The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

There is influence. It's different from a few constituents getting together or even the doctors' organisation, and a big media operation like Murdoch, who will then say, for example, whether this government is worth supporting or not -- and it happens. You can see it with the Coalition at the moment. They're picking different sides. That's politics. But they have excessive -- if you give them the right to reduce their costs when they're very a wealthy organisation and put the burden, this legal aid, onto those that have won the case but still get penalised in it under the no win, no pay, which is an effective way of pursuing an action against the press, that's a different kettle of fish to ordinary interest groups. That's giving them something they want. You could say the health people are getting what they want if you scrap the bill, but that is particular to that interest. But the press go much further. They actually give a judgment, very often against Labour Party. Some did once, regretted that but it did do it, and every paper acts politically and the statements throughout -- the statements -- you only have to read out a paper to see what side they're on and see how they present the stories, and that's why politicians get annoyed. There's no appeal. There's no fairness you can go to. I'm not on about whether a fellow hits somebody in a bar or -- perhaps I should keep off that -- or kind of salacious things that we're talking about. I'm really talking about real political influence used to their interests.

Now, politicians have to make the judgment what the proper balance is, but if it's solely because you're scared you're going to offend Murdoch and his press, then I think it gets a little bit of corrupting in the political influence.

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