As a result of some decidely problematic media behavior, there is a clamor in Britain to regulate the press; there is a smaller boomlet for this in Australia as well. As one would expect, media being as unpopular as it is, their claim of concern for free speech has gone on deaf ears – despite the fact that such a concern is completely valid.
Luckily for all of us, a British political hack jumped the gun and revealed the worst-case scenario for all to see (Iain Martin, Telegraph):
As the Telegraph reports:
“When a reporter approached Mrs Miller’s office last Thursday, her special adviser, Joanna Hindley, pointed out that the Editor of The Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson.
“Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about,” said Miss Hindley.
Miss Hindley also said the reporter should discuss the issue with “people a little higher up your organisation”.
Miss Hindley immediately contacted The Telegraph’s head of public affairs to raise concerns about the story.
You don’t even have to read between the lines here. It’s bold as brass: my boss knows your boss; she’s taking some big decisions which could impact on the publication you work for; watch your step sunshine, you are just a little reporter person; call someone more senior while I get on the phone to your public affairs people.
What is this if not proof that the political class should not be allowed within a mile of regulating the press? They are at it even before they have got oversight of regulation.
Indeed…and the fact that she is a Tory (the only party whose leader – PM David Cameron – specifically opposes regulation) says volumes about how no political faction can be trusted with power over the press.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal