Friday, 25 May 2012

Quotes of the week: From Mandy on manipulation to whose not coming to lunch with Piers Morgan

Lord Mandelson at Leveson on the talents of Rebekah Brooks: "Persistance, charm, manipulative skills.... Some might think that's a bit rich from me."

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in a memo to David Cameron about News Corps' bid to take full control of BSkyB:  “The UK has the chance to lead the way on this as we did in the 80s with the Wapping move but if we block it our media sector will suffer for years.”

Andrew Marr at Leveson: "I think very few journalists would go to the PCC looking for swift redress or's not exactly the Waffen-SS."

Alan Johnson MP at Leveson: "When I first met Rebekah Brooks I shook her hand and said 'Hello Rachel'. I don't think that went down very well."

Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks (the new name for the Newspaper Marketing Agency) in the Independent: "What's happened is that it has become fashionable to be scathing about the newspaper industry. But what has been lost sometimes is the fact that the newspaper industry is driving so much of the innovation in the new media." 

Article in the Sunday Times on the fall in newspaper ad revenues: "The big picture is that in most English-speaking countries newspaper revenues have been crushed by the internet juggernaut." 

Chris Bryant MP on the three News International executives accused of misleading parliament:  "It is not just that it was one person at one time, it was not just that it was one organisation for a brief period of time, it's that a whole series of people systematically, repeatedly lied so as to protect themselves, to protect their commercial interests and to try and make sure they didn't end up going to prison – that they did fully knowing that they were telling lies to parliament. That, I believe, is a fundamental contempt." 

Issy Shannon, former journalist on the Hebden Bridge Times, in a letter to Tim Robinson, editor of the Halifax Courier, which is switching from daily to weekly publication. The letter was published on HoldtheFrontPage and not in the Courier: "A little bit of honesty wouldn’t have come amiss in Mr Robinson’s gushing article, more or less a publicity plug for Johnston Press which is axing daily newspapers all over the country. Sales of the Halifax Courier have plummeted over the past decade and the company is in dire financial straits. So, Mr Robinson, as editor please don’t try and bamboozle readers into thinking the much vaunted relaunch with 'cutting edge digital developments' is any more than a desperate measure in desperate times."

Jeremy Paxman tells Leveson about his lunch with Piers Morgan: "He turned to me and said 'Have you got a mobile phone?' I said yes and he asked if there was a security setting on the message bit of it. I didn't know what he was talking about. He then explained the way to get access to people's messages was to go to the factory default setting and press either 0000 or 1234 and that if you didn't put on your own code, his words, 'You're a fool'." 

Piers Morgan on Twitter: "Right - that's the last time I'm inviting Jeremy Paxman to lunch. Ungrateful little wretch."

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