Life too frenetic to notice reporters hacking phones – Andy Coulson’s defence

andy coulson - too frenetic a lifestyle to notice phone hacking. Pic courtesy: Press Gazette

andy coulson – too frenetic a lifestyle to notice phone hacking. Pic courtesy: Press Gazette

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor and David Cameron’s press secretary is to amount an extraordinary defence that life was so busy at the News of the World that he didn’t know about phone hacking.
A report by Martin Hickman on the Hacked Off website tonight reveals Coulson plans to take the stand to defend himself on all charges.
His lawyer Timothy Langdale, QC, told the jury that they had heard “only one side of the story.”
Among the extraordinary quotes he promised the former News International employee would tell the Old Bailey trial was that life was so frentic he hadn’t noticed any phone hacking nor authorised bribery payments to police officers.
His lawyer said David Cameron’s former director of communications had not taken part in any wrongdoing and would paint a picture of the frenetic pace of life inside the News of the World, when a mass of information passed his desk.
Competition inside the Sunday tabloid was “perhaps at times unhealthy” and journalists “wanted to impress”, Mr Langdale told the Old Bailey.
Referring to the claim that his client had approved royal editor Clive Goodman’s requests to pay corrupt police officers, Mr Langdale said: “He does not believe Mr Goodman had done or was doing any such thing.”
The prosecution was mistaken in its belief that if messages were hacked by Glen Mulcaire or others at the paper that the editor must have known, he added.
Amazing what little editors know about!

4 thoughts on “Life too frenetic to notice reporters hacking phones – Andy Coulson’s defence

  1. So his defence is that he was a really, really bad newspaper editor?
    I’ve only edited a small regional weekly with a readership in the thousands but during that time I had to know everything my reporters were doing because IT WAS MY JOB. Not all of my job, to be sure, but a significant part of it. If a reporter had filed a story and I didn’t know the source, I would have checked because, for example, somebody might mount a legal challenge such as, I don’t know, the one Coulson is facing now.
    Ignorance is no excuse. If that really is his defence, I’ll be amazed if anyone gives it any credence at all.

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    • Yes it appears it is. Mind boggling. I certainly know the two editors on The Guardian Peter Preston and Alan Rusbridger would take enormous interest in what the splash was (which are the main hacking stories) – they may not want to know your source but they would want to know how the reporter got the story!

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      • Exactly – and there is an implication for government because this is the man David Cameron invited in to Number 10 to be his communications director. That would be a staggering error of judgement in the light of this attempt at a defence.

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  2. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    So his defence is that he was a really, really bad newspaper editor?
    I’ve only edited a small regional weekly with a readership in the thousands but during that time I had to know everything my reporters were doing because IT WAS MY JOB. Not all of my job, to be sure, but a significant part of it. If a reporter had filed a story and I didn’t know the source, I would have checked because, for example, somebody might mount a legal challenge such as, I don’t know, the one Coulson is facing now.
    Ignorance is no excuse. If that really is his defence, I’ll be amazed if anyone gives it any credence at all.

    Like

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