Guardian

Another interesting twist in the Guardian phone hacking scandal


Image courtesy of Guido Fawkes

Thankfully, the UK Media is finally beginning to report on the Guardian’s hypocrisy in the context of their sanctimonious reporting on the phone hacking scandal – particularly regarding the revelation which we reported on Aug. 4 that Guardian’s Assistant Editor, David Leigh, who was reporting on the News of the World scandal through late July, had himself engaged in the possibly illegal act of phone hacking.

As such, the following report raises more questions about the paper’s ethical standards.

Sky News and Bloomberg have recently reported that a Scotland Yard detective was arrested for allegedly leaking information about the hacking inquiry to The Guardian. Specifically, the detective was arrested on suspicion of misconduct relating to the “unauthorised disclosure of information”.

Indeed, many have been asking for some time how the Guardian was able to scoop the rest of the British media on the hacking scandal – and suspected such an “unauthorised source”.

Regarding the arrest, a Guardian spokesman said:

“We note the arrest of a Scotland Yard detective on suspicion of misconduct in a public office relating to unauthorised disclosure of information…On the broader point raised by the arrest, journalists would no doubt be concerned if conversations between off-the-record sources and reporters came routinely to be regarded as criminal activity…In common with all news organisations we have no comment to make on the sources of our journalism.”

So, unpacking the Guardian’s statement:

journalists would no doubt be concerned if conversations between off-the-record sources and reporters came routinely to be regarded as criminal activity.

Note the passive language.

The Guardian management wouldn’t be concerned but, rather, “journalists” would be concerned.

And, even that is parsed so that “reporters” would only be concerned if such behavior was “regarded” as “criminal”.

Further, such “journalists” would only be concerned if their news gathering techniques were “routinely” “regarded” as “criminal”.

The ethical wiggle room in their official statement is just the kind of legalese-inspired doublespeak that they would never let an object of one of their righteous investigations get away with.

What is clear, however, is that, at the very least, Assistant Editor David Leigh has engaged in phone hacking which may well have been criminal, and additional Guardian journalists have been scooping other papers on the phone hacking scandal by an exclusive source who was likely just arrested on the “unauthorized release” of such information to the Guardian.

As James Delingpole wrote, in his blog for the Telegraph, regarding what he characterized as the Guardian’s “sanctimony”, “shrillness”, and “foaming moral outrage” over the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal:

The liberal-Left has many vices. But surely the most noisome one of all (in a crowded field) is its rank hypocrisy. If you’re going to take the moral high ground – as Lefties will insist on doing at every opportunity – the very least you owe the world in return if you have a shred of compunction, decency or intellectual consistency is to demonstrate more integrity than those you are impugning. And if you can’t do that, then bloody well shut up. 

The Guardian: Decency? Intellectual consistency?

If this is the standard, then we can certainly expect the world’s leading liberal voice not to “bloody well shut up.”

6 replies »

  1. “Assistant Editor David Leigh has engaged in phone hacking which may well have been criminal, and additional Guardian journalists have been scooping other papers on the phone hacking scandal by an exclusive source who was likely just arrested on the “unauthorized release” of such information to the Guardian.”

    It seems likely that the police source was a member of the Operation Weeting team set up only in January 2011, by which time The Guardian had been working on the phone hacking scandal for years, with little interest from the rest of the British press, and a lack of any activity on the part of the police. So other papers were not ‘scooped’ and the police source was probably only one of many the Guardian made use of.

    Journalists routinely seek to make use of off-the-record sources. Occasionally government departments try to penalise the source but I have never heard of action being taken against the journalist – who has simply listened to what others have to say.

    As I have pointed out before, David Leigh was hacking the phone of someone suspected of large scale corruption, a rather different case to that of a missing (as it turns out murdered) young girl.

    Your attempts to smear the Guardian sometimes verge on the ridiculous; perhaps you should stick to its reports about Israel.

    • People don’t have to try too hard to smear the Guardian, sencar, as you should know. Its descent into ignominy is uncurtailed.

      Whether he was arrested or charged or not David Leigh broke the same laws as did the News of the World and others when he listened to people’s private voice mail. As Medusa says elsewhere on this blog he was on a fishing expedition for the hacking he admitted so any attempt on his part to mount a Public Interest defence would fail if he had the gall to offer it.

      I hope the police grow a pair and arrest him, particularly since he works for the people who were too eager by half to point the finger at the News of the World.

  2. I’m shocked. Shocked.

    I can only hope that they round up the usual suspects and finally clean the place out.