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Saturday, 25 August 2012
Prince Harry, Anders Breivik, Lord Leveson and the media.

Most other media outlets won’t even acknowledge the existence of a Vile Pervert. Readers complain. The quality, value and content matter less than the simplistic answer to the question “Should we carry a piece by someone decreed a leper in society?”

And when that article questions the morality of the media, forget it.

Every time I see the horrid, smooth, smug, evangelistic face of Anders Breivik, I want to scream “Don’t print this”. Don’t show us his face, don’t tell us his name, don’t print his insane ramblings. If the world’s media had obeyed the responsibility in the past, the incident would never have happened. Without the oxygen of publicity, why bother? The tragedy would not have taken place as, now, the next ghastly tragedy, inspired by the massive media coverage of this mental “hero” and his crazy philosophy.

We all know; the only motive in the media is not, as dear Prescott simplistically claims, money. It is not, as dear James Murdoch preaches, profit. It is not, despite rumours to the contrary, circulation or praise from the critics. It is, quite simply, “Is it a good story?”.

That’s all that matters. What wrongly happened to me would never have occurred if it had not been “a good story”.

Who cares about Prince Harry’s “crown jewels”? Good luck to the lad who will, I’m sure, survive this minor hiccup. But it’s “a good story”, so the media carries it. No problem (for me or, to be honest, to him) except when it rules our morality. So Lord Leveson concentrates on such trivia instead of the far more important and serious matters such as - should mass murderers be given the reward of mass publicity?

I appeared at the Leveson Inquiry. I felt they should investigate the fact that the police officer placed in charge of the Milly Dowler investigation, as a direct reward for his work on my case, inefficiently allowed the killer to remain free for years, leading to the deaths of two other innocent girls.

I was quietly informed, afterwards, that the Leveson Inquiry was not interested in those murders as they were not “as high profile” as Milly. Illustrating that, in Leveson as in life, the media controls the agenda.

Now Leveson is predicted to be influenced by, and fascinated by, the coverage of Prince Harry’s balls.

Who cares? What is important, and what should be concerning the very bright Judge with his Oscar winning eyebrows, is the morality of the media. Should the world’s media not be considering - don’t allow criminals “the oxygen of publicity”?

Cover the facts. Condemn the crime. But do not mention the name or show the photo or carry the words.

I would be happy never to hear another word from, or about, Anders Breivik. I never want to see that bland visage again. I wish I’d never seen it in the first place.

But most of all I wish the next killer or murderer or terrorist had never seen it or heard his name. And been inspired to be able, like him, to smirk in triumph as he achieved his awful goal.

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