Now, it seems that those with short memories include others working at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, such is the absence of self-awareness at the shopping, pursuit, prosecution and conviction of more than two dozen of those sources. It is as if the people who the Sun persuaded to part with information in exchange for a little, shall we say, lubrication of the monetary wheels, have been airbrushed out of recent history.
Not only that, but it also seems that Rupe’s downmarket troops don’t care too much not just about the numbers, but what this means for the future: if handing over information with a view to seeking a better standard of annual holiday, an easier upgrade of car, an overdue refurbishment of the family home, or a more comfortable retirement gets you landed in the slammer, future volunteers may be hard to find.
Instead, after Press Gazette reported “The Crown Prosecution Service is scrapping most of the planned trials involving journalists accused of payments to public officials … The move follows three more tabloid journalists being found not guilty by a jury today”, the Sun’s reaction to this latest development in the Operation Elveden saga was a front page splash shrieking “CROWN PERSECUTION SERVICE”.
Managing Editor Stig Abell Tweeted the headline, and dutifully followed with the portrayal of “48-0” as a scoreline. Victimhood-portrayal expert, and occasional Sun PR, Dylan Sharpe chimed in “F.P. Cup Latest: 48-0 … (That’s Freedom of the Press) … And gate receipts of £20m+”. Newton Dunn, with magnificent lack of self-awareness, snorted “Saunders and Hogan-Howe should admit they made a hideous blunder and apologise, says [Trevor Kavanagh]”. None of them wanted to give readers the right story.
Perhaps this was because the “48-0” was not true? And it wasn’t: as Peter Jukes pointed out, if the sources prosecuted were included, the zero would have to be replaced by the number 27. And the rozzers only got sufficient information to prosecute all 27 because the Murdoch empire shopped them, yes, betrayed them, every last one.
All of those people were encouraged by the Murdoch press to act in a way that was illegal. All of them were then betrayed. But when others are reluctant to play that game, it will be someone else’s fault - the post-Leveson “chilling effect”, the rotten lefties (including the Guardian), political correctness gorn mad, all will be blamed. But it won’t be the Murdoch empire’s fault, no sirree. They will remain pure as the driven snow.