Letter from the editor: An incestuous relationship


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The Independent Online

I’ll leave you to work out which of today’s grim news stories you would have put on the front page instead of the extraordinary revelations that the FBI is investigating News Corp over 9/11 hacking allegations.

And that the former deputy editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis, was employed in a personal capacity as a consultant to the Met Police even though the phone-hacking scandal was already swirling around that newspaper.

Several of us here know Wallis to a varying degree. He even taught one staffer layouts at college. But there he was on Sky being arrested yesterday morning in Chiswick, west London, where I live, and then questioned at Hammersmith police station nearby. My point in telling you this is to demonstrate how physically close to home this story is for some of us.

We are very conscious of this fact in putting i together every day – both for better and worse. We should write as we find, despite knowing many of the principal characters, but we should balance that with not letting our personal knowledge and level of interest get confused with yours.

With the best will in the world, in our view his arrest was primarily of interest to journalists and “the village” until the game-changing revelation that he had worked with the Met so recently, and in such a capacity. What is ever more clear in this extraordinary story is the level of incestuousness between the police, media and political elite. Maybe I really should revise my opinion and see conspiracy everywhere not c**k-up. What do you think? And where will this latest FBI news take the story? See you tomorrow.