Friday, 11 May 2012

Quotes of the Week: From Clarkson on Watson to Desmond's damaging withdrawal from the PCC

Jeremy Clarkson (top) on Tom Watson MP on Have I Got News For You: "A neckless, adenoidal Brummie who is a pitiful waste of blood and organs."

Andy Coulson in his witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry: "During my time working in opposition I sought to secure the support of every newspaper, with the possible exception of the Daily and Sunday Mirror. There was even a time when The Guardian suggested to me that their support was possible. At a drinks reception in David Cameron’s office a Guardian executive told me not to ’write off’ the idea of a Guardian endorsement. I chose not to count on it."

Neville Thurlbeck reviews Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman in the New Statesman: "The book is also littered with inaccuracies. David Cameron was able to get close to the Times editor, James Harding because he knew him from their Eton days. He didn’t. Harding went to St Paul’s. I was caught fornicating with a Dorset couple. I wasn’t. Their allegations were investigated by management and the Press Complaints Commission and I was exonerated. A video of my exploits appeared on the internet, “to the amusement of colleagues”. It didn’t. I live in a semi-detached house. I don’t."

Chris Oakley at the Society of Editors' regional conference in Manchester: "Time has run out for big city dailies, the internet has hit regional daily newspapers particularly hard, I wouldn't buy a big city daily even for a pound."

The Economist: "In pursuit of Murdoch-bashing headlines, and in a far-fetched attempt to drive News Corporation from the airwaves, the culture committee’s Labour and Liberal Democrat members have compromised an otherwise hard-hitting report. They also opened a convenient exit for the man that they sought to bring down. Declaring the report to be “partisan”, Mr Murdoch quickly stepped through it."

Ray Snoddy on Twitter: "Wouldn't it be strange if Cameron's knee-jerk, dangerously broad Leveson inquiry were to fatally undermine his credibility and reputation?"

Michael Wolff in GQ on Leveson: "The greatest tabloid culture in the world was created out of the joie de guerre of fighting the rules: the reporters are more aggressive, the techniques more intrusive and the prose more lurid, because the market demands it. By over-regulating you increase the value of outsmarting the regulations. Anyway, convict the malefactors if you can and put them in jail. But otherwise resist the reflex to regulate and go home and enjoy the last days of the newspaper business. You'll miss them soon enough." 

Police report to Leveson Inquiry: "Taking all the relevant information into account, it's not possible to state with any certainty whether Milly Dowler's voicemails were or were not deleted". 

Lord Hunt, chair of the Press Complaints Commission, speaking at the PPA conference: "I know there are many MPs who would love to set standards for the newspapers and magazines but I don't want politicians controlling the media." 

Good Housekeeping editorial director and PCC member Lindsay Nicholson at the PPA conference on Richard Desmond pulling his Northern and Shell titles from the PCC: "I think it was his withdrawal that has done more damage to us in magazines than phone hacking."

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