics of its own, for instance Jan Moir’s now infamous article on the death of Stephen Gately.

Also mentioned are “a defamatory story of no genuine public interest printed about Neil Morrissey”, and an intrusive piece about Abigail Witchall’s brother. Dacre then failed “to recognise before the enquiry that that was wrong”. Paul Dacre can order his pundits to write as much attack copy as he wants, and try and frighten readers with tales of Government regulation, but ultimately the fault is his, and his alone.


Anonymous said...

As Hugh Grant pointed out at the weekend, self-regulation for doctors and solicitors works because it is backed up by statute. If the self-regulation fails, statutory regulation can kick-in. What Grant should also have said is that there are thousands of doctors and solicitors, so the chances of a doctor or solicitor having to pass judgement on himself or herself is very low.

There are very few newspapers. People like Dacre regularly pass judgement on themselves at the PCC and, unsurprisingly, find themselves to be pure as driven snow. This isn't regulation.


Anonymous said...

Why do people read rubbish like The Mail anyway? Surelt nobody takes anything they say seriously?

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid they do, anonymous. how many? impossible to say but if the conversations I hear at work and in my local are anything to go by, the figure must be quite high.

dacre drips poison into the minds of his readership 6 days a week.

if ever there was an argument for stat. regulation the content of the mail would trump all others.