This clip (below) is a classic of its genre. On last night’s Newsnight, Steve Coogan really lays into the News of the World, in the person of Paul McMullan. Priceless. I was amazed Coogan stayed in his seat. I thought he was going to get up and punch the man at one point. Give Paul McMullen his due. He keeps up the defence. But Coogan keeps on knocking his arguments for six.
At the end of the interview, the presenter puts it to McMullan that he is a bit of a tortured soul. Well, that is certainly consistent with McMullen’s harrowing admissions about Denholm Elliott’s daughter on the World at One on Thursday. He concluded:
Yeah, I’d totally humiliated and destroyed her. It wasn’t necessary. She didn’t deserve it. She was having a bad time after her own dad had died, and, yeah, I went a step too far. And it was based on, now, a criminal act, so you’ve got to question in some cases, criminal acts perpetrated by journalists aren’t always justified and in this case it was not. Not only was it not justified ,it was downright wrong – I sincerely regret it, and again, if there was anyone to apologise to, I would, but they’re all dead – mother’s dead, she’s dead, father’s dead. So in any way seeking atonement, I can at least say in this case we were wrong.
Noone left to apologise to. It sounds as though he needs to apologise to himself. In other words, it seems he needs to come to terms with his own conscience, to confess his wrong-doings and start afresh. I can recommend a way forward on that.