Who will say sorry to Rupert? | The Spectator
Who will say sorry to Rupert?
KELVIN MACKENZIE 4:26pm
Welcome to the world of journalism, Nick Davies. So the cops in Surrey told you the story was true — or so you claim. The cops at the Yard told you it was true — or so you claim. Every aching bone in your reporter’s anti-Murdoch body told you it was true. But there was a problem — as we all now know today. The Milly Dowler story that led The Guardian on that fateful day back in July was untrue: there is no evidence to show that the News of the World deleted Milly’s voicemails.
So what price has Nick Davies paid since he tried to slip his deliberately unintelligible apology into Page 10 of The Guardian on Saturday? None at all. Not suspended. Not sacked. What price has Alan Rusbridger, the paper’s ho-hum £500,000-a-year Editor paid? None at all. Not suspended. Not sacked. Not a peep out of the management. You might think they’d call an emergency Board meeting, and sling him out for a mistake of this magnitude.
Compare their safe haven to the 300 staff at the News of The World who lost their jobs when Rupert Murdoch was forced to close the title, as he feared a threatened advertiser strike at the Sunday paper might spread to his other titles. By my reckoning only one-in-ten of those journalists will have found work today. What do you care about those people, Mr Davies? Why don’t you suggest at the Guardian’s morning conference tomorrow that you write a spread on the innocent, jobless victims of the Milly Dowler scandal? Some hope.
As it was made clear by the Yard at the Leveson inquiry, Milly Dowler’s phone had an automatic 72-hour deletion process for messages that had been listened to — and therefore there is ‘no evidence’ that they had been deleted a News of The World employee.
There are other victims of this reporting scandal. Rupert Murdoch is one of them. Will the Guardian give ‘due prominence’ — one of their favourite phrases when attacking tabloid mistakes — to an apology to Rupert Murdoch? Perhaps they might clear Page One. After all, Rupert was forced to make a personal apology to the Dowlers — both in private and in front of the TV cameras — for an offence which, it now transpires, his paper did not commit.
I happen to know that Rupert was a reduced man because of Dowler. At 81 he still has remarkable energy but the whole affair had exhausted him, and continues to exhaust.