Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Telegraph journalist uses phone-hacking allegations to attack the BBC

David Hughes is the Daily Telegraph's chief leader writer and has, according to his blog, been covering British politics for over 30 years.

And what is his take on the revelations about the News of the World and the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone?

The BBC has pulled out all the stops in its coverage of allegations that a private investigator employed by the News of the World hacked into the mobile telephone of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler.

The story has dominated its bulletins; it is getting wall-to-wall coverage on the 24-hour news channel; and the Corporation’s editorial big guns have been wheeled out to explore the implications, political as well as commercial. While the allegations are – in David Cameron’s well-chosen words – “truly dreadful”, do they warrant this level of news overkill?

Those two words, borrowed from Cameron, are the only words Hughes uses to criticise the News of the World. But how can an experienced journalist fail to see that this is a serious, important story?

He adds:

The BBC’s treatment of the hacking story suggests the Corporation still sees the value of blackening the reputation of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire as thoroughly as possible whenever the opportunity arises.

Yes - according to him, it's the BBC that is 'blackening the reputation of Murdoch's empire' rather than, say, the actions of some people within that empire.

Hughes links the BBC coverage to the News Corporation's takeover of BSkyB:

The Corporation is bitterly opposed to News Corporation’s bid to to buy the 61% of BSkyB it doesn’t already own (as is much of Fleet Street). Indeed, it is so opposed that the BBC’s director general Mark Thompson took the extraordinary step last autumn of putting his name to a letter of protest objecting to the deal – for which he was forced to apologise by the BBC Trust.

But Hughes seems to forget two things. The Telegraph is also opposed to that takeover. Indeed, the letter that Thompson signed was also signed by:

Murdoch MacLennan, the chief executive of Telegraph Media group, publisher of the Daily Telegraph

As for the prominence of the BBC's reporting, it seems Hughes has conveniently missed that Sky News, Channel 4 News and ITN have been reporting these claims very prominently, and it was on the front of several newspapers today, including Murdoch's own Times.

And the paper Hughes works for:


  1. Even the Daily Mail website is giving this extensive coverage (not blaming the BBC either).

  2. I guess we'll have to wait for something even more sickening to see Hughes and his ilk diverted from the really important agenda. Pond life.

  3. Where was David Hughes working in 2002?

  4. These papers pay very, very well! It's in the interests of the 'journalists' to get results.

  5. Way to miss the point. How on earth can this be "news overkill"? The story only broke last night and already the Soham victims parents have been contacted by the police as well. This is a real story that is showing the public what scum work at these newspapers.

  6. Is this the same telegraph that's running:



  7. An Englishman, an American and an Australian once found themselves in the Nevada desert arguing about who was to blame for Murdoch. We eventually concluded it was Ben the Aussie's fault as no-one strangled Murdoch at birth.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.