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(This is not satire – it’s the Mail!)

Incredibly, the Daily Mail – after years of railing against the use of court action to suppress freedom of the media – has decided to shut a blogger up by suing him.

Northcliffe Media, a division of the Daily Mail & General Trust newspaper group, has decided to sue a Twitter user in a US court, accusing him of hacking, impersonation and defamation.

The newspaper group doesn’t like the fact that the person behind  @UnSteveDorkland , is using the spoof account of one of Northcliffe’s chief executives, Steve Auckland, to take the piss out of him. So they’re trying to stop him – by suing him.

That’s bad enough you might think.

But just wait till you hear what Paul Dacre, the DM’s editor-in-chief, has been saying about other people who try to use the courts to silence freedom of speech.

I hope you’ve got your highest factor anti-hypocrisy protection on – because if you’ve got any sense of fairness at all, this is going to set your pants on fire.

In his recent appearance at the Levenson inquiry, Mr Dacre eloquently spoke of the need for more self-regulation instead of more legal protection for members of the public who have been wronged by the media:

Dacre – self-regulation, not the force of the law, is the only viable way of policing a genuinely free press

And as far back as 2008, Dacre gave another eloquent speech to the Society of Editors Conference, where he again thundered against the whole idea of courts and judges being used to silence the media:

Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre accuses judge of trying to restrict age-old freedom of newspapers to expose moral shortcomings of people in high places

So, that all seems clear enough, doesn’t it?

Dacre and the Mail Group are only interested in taking away the right of normal members of the public like you and me to use the courts to protect ourselves against things like hacking and defamation of character, but are happy themselves to sue the pants off anyone who might want to criticise them.

Man up Mr Dacre. You’re a hypocrite of the highest order.


I must admit I have a self interest here. Like @UnSteveDorkland I too use a pseudonym to protect myself against hassle by the people I criticise. But organisations like the Mail group must not be able to use their power and wealth to shut up unwanted criticism while at the same time giving themselves the right to criticise anyone they deem worthy of it.  


Related articles by Tom Pride:

Oops! The Daily Mail accidentally supports a fascist party. Again.

Daily Mail Apologises To Its Readers After Admitting Publishing Something True

Diet High In Red Tops Increases Risk of Heart Attacks

Government – Light-Touch Regulation Of The Disabled To Blame For Economic Crisis

Met police loaned retired mounted officer to Rebekah Brooks

Murdoch Cuts Price of Sun on Sunday’s Bribes by Half

Exclusive – Monday’s headline in The Sun ………..

Murdoch’s Twitter Followers Complain About Lack Of Tits In His Tweets

Sun journalists complain investigative journalism will harm investigative journalism


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