Peter and his principles

The Telegraph is a UK news institution with a reasonably honorable history. Though generally ranked behind the Times for gravitas, and behind the Guardian for its online credentials, it can claim at least one giant-killing political story in the UK: the abuse of parliamentary expenses. Lately, it’s being going through a bad patch, struggling with the mastery of its online presence, and in the eyes of some being too content (sic) to promote click bait in a desperate campaign to boost its standing.

Private Eye has been running several detailed stories about what has been going on behind the scenes, with not even a whisper of a libel writ in the air, strongly suggesting that the Eye’s sources are well placed, and the stories are materially accurate. And these stories have featured, among other elements, infighting, editorial interference, and pampering to advertisers. (Not that this will be the only media company hosting such challenges.)

Into the limelight steps Peter Oborne with a resignation on principle, described as follows:

The Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator has resigned and launched a blistering attack on the paper’s management and owners over its lack of coverage of the HSBC tax story, which he described as a “fraud on its readers”.

The rest of the Guardian piece fills in some of the details.

And, largely, that’s the line that is being taken. Oborne says HSBC was treated differently because the Telegraph needed its advertising money, and he couldn’t stand it.

Al well and good.

Except Mr Oborne’s principles are a bit of a mixed bunch.

For example, he was the writer and presenter of the infamous Dispatches program on British TV about the “Israel Lobby.” (Have a look here for an idea of some of the nasty approach taken by the program and its people.)

And there’s this:

“At the end of last year, Oborne spoke at the IHRC conference on Islamophobia. The IHRC is an Islamic Republic of Iran aligned “human rights” organisation which proposes a vision of “Islamic human rights” that – unlike normative human rights – is free from Zionist Jewish influence.”

There’s more where the man has, for sure, blotted his copybook. Read the rest at Harry’s Place, here, and note the conclusion. Worth considering the next time Mr Oborne pops up again. Because he will.