An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, August 26, 2003  

David Kelly and the hunt for the scapegoat

Make no mistake: as far as I'm concerned the fault for this fiasco lies at the door of one Alastair Campbell and no one else. He deliberately created this huge row to move the headlines away from the fact that the government clearly had grossly exagerrated the threat from Saddam so the boys could have their little war.

However, John Waters of the Irish Times, whom I generally consider to be completely off his head, does raise an interesting point.

The convention within journalism is that a source must be protected at all costs; otherwise whistle blowers could not come forward in confidence. Yet, there was a general frenzy to discover Gilligan's source and a willingness to publish Kelly's name with no regard for his protection. So why exclusively blame the government for the his suicide? The media participated in the game also.

I suppose the flaw in this analysis is that once the government themselves knew who the source was, nothing more was to be achieved by the press in protecting Kelly. They could only be condemned if the government didn't know who the source was and only discovered it through the media. But at the very least, maybe there is a case to say that the media en masse should have laid off Kelly. Hmmmm.

posted by Sarah | 16:05 0 comments
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