Worth Reading 11: Turns out it’s not Paterson Joseph

Link me till I… lart?

Project Iceworm – There’s something about the phrase “nuclear-powered research center built by the Army Corps of Engineers under the icy surface of Greenland” that makes you realise that maybe we are living in the cool parallel universe with the wacky uses of technology
Voyager 1 at edge of Solar System – Fascinating account of a thirty year journey and interview with one of its creators
Congratulations, Mr Karimov! – European Voice welcomes a dictator on his visit to Brussels
Betelgeuse and 2012 – Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy explains why the ‘my friend definitely heard someone who once met a scientist say that the Mayans predicted Betelgeuse going supernova in 2012 would herald the end of the world’ stories aren’t correct. Though he fails to point out that even if we were to see Betelgeuse going supernova in 2012, it would actually have exploded sometime around 1360.
Thoughts on Coulson: Which newspaper groups can you trust? – Interesting post from Love and Garbage about just how widespread the use of potentially illegal methods by newspapers is, and how it’s not just the News Of The World and the Murdoch press that’s the problem

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Roy Greenslade wonders why no one in the media other than the Guardian is making a big deal about this story:

Imagine The Guardian being required to pay out £800,000 to a journalist because its editor had been exposed as a bully. You can bet that would have made headlines in rival papers.

So why, I wonder, was The Guardian the only national paper to report on the fact that former News of the World football reporter Matt Driscoll was awarded almost £792,736 for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination by an employment tribunal?

Yet it must surely be in the public interest for people to know about misbehaviour by Britain’s best-selling newspaper, which is renowned for its own heavy-handed treatment of those it considers to have acted immorally.

Similarly, since the editor said to have carried out the bullying is none other than Andy Coulson, now the communications chief for the Conservative party leader, David Cameron, there was a powerful secondary reason for the case to be reported as a matter of public interest.

But it is becoming more and more apparent that most of the national press is now involved in a routine cover-up about its internal affairs, especially when the stories concern the News of the World’s owner, News International.

Well, surely this is a role for the blogs to take up – after all, we’re told repeatedly that they’ll go where the mainstream media won’t, and will dig up the important issue without fear or favour and expose them to the public eye.

Greenslade does mention some blogs that have covered it (The First Post, allmediascotland and Peter Burden) but surely it must be more widespread than that?

I mean, I’m sure Guido Fawkes Paul Staines must have something to say about. After all (when he’s not being an expensive postman for Tory MPs) he’s the scourge of the hypocrisy of the political classes, and he’d surely have something to say about David Cameron employing a proven bully in a senior role. Nope, nothing there. I guess he must not have heard of the story.

Iain Dale, though, he must have mentioned it. After all, this is the man who presents himself as a leading political blogger, never afraid to comment on anything for anyone. And yes, his current top post is about personnel changes at the Telegraph, so he obviously likes to comment on the inner workings of the print media…but oddly, he has nothing to say about his party leader’s personnel decisions.

Indeed, when I look at the top ten Conservative bloggers from Dale’s list, the only mention I can find of the whole thing is a solitary link from Conservative Home to the story in The First Post.

Does this not worry any Conservatives at all? Does the fact that one of their leader’s most important aides led ‘a culture of bullying’ in his previous job not concern them? Does the fact that his actions (remember that he was also in charge of the NOTW during the phone jacking scandal) have cost his previous employer around £2m in damages not make you stop and think as to whether he should hold an important senior role in your party?

And what does this say about David Cameron? Here’s someone claiming that he should be Prime Minister, yet one of the Prime Minister’s roles is to appoint the right people to the right positions. Given that he’s appointed someone of the calibre of Coulson to a senior role in opposition, what sort of people might he appoint if he got his hands on some real power? Or are the Tories taking the bold move of coming out in favour of workplace bullying?

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