Friday, 11 July 2014

Media Quotes of the Week: From sympathy for Andy Coulson to Germans make a prat of Piers

Andy Coulson: AFP/Getty
Jonathan Aitken in the Telegraph in an open letter to Andy Coulson: "Privately, I sense a tide of sympathy welling up for you. I do not believe I am alone in taking the view that some police officers and some prosecutors have made worse – although non-criminal – errors of judgment than yours in this saga. Your present pariah status will surely fade, perhaps faster than you think if the prosecution go on demanding additional pounds of your flesh. Certainly the prison community, in stark contrast to the legal community, will be saying that the continual hounding of you 'ain’t proper'.’’

Piers Morgan on David Cameron and Andy Coulson in the Mail on Sunday: "Our great leader made no effort to contact Andy during his excruciatingly humiliating and painful ordeal. And he couldn’t find a single word of support for him in his darkest hour. Instead, he chose to deliberately pour petrol on to the flames of Andy’s immolation. That’s not the behaviour of a friend, it’s the behaviour of a self-serving, politically motivated, soulless weasel."

Chris Huhne in the Guardian: "The custodial sentences are ridiculous; they serve no public purpose. The conviction itself will be the most severe part of Coulson's punishment. If he should make amends, it would surely have been better to work for a worthy cause than cost the taxpayer nearly £40,000 a year to bang him up."

Peter Preston in the Observer:  "And the true irony of hacking – from boring gossip about royals to the Milly Dowler tale that didn't come close to making the front page of the News of the World – is in how few instances hacking produced big headlines and extra copies crossing newsagents' counters. It was all pretty exciting in its introverted old newsroom way, one guesses. Call Sam Spade (Glenn Mulcaire) and get him to check. But 5,000 victims, 5,000 stories, 5,000 or 50,000 more papers sold? There the chain of calumny breaks. So much harm and sorrow to the people involved, so little actual gain."

Mick Hume on Press Gazette: "Of course journalists are 'not above the law'. But neither should they be subject to special prosecution and persecution, as has happened in the UK over the past three years with the arrest of more than 60 tabloid journalists. Strangely, few of those high-minded media types at the BBC or Channel 4 news now protesting about the jailing of journalists in Egypt have offered a peep of protest about the criminalisation of tabloid journalism in Britain – and not because anybody has taped over their mouths."

Jack of Kent ‏@JackofKent  on Twitter: "What may come out in #DanielMorgan inquiry may make many current hacking allegations seem like a celeb-ridden garden party. Serious stuff."

The Times [£] in a leader: "When the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Google should delete links to 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant' information, it was wrong in principle. Now it is clear that the ruling was wrong, foolish and unenforceable in practice too."

Max Hastings in the Mail: "One of the most demented of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations was that, in some circumstances, newspapers should have to bear the costs of libel cases — even if they won. In other words, even if a court found that a newspaper had been telling the truth, it would have to pay the bill. Now, in the spirit of Leveson, the European Court has gone further. It offers an explicit licence to anybody who wants to airbrush their own CV."

Nick Pollard in the Guardian: "Newspapers get more stories than the broadcasters, by and large, and the broadcasters follow them up. The broadcast production effort is so much more complicated than print. The print people have more time to get stories. And they have a much better network of stringers and sources.”

Daily Mail in a leader: "For a timely reminder of the vital role of the free Press in giving a voice to those with nowhere else to turn, look no further than the Government’s belated launch of two inquiries into the Establishment’s treatment of child abuse."

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, in the Guardian News and Media Annual Review: "The Guardian is held up as a shining beacon of what journalism should be."

Sports News...

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan on Twitter after Brazil are crushed 7:1 by Germany: "I backed Brazil to win, Fred to score & declared Luiz my man of the tournament. I feel a complete and utter prat."

When Morgan was editor of the Mirror he declared "football war" on Germany during the 1996 European championship. England lost [on penalties].

  • Not much sympathy here from Bill Silver, commenting via Facebook: "Oh what bliss: Jonathan Aitken - a convicted liar - sympathises with Coulson, Chris Huhne, a master of integrity and moral standing, thinks Coulson's sentence ridiculous and doesn't serve a useful purpose - Huhne doesn't work for a worthy cause does he? No, he works for Chris Huhne! Piers Morgan calls Cameron a weasel in one sentence, and himself as a complete and utter prat in another. Which is more accurate? Piers? Piers? I can't hear you ..............."

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