Journalists getting guilty, the Sun’s veteran apologist for bad behaviour of all kinds Trevor Kavanagh concluded last week, was A Very Bad Thing Indeed. “If journo goes down, so does a free press” he warned as he perused the plight of those known as the Sun Six, who are on trial at Kingston Crown Court on charges relating to various, shall we say, acts of personal initiative which may have been illegal.
He speaks your weight. For a Tip Fee
Kavanagh, as so often, requires a total suspension of disbelief to be credible, as he shills blatantly for the defence, after the Murdoch press railed against prejudicial court reporting in the earlier hacking trial – a tactic used by those representing Rebekah Brooks to try and get the trial stopped, using the court’s time to complain about as many uncomplimentary Tweets as could be mustered.
He also believes that Sun readers are so easily fooled by his obvious partiality, describing John Butterfield QC in the most reverential tones, and praising his every utterance. What Kav is actually saying is OUR QC IS RIGHT AND THE OTHER BLOKE IS NOT. This, too, is not in the least prejudicial, which applies to his claim that “Payments [to public servants] are [a] vital weapon”.
Kavanagh wants readers to believe that this “vital weapon” is part of getting those “Scandals Outed”, and “Democracy’s Key”, rather than a cheap and nasty way of selling more papers for the benefit of His Bosses Personally Now. And the interests of Creepy Uncle Rupe are, by the most miraculous coincidence, perfectly aligned with the interests of the wider public.
So it will be interesting to hear how Trev spins away this week’s happenings at The Old Bailey, where a former Screws hack (who cannot at this point be named for legal reasons, but worry not, he will be soon enough) has just been convicted of “conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office”. Also convicted were “Prison officer Scott Chapman and ex-partner Lynn Gaffney”.
It seems that “Chapman, 42, made up to £40,000 by selling information to journalists” about James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables. That would be the same Jon Venables whose photo is very prominently splashed over the Kavanagh story in the Sun. “The Old Bailey heard that Chapman started selling stories about Venables when he was returned to prison in 2010 for child abuse images offences”.
That’s the same Jon Venables whose photo features in Kavanagh’s article. So how is the Sun spinning this development? Simples. They say he was right really: “Guilty for lifting lid on Bulger killer perk” it screams. But the best is left for last: the reporter “paid a tip fee to a prison officer”. A “tip fee”? A “TIP FEE”?? Oh just f*** right off. It was a bung. A bribe. Wedge. A drink. Tip fee my arse.
I can’t wait for the Kavanagh excuses. This is just beyond ridiculous.