Adam Lovejoy writes from London: The thing about the report by Lord Leveson on the regulation of the press in Britain is that it’s what he omitted that is way more important than what he actually said in it. His lordship has managed to avoid mentioning all the really important bits, succumbing to pressure from the liberal left and all sorts of luvvies, who should not have been allowed to testify to his inquiry in the first place. I mean, who on earth listens to mediocre actors, unfunny comedians and celebs generally about press freedom? It obscene. It’s like asking the X Factor audience to express their views on music and culture generally.
Anyway, the main thrust of Lord Leveson’s report is that the British press has supposedly behaved irresponsibly and that it needs a new regulatory body, underpinned by legislation that would supposedly give it teeth. If ever there was a wrong conclusion to have been made on the basis of the scandal surrounding phone hacking at the now defunct News Of The World this is exactly it. In the real world hacks should be tapping phones of even more people, to nail the lowlifes who populate the corridors of power, executive boardrooms and the underworld. Not to mention two-timing celebs, who use the media for their promotional purposes but scream their heads off when they get caught with their pants down or skirts up or snorting stuff. These weasels need to be afraid of the press and know that they won’t get away with leading double lives.
But what has Lord Leveson omitted from his report, you may be wondering? Lots of things. First of all, there is nothing in it regarding the disastrous effect that political correctness has on the British press and media generally. It is a vile form of censorship that allows small groups of determined liberals to impose their agendas on the majority. It is like a cancer that is eating up the press. It has come to a situation when people’s lives are destroyed by politically correct zealots who have turned most newspapers into their propaganda tools. If this is not stopped, the press will simply die.
And then there is the left-wing liberal bias that goes through the whole of the British press, undermining news reporting and even turning the so-called ‘right-wing publications’ into a joke. Just look what has happened to the once glorious Spectator magazine. It has become an irrelevance, a podium for liberal views that have nothing to do with conservatism. The same goes for the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Yes, sure, they publish an occasional piece by conservative commentators, to keep the myth of being right-wing alive, but overall these are just money-making operations that are poisoned by liberal views and ideas.
And then there’s the biggie that Lord Leveson has not included in his report: how could it have happened that the British press has allowed Tony Blair and New Labour to undermine the very foundations of British life and stage a vicious attack on traditions and old values? And how is it that atheism has become editorial policy of practically each organ of print? And last but not least: how could it have happened that the British press allowed bankers to rip off the nation and get away with it? This last one is just perverse. Not a single banker has been investigated properly by the hacks and brought down. Which raises another disturbing issue: the influence that advertisers have over the editorial content of the press. Yes, you’ve guessed it. The financial sector accounts for large advertising revenues of the press.
Finally, Lord Leveson has missed one important factor: the ownership of the organs of print. At the moment most newspaper proprietors in Britain are basically undesirables who should not have been allowed to own just one paper, let alone several. There should be a simple rule: proprietors can own not more than two newspapers, the daily and the Sunday versions. And they should pass a stringent test on whether they are actually suitable to be in the business. Because the way things stand now in Britain only a couple of newspaper publishers would have passed such a test. There rest would have been banned for life.