More evidence is emerging almost daily about the fetid pool British tabloid hacks cheerfully swam in through the last decade.
We already know that News of the World royal correspondent Clive Goodman was jailed in 2007 for phone hacking, as was his sidekick freelance private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Coalition government director of communications Andy Coulson had to resign over the growing scandal, just as he did as the editor of the NoW in 2007, although he denied (and continues to deny) any knowledge of the affair.
But now it’s emerged in the Guardian and other places that one Jonathan Rees, a convicted criminal, was paid huge amounts of money by the NoW and other tabloids for bribing police officers for information that he sold to the tabloids (before and after his conviction for an unrelated offence).
Tonight the BBC’s Panorama programme alleged that another senior New International executive, Irish editor Alex Marunchak, paid a phone hacker to invade the phone of a British Intelligence officer.
So it’s inconceivable that the top bananas at these papers didn’t know what was going on. And what a list they are.
At the time when tabloid newsrooms (not just the News of the World) were cheerfully hacking every celebrity voicemail in sight there was Coulson editing the NoW, his former boss Rebekah Wade at the Sun (she’s now boss of News International in the UK) and even high-profile CNN host Piers Morgan (a former editor of the News of the World) at the Mirror (he was fired in 2004).
Not to mention the ultimate managements of News Corporation, Trinity Mirror and others.
The buck has to stop somewhere of course and for years it’s looked like a few underlings would be the sacrificial lambs.
But with more evidence emerging daily and the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service at loggerheads with the Metropolitan Police over the way the investigation has been handled (the Met has tried its damndest to sweep the matter under the carpet) the prospects for Fleet’s Street’s former finest of avoiding embarrassment and possibly worse do not look good.