Friday, January 21, 2011

So farewell then Andy Coulson

When the Guardian broke the News of the World phone-hacking story in July 2009 I wrote that it "could be a huge political scandal". So far that has to count as a bit of an overstatement, but the affair did for Andy Coulson today.

The case against him was always as I expressed it in that original post:
as Andrew Neil explained on Newsnight yesterday evening, it is inconceivable that Coulson would not have quizzed his reporters about their methods when they came to him with big stories.

An editor has to be able to judge the truth of a story and how defensible it would be in court. The way the story was come by is central to both these question.
If this affair, as appears to be happening, now comes to centre on relations between the News International and the police then it could still turn into a huge scandal.

In any case, I can claim to be more prophetic than Guido Fawkes, who has always argued that Coulson would survive. Try a post from 11 December of last year:
What has been a politically motivated attack by enemies of the Murdoch press was bound to fail without a smoking gun, however much they huffed and puffed.


dreamingspire said...

Will we notice the difference now he's gone?

Mark said...

When the history of this gets written, Coulson's resignation will be seen as the start rather than the denouement - however much people try to talk of 'closure' and 'moving on'.

The relationship between the Metropolitan Police and News International (plus other media owners) is the big story here.