Last Friday it was difficult not to feel at least a quiver of sympathy for Rebekah Brooks. As well as being asked some faintly irrelevant questions by Robert Jay during her appearance at the Leveson inquiry, such as whether she had swam with Rupert Murdoch (she did at least recognise complaining about such trivialities was the height of hypocrisy), she is also as far as I can recall the only witness whose choice in the sartorial department has been commented upon. The right-on Guardian ran an wonderfully enlightening piece by their fashion editor ("A white Peter Pan collar sends the most unambiguous of fashion messages"), while on Newsnight Charlotte Harris's first sentence was on how amusing it was that Brooks had chosen to dress up as a puritan. There admittedly was more than enough newsprint spent on what she actually said, but did we honestly need to know that her dress cost £475 from an online boutique?
To which the answer today might be yes. Those who've so much as read a single post here on phone hacking will know it was a certain Rebekah Brooks who stated back in 2009 that the Guardian's coverage had "substantially and likely deliberately misled the British public" (PDF). As public relations goes, it must rank up there as one of the most stupid, reckless and foolhardy missives in recent memory. It still isn't quite as moronic though as today's ejaculation from Mr and Mrs Brooks:
We deplore this weak and unjust decision after the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS.
Jonathan Aitken might not have been facing a charge of perverting the course of justice, but swords of truth and trusty shields come to mind. And we all know how that ended up.
(P.S. Pity poor David Cameron.)
Labels: David Cameron, Leveson inquiry, News Corporation, phone hacking, Rebekah Brooks, Rebekah Wade, Rupert Murdoch