Monday 23 May 2011

The times they are absurd, says The Times

The Times argues in a leader today it is absurd that it cannot tell readers the name of the well known journalist who could be prosecuted for contempt for mentioning a footballer on Twitter.

The leader says: "A high-profile journalist on a leading British newspaper has made a comment on Twitter about a Premier League footballer for which he, or she, now risks being prosecuted for contempt of court. For legal reasons, The Times is not at liberty to name the footballer, or the journalist, or the newspaper for which he, or she, works. This would remain true even if The Times was that newspaper, which may, or may not, be the case.

"All of this is absurd, and doubly so because you, the reader, very possibly already know all about it, including the bits that we are not at liberty to print. If you do not, and are sitting at a computer, you could probably find full details in a matter of moments. Although we may not tell you how."

The leader concludes: "Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, declared last week that the internet was 'making an ass of the law'. In fact, the law needs no such help. Contempt of court is a crime, but contempt for Britain’s injunction habit is close to universal."

  • The Times is behind a paywall.

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