Friday, July 18, 2003

I wasn't paying much attention to the BBC versus the British Government row so waking up to the news of Dr. David Kelly's death was a shock.

Speculation is bound to run wild over the next several days. It's hard to know what to think. The implications are pretty ominous.The tragedy here strikes me as being threefold
--the death of a man caught in a battle over credibility.
--the fact that a search for a larger truth turned into an exercise in scapegoating.
--the fact that politics has become more important than truth.

This piece does a good job of summing all this up.

In the light of what has happened, BBC journalists may be asking themselves whether they should have behaved differently. It is hard to see how. The nature of their investigation goes to the heart of how a free press should operate independently and in the public interest.

The government, however, cannot be let off the hook. It has demonstrated a profound contempt for the most basic conventions governing relationships between press and politicians. It is possible that, as a result, a man has died.

As a price to pay in the battle for political survival, that is unforgiveable.

UPDATE: Josh makes a reasonable point that Kelly's death was likely a suicide. In a less surreal world I might agree.

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