AW is on reduced service at the moment I’m afraid, due to staff illness (mine). But the glaring, watchworthy bit of Dave’s little outpouring of crocodile tears for the BBC is right there in front of us in cold print:
It is, in essence, the Gilligan defence again. Never mind the facts, the story fits the preconceptions, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s true or not.
No, Dave. That’s not “The Gilligan defence”. Andrew Gilligan’s defence was specifically that David Kelly had said to Gilligan that the dossier had been fucked around with, and that he had used the specific phrase “one word: Campbell”. Gilligan’s defence was one of justification on the specifics of the Kelly story, and of fair comment on the rest of his five-minute piece. Lord Hutton found otherwise, but that was the defence.
Dave may be confusing this episode with the claim “SADDAM COULD STRIKE IN 45 MINUTES”. That was a story which was not true, but which fit the preconceptions and so was allowed to stand uncorrected. In fact, the general defence that it was OK to tell flat out lies in the service of a noble cause is specifically the central plank of Decentism (viz: “am I sorry about the WMD claims? I am not sorry that we got rid of a brutal dictator, who was brutal”). Aaro himself was actually on Newsnight last night helping Jack Straw rubbish the Lancet body count by saying “nobody can deny that things are better with Saddam gone”. The claim that the true body count is 8,000 is untrue, but it fits with the preconceptions, so never mind the facts.