Friday, 3 September 2010

Quotes of the Week: From Murdoch's balls to the NoW's no ball cricket corruption scandal

Tony Blair on Rupert Murdoch in his autobiography A Journey: "I thought Rupert an enigma, and the more I knew of him, the more I thought it so. In the end – and I’m aware of the shrieks of disbelief as I write this – I came to have a grudging respect and even liking for him. He was hard, no doubt. He was right wing. I did not share his attitude on Europe, social policy or on issues such as gay rights, but there were two points of connection: he was an outsider, and he had balls."

The Guardian's Michael White on his blog on the William Hague story: "Oh dear, what a shaming day for Fleet Street and the wider media world of telly which takes its cue from tabloidland and squalid tabloid values. I cringed when I realised that William Hague had been forced to issue a humiliating personal statement about his wife's fertility to prove he was not carrying on with a male member of his staff."

Blogger Guido Fawkes on William Hague: "All in all, he has only himself to blame for being ill-advised and has shown a staggering lack of judgement."

BBC director-general Mark Thompson's giving the MacTaggart Lecture refers to press coverage of the Corporation: "Often the reporters freely admit to us that they know the story they're working on is going to be ramped up, distorted or just plain nonsense. But as one journalist from a broadsheet said to one of my colleagues recently: 'It doesn't matter about the facts, they just want to trash you.' "

News Corp spokesman on Thompson's lecture: "He has failed at any point to address the impact that the scale and scope of the BBC's activities is having on an all-media digital marketplace, which is worrying for the future of independent journalism."

The New York Times on phone-hacking at the News of the World: "Andy Coulson, the top editor at the time, had imposed a hypercompetitive ethos, even by tabloid standards. One former reporter called it a “do whatever it takes” mentality. The reporter was one of two people who said Coulson was present during discussions about phone hacking. Coulson ultimately resigned but denied any knowledge of hacking."

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the world's biggest advertising group WPP: "We think paywalls are essential, because we think giving away content for free, particularly if consumers value that content, makes no sense. Consumers have to pay for content they value."

Michael Vaughan in the Daily Telegraph: "The future will hold some pretty uncomfortable questions for the Anti-Corruption Unit at the International Cricket Council. Why has it taken a British newspaper sting to bring it out in the open? What has the ACU been doing? It has operatives working all over the world and the ACU costs the game millions. But a British newspaper story has blown it open. It is embarrassing."

Stephen Glover in the Independent
: "It is fashionable to decry the Murdoch-owned News of the World for being vulgar and hypocritical. . .But the red-top has carried on with a succession of impressive "stings". Yesterday's story that members of the Pakistan cricket team have allegedly delivered "no-balls" in return for cash payments is its most influential for a long time, and led BBC news bulletins for many hours. It was even sorrowfully mentioned by the vicar at a church service I attended. If true, the story is profoundly depressing to all cricket-lovers, but most will be grateful that the News of the World had the courage and ingenuity to publish it. Is there another newspaper in this country that would have done so?"

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