Friday 14 December 2012

Media Quotes of the Week: From 'Orwellian' Labour press bill to the joke's on Piers Morgan

Orwell coined 'doublethink' and was NUJ member

Harriet Harman on Labour's proposed Press Freedom and Trust Bill in the Guardian: "This gives clarity and certainty. Lord Justice Leveson said in his report that a legal guarantee to underpin self-regulation was essential and this draft bill provides it."

on Twitter: "Orwellian satire, surely. With or without statute, fallout will wreak damage for years."

on Twitter: "Ed Miliband's "Freedom" Of The Press Bill is a con. Shameless Orwellian double speak. It's the Less Freedom For The Press Bill."

on Twitter: "More Orwellian Doublespeak when Labour calls regulation a Press Freedom Bill. I chain you to set you free!"

Joanna Hindley, special advisor to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, to a Telegraph journalist investigating the expenses of her boss:“Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about.”

Telegraph in a leader: "We are not unfamiliar with attempts being made by governments of various stripes to influence publication decisions or even to shut down perfectly legitimate journalistic endeavour. But it is especially troubling when they are linked, however casually, to the threat of legislation to underpin a new independent regulatory body for newspapers. It would be hard to find a clearer illustration of why the state must be kept well away from these decisions."

Joe Murphy quizzes Maria Miller in the London Evening Standard: "So why, then, did she suddenly stop claiming on the Wimbledon home in 2009 — just as the expenses scandal erupted. 'Because I think there was a lot of concern about the rules and, er, a lot of concern about, you know, the whole issue, and it’s something I felt that I didn’t want to be, sort of, mixed up in, the fact that I ...'  Mrs Miller finally stopped trying to explain herself, and simply said:  'I just made that decision'.”

James Harding in his resignation speech to Times staff:  "It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of the Times. I have, therefore, agreed to stand down. I called Rupert [Murdoch] this morning to offer my resignation and he accepted it."

Home editor of The Times on Twitter: "James Harding is a brilliant, fearless Editor who brought the best out of The Times at the worst of times. I'll miss everything about him."

Wikipeadia founder Jimmy Wales in The Times [£] on Leveson: “I come at this question from such a thoroughly American mental framework, where the concept of a press regulator backed by statute is just absolutely inconceivable. It wouldn’t pass the briefest First Amendment test, so it would never be considered. It’s just not an option. I can’t be alone among people who scratch their head and wonder what the hell it means to talk about an independent regulator backed by statute but not a government regulator. There’s clearly a fine distinction being drawn here; exactly what does that mean?”

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Here's one truly educational stopover for Lord Justice Leveson when he flies back from the Australian sun. Take a transit break at Ataturk airport, Istanbul, and wander around a little. Talk to reporters, editors, publishers, tycoons and politicians (as I did last week). Then ponder the meaning of two small words that somehow got lost in your famous inquiry: press freedom. It seems so simple to you, I know. You need no lectures from Michael Gove. But prepare to be amazed – and depressed."

Hacked Off website on press reaction to Leveson: "If the inquiry had related to, say, the companies that operate care homes, the headlines would have been thunderous: ‘DAVE LETS ABUSERS OFF’, ‘BACK-DOOR DEAL PUTS VULNERABLE IN PERIL’, ‘PM BINS DAMNING £5M CARE HOME REPORT’. Editorials in the Mail and the Sun would have railed against cosy deals contrary to the public interest, called on MPs to ensure the judge’s report was implemented in full – and probably dropped hints about corruption and party funding."

Francis Beckett in Tribune: "Newspapers and radio stations like to present themselves as outsiders, pricking a pompous establishment.  But Mrs Seldanha, not her tormentors, was the outsider. In her blameless, useful life, she was not used to dealing with royalty-obsessed journalists. If her two Australian tormentors had heard of her distress before they heard of her suicide, they would have laughed and gloated on air, and set up the taunt of the playground bully about to push a weaker child nearer to impotent, hysterical fury: 'Where’s your sense of humour then?'  The only difference is that their greater strength came, not from anything in themselves, but from their possession of the media megaphone."

Arthur MacMillan in the British Journalism Review: "In May this year the final link to the Johnston family, which started the company in 1767, was severed when Michael Johnston, latterly the managing director of Scotsman Publications, resigned. His departure illustrates that the company bears no resemblance to the family enterprise it once was. Despite promises to invest, Johnston Press did the opposite. In the process, they have wrecked The Scotsman and their own reputation."

on Twitter: "Piers Morgan says I couldn't go on his CNN show because staff there have never heard of me. Another reason is: I'd rather eat my own head."

Sienna Miller asked by the Guardian to tell a joke: "Piers Morgan got away with it."

[£] = Paywall

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