The News of the World has paid Max Clifford over £1m to drop his legal action over alleged phone hacking by the paper. As the Guardian reports, "The settlement means that there will now be no disclosure of court-ordered evidence which threatened to expose the involvement of the newspaper's journalists in a range of illegal information-gathering by private investigators."
That's Andy Coulson off the hook again. The Tories' chief spinner would have been dragged into court and subject to rigorous cross-examination on the topic of what he knew or what he claimed not to know as the Screws' editor about the illegal activities of his own scurvy, lying crew.
I don't blame Clifford for taking the bribe - there's no other word for it. He's inflicted damage. Why would a newspaper part with yet more substantial cash to shut someone up? This "donation" to the Tories saves the Murdoch paper embarrassment. It saves the Tories embarrassment.
The Murdoch newspapers will keep quiet on this episode praying no other big name follows the Clifford example. If this isn't corruption at the heart of our media I don't know what is.