Thursday, 31 May 2012
Avoiding contempt charges the old Fleet Street way: Bung a policeman bundles of fivers
Ian Aitken's obit of Bob Edwards, who edited the Daily Express, Sunday Mirror and the People, in the Guardian today is packed full of great stories about the heyday of Fleet Street.
This anecdote highlights the kind of close relationship between the press and police that would cause shockwaves at the Leveson Inquiry.
Aitken writes of Edwards: "He took on the editorship of the People (1966-72), a highly successful tabloid which specialised in 'exposure' stories.
"Bob knew all about the genre, because in his youth he had been a reporter on the paper. Indeed, he almost landed in jail for contempt of court after exposing a fake spiritualist medium, and was only saved when the paper's crime correspondent pushed bundles of fivers into a police officer's hands."