Friday, 22 April 2011

Quotes of the week: From tabloid hacks wasting their lives to privacy and judges' underpants

Charlie Brooker in the Guardian:
"Because it can't be easy being a tabloid hack at the best of times. Sure, there's the camaraderie, the sense of power, the rush of skulduggery, the thrill of feeling like one of the chosen few who can see through the Matrix but these are illusory compensations, sweatily constructed by your quaking, sobbing psyche in a bid to counterweigh the cavernous downside: the awful knowledge that you're wasting your life actively making the world worse."

Lawyer for Christopher Jefferies, the former landlord of Bristol murder victim Joanna Yeates, who is suing a number of national newspapers for libel and invasion of privacy:
“Mr Jefferies will be seeking vindication of his reputation for the terrible treatment he received. Mr Jefferies will not be making any statement about these claims until their conclusion, which he hopes will be in the very near future."

Peter Preston in the
Observer: "The trouble with so much phone-hacking murk is that ordinary standards of press-freedom behaviour get lost in the dirty washing. Take the Guardian report last week that, early in 2004, a Home Office warrant allowed Scotland Yard to bug the phone of Rebekah Brooks as part of an anti-corruption investigation of the News of the World.They didn't find anything, apparently. But that's not quite the point. In 2004, Ms Brooks was editor of the Sun, not the News of the World: so maybe it was a crossed line anyway. And why should we be so damned insouciant about tapping newspaper editors' phones? This is Wapping, not Belarus."

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford: "It was a travesty that Clive Goodman was locked up in Belmarsh in 2007 alongside murderers and rapists for what was a gross invasion of privacy, but no more. And it would be a huge over-reaction if more journalists suffered out of proportion punishments because of widespread anger over the perception that News International has been involved in a cover-up over phone-hacking."

Fleet Street Blues on the phone hacking saga: "If the Guardian is serious about trying to send every journalist who hacked a phone and every editor who knew about it to Belmarsh, it should be open about it - and rapidly expand the scope of its investigation beyond the News of the World. If not, then any evidence of phone hacking which is still going on would be instantly newsworthy. Otherwise, it might be time to move on..."

Northern Echo editor Peter Barron tells HoldtheFrontPage how his first job as a reporter on the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph should have gone to someone else: "Twenty years later, I learned that they meant to give the job to another candidate who had curly hair like me. They liked the other lad but got us mixed up. He turned out to be a newly-graduated Jeremy Clarkson. He’s now a multi-millionaire, driving flash cars. I’m the editor of The Northern Echo with an overdraft and four kids to get through university. I’ve been bitter ever since. I once heard him say on Top Gear: 'I’d rather have a vasectomy than a people-carrier.' I found myself shouting at the telly: 'How’d you think I feel you b*****d, I’ve had to have both'.”

David Cameron on privacy injunctions: "The judges are creating a sort of privacy law, whereas what ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy is parliament – which you elect and put there – should decide how much protection do we want for individuals and how much freedom of the press and the rest of it. So I am a little uneasy about what is happening."

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail: "If Great Britain could select an all-star XI from the ranks of Premier League players currently shielding their sexual indiscretions behind a wall of court-sanctioned secrecy, we would romp to Olympic gold in 2012. (Although perhaps ‘romp’ isn’t quite the right word in the circumstances.)"

Kelvin MacKenzie in the Sun on High Court judges: "There is a state in America that has a phrase summing up its attitude. It says: Live free or die. The High Court and its silk panty-wearing judges - hiding their own sexual peculiarities - have torn up the phrase. I despise them."

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