This week Paul Dacre went on the attack at the Leveson inquiry by defending the PCC against what he called ‘myths’. One such myth he wanted to tackle was that the PCC was a toothless regulator because they could not issue sanctions against newspapers for wrongdoing. Dacre argued – as he has before – that editors feel a great sense of shame at having to publish an adjudication:
[the myth is that] Editors regard adjudications as a slap on the wrist: They certainly don’t. They are genuine sanctions. I, and other editors, regard being obliged to publish an adjudication as a real act of shame.
This does seem odd, given that Paul Dacre chairs the Editor’s code of practice whilst simultaneously editing the most complained about newspaper in the United Kingdom. Dacre wasn’t alone in attacking any idea of having real press regulation, he was joined by Kelvin MacKenzie – infamous for his front page lies about Hillsborough for which he has never faced any fitting punishment for – who in his Mail column today shows just how seriously he takes the PCC:
Isn’t it about time we had a form of press regulation that wasn’t simply a cheap joke to morally bankrupt columnists?