Leveson inquiry backfires

A lesson for our eager ABC

The backwash from the Leveson inquiry looks like it is revealing much more than the alleged perfidy of the Murdocks. It is swamping not only David Cameron and his government, but that of the previous Labour governments of Blair and Brown, and the BBC reporters, up to their necks — like their Australian cousins in the ABC and for the same reasons — in hatred and envy of News Limited.

To some, the unpleasantness of the affair is not politicians’ varying prejudice towards the Murdochs. It is the self-interest of Murdochs’ media critics, especially the BBC. In reporting the Murdochs’ lobbying of the government, the BBC’s reporters overlook the corporation’s persistent lobbying of the same personalities to boost their own fortunes. Dozens of highly paid BBC executives regularly meet ministers and civil servants to negotiate the renewal of the licence fee, the dispersal of staff from London to the regions and even the content of programmes. Occasionally, they have even lobbied ministers and officials to limit Sky’s success.

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