The Guardian Is “Bemused”
David Leigh of the Guardian has been added to the list of UK journalists who’ve engaged in phone hacking and other illegal/unethical conduct. Some of the more questionable conduct by UK journalists has involved their acquisition of information from police that police were not legally entitled to disclose either for payment or as a favour. David Leigh also had a role in the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate early last year and, in today’s post, I’ll discuss the connection.
There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages…
Leigh differentiated his illegal phone hacking from that practised by News of the World because his cause was noble:
unlike Goodman, I was not interested in witless tittle-tattle about the royal family. I was looking for evidence of bribery and corruption.
Now the Climategate connection.
In February 2010, a couple of months after Neil Wallis of Outside Organisation had been retained by the University of East Anglia to help them strike back against critics, Leigh authored a smear against Paul Dennis of the University of East Anglia, entitled:
Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks: University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators
Leigh’s smear began by reporting that Norfolk police had interviewed Paul Dennis (as, presumably, other faculty of the University of East Anglia.) However, Dennis had “refused to sign a petition in support of Jones when the scandal broke”. Furthermore, according to Leigh’s apparently disapproving “university sources”, Dennis was reported to have sent a letter to UEA head of department Jacquie Burgess “calling for more open release of data” – suspicious activity indeed. Dennis had also refused to observe the fatwa against communication with climate blogs that were critical of CRU and the Team and had even sent an article on isotopes to Jeff Id.
Leigh’s article disclosed two pieces of information that were not in the public domain.
First, Leigh “outed” Jeff Id by name, occupation and hometown. To that point, “Jeff Id” had been anonymous. His registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous. To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable Leigh to identify him.
Complete writeup here at Climate Audit
Bishop Hill writes here:
Leigh’s name has come to prominence in recent days, with the UK’s premier political blogger, Guido Fawkes, accusing the Guardian man of being involved in phone hacking. The evidence seems pretty incontrovertible, and Leigh appears to be highly unamused to have it broadcast to all and sundry. All good clean family fun.
h/t to Benny Peiser at The GWPF.