The Honeytrap's Not A Nice Smell
Our big debate yesterday was whether or not the Mail on Sunday should have leaked the Lord Triesman story. The two issues that it throws up is when is a private conversation private and is cheque book journalism driving a new type of “kiss and tell”.
Obviously Lord Triesman’s comments were sensational and not ideal, but was Melissa Jacobs recording them because she knew she’d get paid, or because she was looking to damage him due to the end of their alleged affair, or just because that’s what so called highly intelligent and academic women do (maybe she thought she was back in a lecture). All in all it smells a bit funny.
Obviously we need to be able to trust people in high places, but it does feel that Max Clifford has been working his dark arts again, and in this instance and it might be for the best if actually there’s more to this story than we’re being told and this is just the 1st stage against Lord Triesman.
But he’s not the 1st man to have an affair, and the papers had hundreds of stories they don’t print, but at a time when a country needs to be pulling in the same direction, did the MoS really need to run the story.
From a reputation perspective, you have to question if the MoS has grown it’s brand equity, amongst it’s core readers, or whether or not it’s a step too far. Gary Lineker’s actions yesterday speak volumes about what he thinks. Lets see if anyone else is prepared to do the same.
Maybe we need a “story cap”, like a wage cap being proposed in football, and that exists in rugby where newspapers have a limit as to what they can pay for a story, or maybe there’s a ban to stop the “honeytrap”. Either way, we’re not convinced that the never ending weekend front pages do much for the countries moral or our belief in each other as honest upstanding people.