Tabloids, Tories and Telephone Hacking

  john 52 21:12 04 Oct 2010

Did anyone see the dispatches program which was on tonight

click here

click here

click here

Is it healthy for the certain media moguls to have so much power over our politicians it certainly worries me !

  john 52 07:42 05 Oct 2010

fourm member
in respect of this particular situation, I do find some of things in your first link a little odd. (I haven't watched Dispatches; I never do.)

There's an element of 'a friend of a friend told me' about some of the reporting like the Welsh MP saying that another MP told him he heard...

As you did not watch the program it does put you at a disadvantage it was certainly not a friend of friend told me situation .The Welsh MP was part of a committee investigating the allegations !

The Murdoch way would be much more likely to be giving Coulson an Asian TV network to run or buying him a trade publication to have as his own.

I do not really understand your comment there ( but as you say you did not see the program it is understandable)as surely it is more useful to have a person allegedly working inside the cabinet office !!

Remember David Cameron did go to great lengths to protect his communications director last year it may come back to haunt him at a later date

  john 52 11:54 05 Oct 2010

I did say 'an element

Hardly an element or one member of a committee they interviewed senior politicians and senior public servants

  john 52 13:30 05 Oct 2010

Why do you fourm member have to turn everything into a political argument !
Labour under Tony Blair were just as guilty of courting the media as much as the Conservatives were

I you had not noticed the heading of the thread was from the channel four program list

Previous posters had commented that you try to turn every thread into an argument and up to now I have always given you the benefit of the doubt

  HWJC 16:20 05 Oct 2010

A lot of people are seeing this as a party political issue but I've never understood that. It's a propaganda issue by the papers themselves to promote their own causes.

The key issue for me is that phones are being tapped illegally. Even a Home Secretary needs some form of warrant to do this. Papers are making major financial agreements with some of their victims on condition that they withhold what they know from the police. Withholding evidence from the police, in itself, is also illegal.

For example, in January there were some major high profile reports in the Sunday press about a certain sportsman who was supposed to have cuckolded an (ex)friend\(ex)colleague with an ex-girlfriend. He was hounded from his int'l position and is still reminded of it vociferously today and articles that mention him still include a paragraph about those events today. There was no evidence whatsoever in any of those reports, though they divulged where the various families lived and relied on unincriminating phone interceptions to keep the (non)story alive.

There have been various court cases and legal accommodations since, resulting in the News of the Screws and Daily Heil printing one-paragraph apologies on page 18 of their respective organs, stating that their multi-page articles over multiple weeks were untrue and a brief apology to one of the victims (but not the rest of the victims).

Almost no-one will have seen these retractions, and of the few that did, almost no-one will appreciate what it was they retracted for its untruth and what they specifically apologised for.

The person who lost their position has not regained that position as a result, he still suffers reputational damage and if any ordinary person is asked whether the original story stands as much today as it was publicly stated at the time, they will say yes, evne though the writers agree no.

No proof was provided at the outset, all evidence was refuted, in court and out, yet the public perception remains the same, in which illegal phone interceptions were a key part of the original story.

The whole country is diminished as a result of these persistent judge\jury\executioner\evidenceless accusations where reputations are created and destroyed on the whim of those in the printed media who always get the first and last word and frame the debate in a way that suits them alone.

  john 52 21:35 05 Oct 2010

fourm member
If you meant 'Here's a chance for me to have a pop at the Tories' you should have said so.

If you had read my post it clearly stated
"Labour under Tony Blair were just as guilty of courting the media as much as the Conservatives were " that comment is hardly having a pop at the Tories as you eloquently put it .
I could if you wish contact Channel four and ask them to change the title of there program :-).

fourm member

I could have gone back to the likes of Beaverbrook, Northcliffe, or brought in other countries with Randolph Hearst's influence in the USA.

Why would you want to go back and bring these examples up we live in a completely different world ! have you not noticed media coverage is now more than just the written word.

fourm member
I've also pointed out that accusations are just that. They are easy to make against people in political life but don't always stand up to proper investigation.

Well in answer to your suggestion am I mistaken but did the royal editor of a national newspaper received a jail sentence for phone tapping and allegedly a newspaper is paying out huge amounts in out of court settlements .
Perhaps you do not find that an invasion of a persons privacy troubling

  john 52 21:41 05 Oct 2010


You brought up some very valid points in your post and agree with all you have said

  Forum Editor 17:09 10 Oct 2010

that this question of the uneasy relationship between 'media moguls' and governments is a modern phenomenon. It isn't, as fourm member pointed out.

It may indeed be worrying, but not in the sense that it's more worrying now than say, seventy years ago when Lord Beaverbrook, the Canadian who owned the newspaper with the world's biggest circulation (Daily Express) was controversially appointed Minister of Aircraft Production. The man who had openly supported a policy of appeasement with Hitler and expressed sympathy with the Nazi regime in his newspapers was suddenly in charge of our country's military aircraft production. Can you imagine the outcry if such a thing happened today?

You're wildly overreacting to a situation that has existed almost as long as newspapers have existed. Of course the world is different now, but human nature isn't.

Forum Editor, I wouldn't say it is more worrying than Lord Beaverbrook - who was one of many Conservative party members and many people in Britain who supported appeasement with Hitler. I would say it is just as worrying.

The relationship between any kind of tycoon (media, industry, finance etc) and the government will always remain.

For anyone who has any interest in mass media (particularly in Britain) and the tabloid press; a good documentary/film to watch is 'Starsuckers'.

  john 52 18:19 10 Oct 2010

It is not a modern phenomenon but the influence of the media is now more than just the printed word as I stated before and the two decades cannot be compared as the world is so different now with the different forms of media available to the public
It also matters how blatantly this influence is expressed !FE you work in the media do you think that it is acceptable the length some types of media will go to get a story .
Have you never wondered no matter what government has been in power why VAT has never been put on newspapers or magazines

I have no problem with a particular paper being biased towards a particular political party but when so much of the media is owned by one company that is when in my opinion it becomes a problem

  john 52 15:00 20 Jul 2011

Looks Like we have finally got a regret stating with hindsight he would not of employed Andy Coulson from our prime minister .

I have brought this thread up as it very topical with the recent events when you consider this was started in October 2010

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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