Since the moment just over two years ago when Lord Justice Leveson delivered his report, and recommended a way in which press regulation might be made totally independent of politicians, editors and proprietors, the press has used a number of increasingly desperate methods to suggest that the report has brought some kind of mythical “chilling effect” to the Fourth Estate.
FACT: Leveson Presentation, November 2012
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this idea – it was bollocks. Leveson’s proposals have no force in law, and those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet have not been “chilled” by the smallest fraction of one degree. With their new sham regulator IPSO, most of the press have carried on exactly as before.
This mildly inconvenient fact has not, though, been allowed to get in the way of churning out the pretence over Leveson, and today Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have brought forth a truly blatant – and hilariously stupid – attempt to tie Leveson to an event that they reported yesterday, when they called out Tory MP Nigel Mills.
Mills had been caught on camera, during the proceedings of a Work and Pensions committee hearing, playing Candy Crush Saga. Worse, he was caught playing the game over a period of two and a half hours. Mills later apologised unreservedly. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the arcane filming rules of the Commons had been broken by whoever filmed the activity.
FICTION: Sun Editorial, December 2014
The idea that an investigation be launched to find the culprit brought forth ridicule, but it gave the Sun the excuse it needed to conform to Olbermann’s Dictum (“the right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”) and tell readers to “look over there at Leveson”. You think I jest? The editorial has even been promoted eagerly today by the paper’s spinmeister Dylan Sharpe.
After trying to link the Parliamentary rules to what the Police did over Plebgate – also irrelevant to this case – the Sun tells “This is Britain since the Leveson Inquiry, that declaration of war on the press by the elite we are here to hold to account ... Leveson’s biased witch-hunt empowered them to try to stop the press revealing inconvenient truths the public has the right to know”.
Fine, Dylan and pals – now show one case where Leveson has stopped the public discovering something. Just one case will do. Well, come on, you’re quite sure that Leveson has somehow changed something, despite it having no force in law. So where is that one example? There must be one, surely? D’you know, I do believe Sharpe and his pals have come over all quiet. Except for a hissing sound.
And that’s just the fire extinguisher putting out their burning trousers.