The big question today is "Why the news blackout on the Coulsongate/MetGate/HackGate affair?"
The fact is that one News of the World (NoTW) reporter (Goodman) and one private investigator (Mulcaire) were sent to prison for hacking into Royal phone accounts. The allegation is that the Metropolitan Police drew back from investigating the full scale of the NoTW phone hacks. Fresh witnesses to the widespread nature of the hacks, and of Coulson's knowledge, have been found by the New York Times (NYT). But in the UK, only the Guardian, Spectator and today the Independent and FT are carrying it as a story, in sharp contrast to the Twittersphere, where Andy Coulson was among the top 10 trending topics for most of yesterday
There are several reasons and possible reasons for this worrying disparity between what social media and mainstream media find interesting.
- The competing (non-)story of William Hague's sleeping arrangements. It is of note that the vanishingly far-right climate change denialist blogger Guido Fawkes was the one who slopped out this story, and at the same time is trying to minimise the significance of the MetGate story. So much for libertarian integrity. One popular tweet asks whether Coulson somehow promoted the Hague story to divert attention from his own story - now backed by this Independent report.
- The fact that Andy Coulson is Dave's Communications Manager (=spin doctor), which means that the wise monkeys of the Tory press are not eager to see, hear or speak about the story if they can help it.
- Britain's draconian libel laws. This may explain why the NYT has been the one to do the investigation and reportage, being safely out of the influence of Messers Farter Cuck and their unpeasant homophones. Sign the petition for libel law reform here.
- The fact that there are four private legal actions being taken by individuals who believe that their phones were hacked will be used as a hedge behind which to shelter by agencies such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
- The fact that police officers examining the lists held by Mulcaire found names of police officers (e.g. Ian Blair and Brian Paddick) is quoted. You would think that this would intensify their efforts, rather than cause them to give up.
- The fact that the NoTW belongs to Rupert Mordorch, the All-Seeing Eye of international opinion. It has been alleged that the Dark Lord has influence with Scotland Yard. This is even more worrying, given that his present project is to destroy the BBC, which, for all its failings (not least in his present affair), does at least belong to the people, not to News International.
- Last, but not least, the possibility that phone hacking is not a crime unique to the NoTW. In the NYT article it is alleged that the illegal practice is widespread in British tabloid journalism. Added to the fact that there is a code of conduct between news editors: "You don't attack me, I won't attack you".That's why there are so few scandals about the profession of journalism, as compared to the other professions. Here's another journalist: "When I worked at @dailyexpressuk phone hacking was widespread. No wonder the Coulson story isn't getting much coverage." @simonhinde
Despite the craven silence of most British media outlets, the truth will out, because of the power of the interweb. Coulson will resign, sooner or later, and the longer he stays on, the bigger will be the damage to the Cameron. An inquiry of some kind will be set up, either a Huttonesque whitewash, or a serious affair that will uncover an unsavoury nexus of quasi-corruption and foetid influence between Mordorch, police and media in the fair sovereign realm of Britannia.
In the end we may get reform of the media, obliging them to adhere to the law, and to standards of truth. We live in hope.
Helpful timeline summary from NYT here.