And those queuing up to back Wickham prove only that they are as dependent on that part of the Fourth Estate that is wilfully opposed to properly independent press self-regulation as he is - thereby making Hacked Off’s case for them. Forget actually reporting what really happened, push the view which will find greater favour with the editors and proprietors, and hope once more that they will throw them a few more biscuits.
So when the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole told that there had been a “Show trial for journalists”, Chris Deerin not only took him on trust, he decided it was “Typically vile”. But then, he has a column, you see. Jago Pearson was equally happy to endorse whatever the Fawkes rabble told him, but then, he’s at Media Intelligence Partners, and the “Media” part generally means being nice to those who oppose Hacked Off.
Also nodding along was Dylan Sharpe, dependent on Creepy Uncle Rupe for his stipend. But the pièce de résistance was provided by the Telegraph’s well-known blues artiste Whingeing Dan Hodges: “He can report things how he likes. Not for Hacked Off to tell journalists how to report the House of Commons”. He did report how he liked, and nobody told him to do otherwise. And there’s more where that came from.
“He's not being questioned. He's being shouted at and ordered to stand up”. He wasn’t shouted at, and nor was he ordered to do anything. Try again. Ah, there was “putting them in a room and screaming at them”. Wickham put himself in the room, and nobody screamed. But it sounds less grovelling than “Please Mr MacLennan, don’t include me in the next lot of hacks you send down the road”.
“He was allowed in. And then he was ordered to stand up while people shouted at him”. See, he did enter the room of his own accord! But he wasn’t ordered to do anything (again), and nobody shouted at him (again). Do go on. “So you think if journalists are reporting from a meeting they should be forced to stand up and explain each tweet”. No forcing, and no explanation was requested. But it fits the required script.
That means Wickham can continue lying by saying “I am out alive” when he left of his own accord and nobody stopped him. But what does the general public think? Master Cole must have been more than customarily miffed to read Peter Fowler’s response to him: “The problem is we all read the blog from Crewe”. Yes, all those obedient press poodles nod away, but more and more are getting the right story from Zelo Street.