. Not surprised to hear from the Guardian of Gilligan anger and NUJ militant spin in the face of Hutton’s well aimed punches. I’m also not surprised to hear that Gavyn Davies made an ungracious exit, questioning Hutton’s ‘bald conclusions’ even as he looked up at his red card, or that any number of people, including the Tory Leader, Michael Howard (in his way), will give comfort to the BBC ‘victims’ of Hutton. I am though as convinced as I can be that Hutton did all that he could do in the circumstances, as opposed to the crude balancing act that could have salved the reputations of the BBC journalists involved and saved the blushes of the journalistic establishment. The truth was that all the crucial lacunae (gaps) of logic and action were on the part of Gilligan and the BBC, along with almost all the obvious dishonesty, and, well, Hutton’s a judge, so…
‘In what amounted to a complete demolition of Gilligan’s controversial report. Lord Hutton cast doubt on the “sexing up” claim and rejected as “unfounded” the allegation that the infamous 45-minute claim had been inserted at the request of the government.‘
Meanwhile this from Gilligan also via the Guardian:
‘Andrew Gilligan today came out fighting with a statement issued on his behalf describing Lord Hutton’s report as “grossly one-sided”.‘
Much of this basically via Jeff Jarvis. Also, my own little word to Gilligan- you see, for you this Hutton report was like an exam, with marks for every separate question of fact you might in good faith have been attempting to answer with your reporting, and- you failed. No point pretending that you didn’t when even those sympathetic to you saw in it a ‘demolition’, and anyone who listened to Hutton listened to the force of argument tempered by considered reason. If he didn’t get around to criticising Blair, which to be fair he couldn’t in the context you helped define, that was because your facile errors and insouciance in the face of reality took up all of his concentration. Actually, for Hutton, you became the story- which is I think a good bit more just, in the context, than when that was said of Alastair Campbell.