It has felt like ploughing a lonely furrow, using this blog and Twitter to try to make people sit up and question how the Guardian was getting information about the Met Police’s investigation into ‘phone hacking’ and getting unreleased details of arrests.
But it looks like this humble little blog has helped to make the right people take notice…
Sky News is reporting that a 51-year-old detective at the Metropolitan Police has been arrested at his desk and suspended on suspicion of leaking information from the phone hacking investigation team to journalists at the Guardian.
Innocent unless proven guilty of course, but this could finally underline the Guardian’s insipid willingness to take advantage of illegal actions to get a story. Let’s see if this is Amelia Hill, Nick Davies and David Leigh’s Met Police ‘Deep Throat’ and if they are now quite so ‘johnny on the spot’ with their phone hacking stories.
Hopefully the investigation into this Detective’s conduct will also look into any links with how David Leigh managed to trace ‘Jeff Id’ from the Air Vent blog, as covered by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit.
Update: The BBC is reporting the story – after a fashion – without mentioning the Guardian once. Unbelievable bias and a disgraceful attempt to withhold information from their audience. It should be unbelivable, but with the relationship between the Guardian and the BBC sadly it is not. The BBC, half the story – if you’re lucky – all the time, especially when their friends are part of the story.
As for the Guardian, there is nothing about this story on their ‘breaking news’ ticker or anywhere on their home page. I wonder why… We must find out if money passed hands here. If it did then we must be told how high up in the Guardian’s editorial hierarchy this was sanctioned.
Further Update: Despite the story of the Met Police detective being arrested for allegedly leaking information to the Guardian being all over Sky News and various news media outlets and blogs, the BBC’s update of their story, 34 mins after the last version was published, doggedly continues to omit the name ‘Guardian’.
In fact, they are even trying to focus attention on the arrest of another News of the World journalist and unashamedly are even using the NotW logo as their story image, which could give the impression the police leaks were to the NotW and not the Guardian! Utterly incredible.
Further Update: The third BBC version of the story in an hour, and finally the Guardian gets a mention! But no, not as the recipient of police leaks from the Opertation Weeting team, only named as the paper that broke the story that John Desborough of the NotW had been arrested.
The BBC’s determination not to tell its audience that the Guardian has been getting confidential information from a police source at the Met makes the corporation look ridiculous. Strange how the BBC was happy to name the NotW as the recipient of information from a police source on the Milly Dowler investigation though... Hypocrisy? Double standards? You decide.
And another update: Quick, quick, make it seem that this was just an innocuous bit of information sharing! Enter the narrative of ‘Off-the-record sources’.
Yes, at 17:50 (missed the screenshot, so off to Newssniffer we go) the BBC made another change to its story and, finally and reluctantly, wrote the name ‘Guardian’ in connection with the detective arrest story. But even in this, like Soviet era Pravda, the BBC maintained its disinformation effort. It deliberately tried to make it seem as if the Guardian is just a concerned newspaper with no direct interest in the matter and is passing comment:
The Guardian has issued a statement reacting to the arrest of the police officer.
It said: “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.”
Amazing. Seems like the cat has got Rusbridger’s tongue. But even this didn’t go far enough for the BBC in its effort to ‘run interference’ for the Graun. So the story has been changed again! This time a wholly unjustified and laughable caveat has been applied:
If your sides aren’t aching by now at the hilarity of watching the BBC’s contortions in its effort to cover the Guardian’s backside, you’ve got no sense of humour. The BBC doesn’t even use the whole of the Guardian’s statement, which reads:
How very coy. Such reticence from an entity that is usually so bold…