Who are the Real Cowboys?

Up in front of the Leveson Inquiry today the Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace showed a fundamental lack of understanding about how the web worked by suggesting that if Guido signed up to some sort of kite-mark code our traffic would increase. He went on to refer to “out and out cowboys” of the blogosphere who the Inquiry has had some problems with already. Guido didn’t break the law publishing Campbell’s testimony, unlike Richard Wallace during his showbiz editor career period…

Leveson has already heard that as Piers Morgan’s showbiz editor, Wallace was up to his neck in phone-hacking. He’s been at the newspaper for twenty years, at a time when they have published mocked-up torture photos and the Trinity Mirror Group used the services of Steve Wittamore more than any other media organisation. During Wallace’s evidence giving Counsel for the Inquiry pointed to 681 invoices from Whittamore to the Mirror, hundreds of those illegal invoices would have been approved by Wallace himself. He admitted today that he has not sacked anyone for illegal activity, like aiding, abetting or procuring illegally blagged information, despite the Information Commissioner making the names available. He clearly doesn’t want another former employee speaking their mind… 

Our story about how the Daily Mirror came to have the Ulrika/Sven story – which was undoubtedly phone hacked – has just been referred to at the Inquiry during Wallace’s evidence (covered here). It was, as he himself admits, Wallace himself who presented it to the then editor Piers Morgan. He has just admitted to the Inquiry counsel that if, as he now claims, he “can’t remember the circumstances” of how the story was obtained, he can’t therefore rule out it was hacked. Even those who quibble about the provenance of the story merely quibble about from whom it was hacked.

More recently the Daily Mirror, under Wallace’s seemingly spotless editorial lead, destroyed the life of Chris Jefferies and paid a heavy financial price in doing so. Without any foundation whatsoever they painted an innocent neighbour of a murder victim out to be the perpetrator. They were also fined £50,000 for contempt of court over their atrociously slapdash reporting of the Joanna Yeates murder case.

Who is the real cowboy Mr Wallace?




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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