He defended the PCC which he praised for its:
increased powers and strength...which no one will admit to in this febrile climate.
He attacked the BBC for:
very light-touch regulation. It almost regulates itself.
This despite the fact that Ofcom also regulates the BBC and has fined them for transgressions - a sanction Dacre will never accept for newspapers.
On front page apologies Dacre said:
I suppose we are now leading to the ultimate sanction of a front-page apology. Again, I think that would be the court taking away the editor’s right to edit and the thin end of all kinds of undesirable wedges. It is perhaps a technical point, but a newspaper’s front page needs to sell itself. A newspaper has to be viable. If it does not sell itself, no one will read the correction inside. Finally—this is slightly contradictory—in truly heinous offences, a front page can and should be considered by the editor. There are quite a few precedents for that but I should not want the court to have the right to insist on it.
The committee also mentioned the wording of the defence of 'fair comment' and asked whether 'honest opinion' might be more appropriate. Dacre said:
Yes, I suppose “honest” is slightly better, although I prefer “free opinion” for the life of me. As long as it does not inflame a situation, is not racist and does not defame someone, the freer it is the better. Certainly, thinking about some of the things that Mr Littlejohn writes in my paper, I do not know whether they are honest but they certainly get people talking.