The Biter Bitten? A Guardian Reporter’s Prayer

From the BBC Radio 4 news today and today’s Daily Telegraph comes word of the latest Guardian hypocrisy, that a senior Guardian journalist, Amelia Hill, has been questioned under caution* by the Metropolitan Police  in London in connection with the telephone hacking scandal.  According to the Daily Telegraph, she is thought to have published information based on leaks from an officer assigned to the inquiry into the News of the World’s voice mail hacking.

I cannot deny that Schadenfreude rules for me.  It appears that the Guardian, so eager and quick to point the finger at the News of the World, may itself be implicated in the very sleaze it condemns.  The biter seems to have been bitten.

But although the Guardian’s Teflon coating seems to be getting worn, note the following attempt to deflect from Dan Roberts, the paper’s national news editor, who tweeted that the developments were a “bleak day for journalism when (a) reporter behind vital hacking revelations is criminalised for doing her job”.   What on earth could he have meant – that the “bleak day for journalism” was because another Guardian reporter has been implicated in underhanded, possibly illegal and certainly unethical behaviour?

*Interviews under caution are conducted when the police would like to speak to a person about an arrestable offence.  Amelia Hill is likely to have received documentation along the following lines:


A Guardian Reporter’s Prayer:

Our Editor, which art in King’s Place

Rusbridger be thy name

Thy time has come

To be undone

For thy sins against the truth;

But give us this day thy latest excuse

That the readership may forgive our lies

As we forgive thy spin to us;

And lead us not into the arms of the Met

But deliver us from government enquiry;

For thine is the (ever-shrinking) kingdom,

The power and misplaced glory

But not for long


6 replies »

  1. Schadenfreude is a very apt emotion in this case, Medusa. I can identify with it. The Guardian, so quick to cast aspersion on the News of the World, shows itself to be equally sewer-like.

    This formal caution business is intriguing:

    I wonder whether the police are trying to gather evidence about the Met officer from whom she got the information about the voice mail interceptions? If so, I hope they charge her with being an accessory to whatever crime they accuse him of.

    I also wonder why they don’t trust her enough to tell them the truth in an informal interview rather than under caution (Asked and answered m’lud – she works for the Guardian and probably wouldn’t recognise the truth if it poked her in the eye)

    Perhaps this is why Dan Roberts tweeted what he did, although he hasn’t shown us how this woman is being “criminalised” by being questioned under caution.

    I wonder whether she approached the police officer as David Leigh did Assange, and plied him with coffee until he spilled the beans, or whether he approached her?

    I’ll lay odds that if any charge against her comes out of this, she’ll try to mount a public interest defence, which is the stock excuse (and perhaps in this case literal “get out of jail free” card) by journalists whose moral and ethical compasses are permanently skewed.

  2. The London Evening Standard has an article by Tom Harper at

    Note this:

    “..It is understood Hill received police tip-offs about impending arrests. The Evening Standard has been told the police officer suspended from Operation Weeting called the Guardian the night he was arrested asking to speak to Hill….”

    The Groan, however, at churns out its usual hypocritical, self-pitying, gut churning rubbish.

  3. Umm, up to a point, Lord Copper. Aren’t our anti-Guardian prejudices (which I share) getting the better of us here?

    She might have spoken to a plod to get info for a story on phone hacking. Did she bribe him? Did she hack his phone (or anyone else’s, come to that)? Is it unlawful for a journo to speak to a copper now? Must coppers take a vow of silence?

    I thought this was a democracy.

    Appears that we’re in variable application of the law country here.