THE Sun is not a “swamp” that needs draining. Related StoriesThreat to free Press alert
PROBE into practices of papers must not kill free Press, Culture Sec warns
Nor are those other great News International titles, The Times and The Sunday Times.
Maybe not. Lets see where the police investigation leads, shall we? After all, all this phone hacking and poor journalistic practices was, as someone from News International once said, one rogue reporter. And yet here we are.
Yet in what would at any other time cause uproar in Parliament and among civil liberty and human rights campaigners, its journalists are being treated like members of an organised crime gang.
I think people are quite justified in thinking News International and it’s news titles are an organised gang. What are the charges so far? Intercepting private messages. Intimidation. Coersion, sometimes bordering on blackmail. Bullying. Paying the police. Sounds not quite straight up law abiding to me.
They are subjects of the biggest police operation in British criminal history — bigger even than the Pan Am Lockerbie murder probe.
Maybe that’s because of the period of time the investigation covers and the amount of victims, which is more than the Pan Am bombing produced.
Major crime investigations are on hold as 171 police are drafted in to run three separate operations.
In one raid, two officers revealed they had been pulled off an elite 11-man anti-terror squad trying to protect the Olympics from a mass suicide attack.
You’ll excuse me if I don’t take Trevor seriously about this mass suicide attack. Not only has The Sun had dodgy sources in the past, but if this was such a big deal, a mass suicide bombing at the Olympics, don’t you think it would’ve been mentioned in the news already? It would’ve been too good for the press to pass up. They love a good scaremongering. If this mass bombing is real, and the press have kept it quiet so the bombers aren’t given the tip-off, then Trevor has just given the bombers the tip-off. Either way, Nice one Trevor, you cock.
Instead of being called in for questioning, 30 journalists have been needlessly dragged from their beds in dawn raids, arrested and held in police cells while their homes are ransacked.
Yeah, maybe the dawn raids were a bit over the top. I don’t know what the police were expecting if they’d just knocked politely at the door. Journalists hurriedly flushing notebooks down the toilet? But again, The Sun has been one of the loudest shouting that the police don’t do enough and are too soft. You reap what you sow.
Wives and children have been humiliated as up to 20 officers at a time rip up floorboards and sift through intimate possessions, love letters and entirely private documents.
Hmm. That sounds famliar. Pot, meet kettle.
At least the journalists that have had their private stuff riffled through are being accused of more than just screwing someone they’re not married to.
It is important that we do not jump to conclusions.
Nobody has been charged with any offence, still less tried or convicted.
Jesus fucking christ. Listen to him. Has he no idea what his paper is like? Yes, Trevor. It is important not to jump to conclusions.
Yet all are now on open-ended police bail, their lives disrupted and their careers on hold and potentially ruined.
Is it any surprise that Britain has dropped nine places to 28th, behind ex-Soviet bloc states Poland, Estonia and Slovakia, in the international Freedom of Speech league table?
This is nothing to do with free speech. This is about breaking the law with no justifiable defence. The press are just as free to print whatever they want. They can even break the law to get information, as long as it is in the public interest defence. The press is so free to print lies and rubbish by their columinists even the PCC, the supposed regulator, doesn’t think it’s worth pulling them up on it.
So when the police get matters so far out of proportion, we are entitled to ask: Who polices the police?
Well, it certainly shouldn’t be the certain parts of the press, especially when those parts are being investigated for links so close it could be considered the police forces PR department.
Why should questions about police procedures be handled solely by the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is notoriously reluctant to rule against police?
Oh, Trevors noticed then. Once again, it’s been obvious to nearly everyone for a long time but somehow, Trvors only just thought to mention it now his shit has hit the fan.
This inquiry has even begun to disturb those of our critics who have been at least partly responsible for what many see as a “witch-hunt”.
Quite right. We mustn’t presume guilty unless proven. That would be quite wrong, wouldn’t it Trevor?
The Guardian has raised questions about freedom of the Press. Its media analyst, Steve Hewlett, says that when it comes to paying for stories, no newspaper — “tabloid or otherwise” — is exempt.
Maybe not, so those sources that are paid need to be carefully checked. Not just The Suns’ but all the papers. The Sun and Murdochs’ titles may be the titles that people are showing most glee towards when there are arrests but it is the industry that is being investigated. Trevor shouldn’t take it so personally.
Yet in a quite extraordinary assumption of power, police are able to impose conditions not unlike those applied to suspected terrorists.
Under the draconian terms of police bail, many journalists are barred from speaking to each other. They are treated like threats to national security. And there is no end in sight to their ordeal.
And who’s been calling for more draconian police powers…?
Their alleged crimes? To act as journalists have acted on all newspapers through the ages, unearthing stories that shape our lives, often obstructed by those who prefer to operate behind closed doors.
No, their alleged crimes are illegally listening to voicemails and paying police officers for information, amongst other things. In a lot of cases the journalists aren’t unearthing stories that shape our lives, they are puting a spin on them to manipulate the public to get what their proprietors want from the ruling elite of this country. The press, especially the tabloids don’t just report the facts and let us decide if something is right or wrong. They are not just happy with putting their views across through the editorial columns, they have put they’re own agendas into the stories. ommitting details that contradict them, exagerating some aspects and making complete fabrications, as detailed in the plethora of blogs and websites that are dedicated to shouting “bullshit” at them whenever it appears.
The rich and powerful have and always will try to obfuscate and hide things that are damaging or illegal that could be inconvenient to them and quest for more money and power, that is why the public defence clause is there. No one is denying the press need that clause, but they have made it harder and harder to defend when they do the normally illegal information gathering techniques on fucking celebrities.
These stories sometimes involve whistleblowers. Sometimes money changes hands. This has been standard procedure as long as newspapers have existed, here and abroad.
There is nothing disreputable about it. And, as far as we know at this point, nothing illegal.
Money changes hands. Fine, but the checking of it needs to be a fuck of lot more stringent. Just because something has been ‘standard procedure’ for a long time doesn’t mean it shouldn’t come to a stop. Our standard procedure was to hang criminals. In the USA segragation was standard procedure. Tradition is no reason to keep something. Ever.
Without good sources no newspaper could uncover scandals in the public interest.
Certainly, the world would never have learned about the expenses scandal that landed so many politicians in jail.
Very true. The press can get it right, just like a stopped clock is right twice a day. A couple of good stories does not justify the amount of shit raking and filth that the press make us swim in the rest of the time, though.
Which brings us to a sensitive domestic issue within the News International “family” which we cannot ignore.
Using ‘Family’ does bring to mind, rather than a group of companies, a crime ‘family’. I’d have thought Trevor would want to avoid that.
It is absolutely right the company co-operates with police on inquiries ranging from phone and computer hacking to illegal payments.
We are right to hand over any evidence — emails, expense claims, memos — that might aid those inquiries.
As it should, although ‘helping the police with their enquiries is not usually seen in such a good light by the press.
It is right that those inquiries are carried out separately from the journalists under investigation. Nobody on The Sun was aware in advance that ten colleagues were about to be nabbed.
Why should anybody be told of immenent arrests. What has that got to do with anything?
It is also important our parent company, News Corp, protects its reputation in the United States and the interests of its shareholders. But some of the greatest legends in Fleet Street have been held, at least on the basis of evidence so far revealed, for simply doing their jobs as journalists on behalf of the company.
Yes, Trevor. Protecting News Corps interests. That’d be why the original investigation, completely swallowed by the PCC and the Police, to which Nes Intl has close links, went for the cover of a lone rogue reporter. Get the situation closed down as quickly as possible. Move on. Carry on. This is bigger than bloody money. This is about the poisonong of the well in which we all drink. And now The Sun and other companies in it group are not liking it one bit now it has to drink it’s own piss.
And those journalists just doing their job? Maybe, just maybe there is evidence that hasn’t been passed to you. Or they could be innocent of everything. Lets see shall we and not jump to conclusions, as you seem to be so creful of all of a sudden.
Meanwhile, a huge operation driven by politicians threatens the very foundations of a free Press.
We have three separate police inquiries — Elveden, Weeting and Tuleta.
There is a Parliamentary inquiry and of course the free-ranging Leveson Inquiry into newspaper practices.
This ‘operation’ isn’t going to threaten stop a free press. If it does, something would’ve going very, very wrong. What it will do, hopefully, is create a better press. One that doesn’t trade favours with the police, one that doesn’t scare the shit out of people in case they come to the press’ attention, for the right or wrong reasons. A press that can still investigate stories using shady tactics, but does so only for important stories.
The field is open to almost anyone with a grievance to deliver their two cents’ worth, even touching unrelated issues such as Page Three.
The process, costing tens of millions of pounds, threatens to roll on for at least another year and probably two.
People affected by the press should be able to give their view. After all, many of them, even some celebrities have been worried about what sort of dirt the tabloids would dig up on them, that is nobodies business, if they spoke out.
If Trevor is so concerned about the cost then maybe his industry, should contribute towards it. After all it is the behaviour of his industry that has made something of this scale necessary.
Interestingly, nothing on this scale is envisaged for the banking industry which has brought the nation to the brink of bankruptcy.
That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be something like this for the banking industry. But is Trevor asking for the bankers to be treated like the press or the for press to get off as lightly as the bankers, I wonder…
Before it is too late, should we not be asking where all this is likely to lead? Will we have a better Press?
Or a Press that has been bullied by politicians into delivering what they, not the readers, think fit?
As opposed to what we have now? The editors world view imposed on every story so that it fits their agenda rather than delivering news, accurately and truthfully and letting their readers make up their mind?
At least with a politician they can be voted out.