Although I like and admire Trevor Kavanagh of the Sun, I feel that his article about the wickedness of arresting journalists at dawn, published two weeks ago, marked that moment which always comes during a scandal when the trade under attack fails to ‘get it’. The same happened with those MPs who protested at the exposure of their expenses, or with Bob Diamond of Barclays telling a Commons committee that ‘the time for remorse is over’. We in the media are just as powerful in our way as are MPs or bankers in theirs, and just as abusive of our power. We, collectively, have created a climate in which everyone wants to put down the mighty from their seats. We are the mighty too. How are the mighty fallen before the evidence of the Leveson inquiry. We must take the current humiliation. Similar thoughts apply even to the death of Marie Colvin, the war reporter. She was indeed as brave, unselfpitying and fun as the tributes have said, but there is a preposterous vanity in the media calls for the overthrow of the Assad regime because of her fate. If it should be overthrown, it is because of the evil it visits on its own people, not because of what it does to our tribe.
Earlier this week, I was emailed and then telephoned by a journalist from a famous American television network. She was trying to get hold of a well-known but elusive resident of this country and wanted my help. I explained that I would not give her any direct contact, but would send her the email of the person’s public affairs adviser. She would not take this for an answer and kept on trying to ask me more questions. Eventually, I said, ‘Look, I think you’re being a bit pushy.