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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Could you narrow it down a bit please?

Via Guido, The Grim Reaper, Constantly Furious and others, a headline that could have been used perhaps a couple of times a month for most of the last decade or more, and which in the days of movable type would probably not have been unset but left on a handy shelf for when they were needed.

And actually this sounds to me like more than merely being honestly mistaken about the means by which the story was obtained. It's not just that the source turned out to be nothing at all to do with not-actually-hacking but the rather low tech man-talks-to-journalist technique, but The Sun say they had the Browns' consent to run the story. Now assuming that's true - and I'm not holding my breath for an outright denial from McSnotty - wouldn't you expect the Browns to first ask where the story had come from? Perhaps not if gently broken by a friendly and sympathetic journo, and of course Labour and The Sun were very pally at the time, but then the question becomes why, if the Browns weren't all cut up at the time, they're so upset now and why they didn't tackle it when it happened? As Guido puts it:
If Gordon wanted he could have gone to the PCC and invoked 6 (v) of the PCC code, which would have killed the story, or complained afterwards. If Rebekah Brooks made him cry it seems odd that he subsequently went to her wedding, attended her birthday party and got Sarah to host a “girls” sleep-over at Chequers with Rebekah Brooks and Wendi Murdoch.
Yes, it seems very odd indeed. And given Guido's earlier point that the cyclopean nightmare of Downing Street's pet think tank was being investigated right at the time the story about his son came out this remark of The Sun's is particularly interesting (my bold).
On receipt of the information, The Sun approached Mr Brown and discussed with his colleagues how best to present it.
Not that I'd take their word for it either but again if true - stressing 'if' - it sounds a lot like Nokia's favourite customer was happy for The Sun to run a story that would generate sympathy for him and his family. And now he's not.

Ah, who knows? Perhaps someone's just missing the limelight.
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