- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
U.K. judge issues damning press verdict
Question of the Day
LONDON — Britain needs a new independent media regulator to eliminate a subculture of unethical behavior that infected segments of the country’s press, a senior judge said Thursday at the end of a yearlong inquiry into newspaper wrongdoing.
Lord Justice Brian Leveson said a new regulatory body should be established in law to prevent more people being hurt by “press behavior that, at times, can only be described as outrageous.”
But Prime Minister David Cameron balked at that idea, warning that passing a law to set up the body would mean “crossing the Rubicon” toward state regulation of the press.
Justice Leveson issued his 2,000-page report at the end of a media ethics inquiry that was triggered by revelations of tabloid phone hacking and expanded to engulf senior figures in politics, the police and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
His proposals will likely be welcomed by victims of press intrusion and some politicians who want to see the country’s rambunctious press reined in.
But some editors and lawmakers fear any new body could curtail freedom of the press.
Mr. Cameron welcomed Justice Leveson’s proposal for a new regulator with powers to settle disputes, order corrections and fine offenders. But he said that asking lawmakers to enshrine it in law meant “crossing the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land.”
“I believe that we should be wary of any legislation that has the potential to infringe free speech and a free press,” Mr. Cameron told lawmakers in the House of Commons. “In this House, which has been a bulwark of democracy for centuries, we should think very, very carefully before crossing this line.”
Justice Leveson insisted in his report that politicians and the government should play no role in regulating the press, which should be done by a new body with much stronger powers than the current Press Complaints Commission.
“What is needed is a genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation,” he said, adding that it is “essential that there should be legislation to underpin the independent self-regulatory system.”
“The ball moves back into the politicians’ court: they must now decide who guards the guardians,” Justice Leveson said.
He said the new body should be composed of members of the public including former journalists and academics — but no serving editors or politicians. It should have the power to demand prominent corrections in newspapers and to levy fines of up to $1.6 million.
Critics of the tabloid press generally welcomed the report.
Former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who sued Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. for invasion of privacy over claims he had taken part in a Nazi-themed orgy, said Justice Leveson’s report went in the right direction, although “I would have liked to see more.”
Campaign group Hacked Off said Justice Leveson’s proposals “are reasonable and proportionate, and we call on all parties to get together to implement them as soon as possible.”
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq