Friday 10 December 2010

Quotes of the Week: From WikiLeaks to snow

Times' leader on WikiLeaks revealing a cable about installations seen as vital to US security: "This latest cable reads like a cable too far.Whether or not these installations are all genuinely vital to US security, publishing them is an open invitation to mischief — if not murder."

John Naughton in the Guardian: "Politicians now face an agonising dilemma. The old, mole-whacking approach won't work. WikiLeaks does not depend only on web technology. Thousands of copies of those secret cables – and probably of much else besides – are out there, distributed by peer-to-peer technologies like BitTorrent. Our rulers have a choice to make: either they learn to live in a WikiLeakable world, with all that implies in terms of their future behaviour; or they shut down the internet. "

Clay Shirky on his blog: "If it's OK for a democracy to just decide to run someone off the internet for doing something they wouldn't prosecute a newspaper for doing, the idea of an internet that further democratizes the public sphere will have taken a mortal blow."

Baruch Weiss on Julian Assange in the Washington Post: "Even if the Justice Department finds him, arrests him and extradites him, its work will be far from over. The U.S. government has never successfully prosecuted a media entity for a leak. It is typically much easier to bring such cases against the government officials who do the leaking, because they sign nondisclosure agreements surrendering many of the legal protections they otherwise would enjoy."

Kelvin MacKenzie in his
Sun column: "The Guardian can't cut down enough trees to report life-threatening state secrets gained by illegal computer hacking. And yet almost harmless phone hacking - simply revealing leg-overs - gets them in a terrific huff. Hypocrisy or stupidity? You decide."

Stephen Glover in the Independent on Richard Desmond and his £1 billion offer to buy Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers: "In my view it would be a disaster if Mr Desmond acquired some or all of these newspapers. Whereas Rupert Murdoch has over the years invested in journalism, Mr Desmond is a one-trick pony who is highly proficient at cost cutting (as Channel Five is now discovering) but is not renowned for improving the journalistic quality of his publications. Mr Murdoch may be the Left's bogeyman, but he seems a visionary in comparison with Mr Desmond, as well as almost saintly."

Sun editorial on the verbal mishaps that afflicted BBC's Jim Naughtie and Andrew Marr when trying to say Jeremy Hunt: "Just one question: Would our "impartial" state broadcaster be so casually insulting and incompetent towards a left-wing government?"

The Guardian on Naughtie's gaffe: "Hunt took it with humour, but the BBC is beset by buttoned-up rage about a harsh licence-fee deal. Was subterranean fury boiling over, or was naughty Mr Naughtie revealing the perennial preoccupations of the human subconscious?"

Guardian corrects story about Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall: "Owing to an editing error, we said that Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall slept with more than 1,000 women in a three-year period during the mid-80s. That was meant to be more than 1,000 a year, based on his estimate of an average of three such encounters a day, as stated elsewhere in our stories."

Steve Dyson blogs about the problems faced by snow bound regional papers: "The relatively new, additional problem in 2010 is that so many papers are now printed so far away from their marketplace, and this must be so frustrating when roads close...It's just a shame that the reliable rumble of presses rolling downstairs is now only a distant memory for many newsrooms."

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