Dacre's Little Helper

Stephen Glover has been a busy boy lately. It seems almost every day he manages to write something about the phone hacking scandal. Brilliantly, he has such amazing insight and journalistic integrity that he manages to see past those accused by mere mortals of being responsible for the hacking and blagging of information – you know, the editors running the newspapers at the time, the blaggers and hackers and the journalists writing up the stories – and has rightly identified that this isn’t the responsibility of News International but it’s actually a political and lefty conspiracy masterminded by the BBC to gag the freedom of the press.

You see, although it appears to most commentators that an awful lot of leading politicians and PMs were actually pretty cosy with Rupert Murdoch and News International, Glover rightly rubbishes this simplistic interpretation and rightly points out that politicians were really just playing a very long, very elaborate game in which the final move is to regulate the press. Stephen Glover has been giving us a masterclass of ‘following the editorial line in spite of all the facts’ which has culminated today with this stunning headline:

The BBC’s bias has been one of the most shaming aspects of this entire sorry saga

Yes. You might want to read that again. It is the kind of headline that just gets worse every time you read it. You don’t even need to read the rest of the column to know exactly what the content will be (although you can here, courtesy of istyosty.com).

Here are the rest of his latest scribblings:

  • Police chiefs thrown to the lions and the hysterical politics of the lynch mob
  • Revenge of the political class
  • Cameron can’t be allowed to shackle the Press

Here are some highlights:

David Cameron was visibly uncomfortable during his press conference yesterday. He knew that the News of the World scandal has put him in a deep political hole. I am hoping and praying that he is not going to sacrifice a free press in order to dig himself out.

His sweeping aside of the Press Complaints Commission, his appointment of a panel investigating press ethics on which it seems there will be no journalists, and the implication of much tougher regulations could all lead to a cowed and timid media being prevented from investigating and reporting wrongdoing by public figures.

The travails of the Italian economy threaten Europe’s, and our, prosperity. Our war in Libya is unwinnable, according to a senior French minister. The British economy splutters along with little sign of recovery.

But none of this is of the remotest importance. All that matters is the phone-hacking scandal. I can’t recall a story that has so obsessed politicians and the media. Being a journalist, I am naturally agog, though I wonder whether the wider nation is as convulsed with shock and rage as David Cameron appears to believe.

The general turbulence among the political class is reminiscent of Revolutionary France before Robespierre got it in the neck. Would it be out of place to ask whether all this hysteria is not a touch overdone?

Reading history, it can be difficult to understand over the passage of centuries how rational men and women became so worked up by what seem to us unimportant issues that they were prepared to kill and be killed.

But until now I have seldom had the same sense of dislocation about contemporary events. Though I can perfectly well see that the phone hacking scandal is extremely serious, I find myself increasingly out of sympathy with people — mostly politicians and journalists — who are reacting much as might be expected if an enormous meteorite had landed on Hemel Hempstead.

The story is careering so much out of control that one would scarcely be surprised if the Archbishop of Canterbury were led away in handcuffs, or if some hysterical Labour politician, dutifully reported by the BBC, were to demand the immediate closure of all newspapers.

I admit it is with no very great hope of being listened to that I beg some of the wilder players in this ever-deepening drama to take a couple of deep breaths and ask themselves what they are doing.

I think Stephen Glover badly wants to win a ‘Tabloid bullshit of the month award‘ which Paul Dacre walked away with last month. Either that or he is not ashamed to whore himself out for the Daily Mail as it desperately tries to avoid a wider investigation into the behaviour of the press.

You come back in a few months Mr Glover when the behaviour of the Daily Mail starts to get a bit more attention, then we’ll be fit to judge what the ‘most shaming aspects of this entire sorry saga’ are.

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