But Kavanagh's lengthy column managed to avoid naming to the Sun's readers a potential offence among those being investigated â€“ bribery of police officers.
Indeed. And I love the way the Guardian has stepped back from driving the hackgate revelations to keep the whole mery go round whirling with a few swift stiletto jabs. Anyway, as David Leigh makes clear itâ€™s not a case of victims being treated like criminals, but of alleged criminals becoming victims of circumstances they did their best to help create. Item:
The Sun has always stood for the freedom of the entrepreneur to do as he sees fit with his own companies. What the entrepreneur sees fit to do in this case is to make an example of what he wishes others to believe is a rogue operation within his company.
The Sun has also been a tool for its parent companyâ€™s wider business interests, whether expressed through its political â€˜reportingâ€™, its relentless cross-promotion of Sky or its attacks on the bosses competitors. It is now in the interests of the wider business to serve the Sun up on a plate.
The Sun has always stood for robust policing. Until, apparently, it was applied to its own hacks. Additionally, the Sun likes spectacular policing, of the kind that provides good copy and that demonstrates Something Is Being Done. Something like a multiple dawn raid pile in, for instance.
The Sun has always believed in the American alliance. Now itâ€™s finding out in microvcosm the truth of Bismarckâ€™s remark that every alliance consists of two partners: a stronger one and a weaker one.
The actual circumstances of the raid on the Sunâ€™s hacks may be up for debate. I think theyâ€™re pretty standard for todayâ€™s exciting world of high profile send a message coppering, but that may be because Iâ€™m a bit too used to living in the kind of authoritarian pro-business society that the Sun has always campaigned for. This is also why Iâ€™m a bit baffled by the people who seem to think that weâ€™ll â€˜lose somethingâ€™ when it goes. 'What will remain' is the problem.
More generally, it does look like the Sun is done for. Apart from the fact that if the arrests continue its going to have difficulty getting out a paper thereâ€™s also the fact that no public official will want to talk to the paper right now: it makes them look dodgy. And those channels are what it needs to influence policy. Without them, itâ€™s just a shit sheet like the Star.