Jack Shafer looks back at the July 18 Wall Street Journal editorial that asserted there was no reason to believe that then-publisher Les Hinton knew anything about widespread phone hacking at News of the World. Earlier this week, a 4-year-old letter from “rogue reporter” Clive Goodman surfaced in which he claimed that eavesdropping on voice mails was “widely discussed” in editorial meetings until then-editor Andy Coulson banned such talk. A copy of that letter had been sent to Hinton, who, according to the Guardian, did not forward it to police and told Parliament that Coulson knew nothing of the activity. Shafer writes that he finds it “inconceivable” that Hinton didn’t know what was in that letter. “It was the Journal editorial page that threw down the Hinton gauntlet. Now that there’s new evidence to doubt Hinton, will the editorial page examine it and reconsider its July 18 editorial?”
Related: Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has been ordered to reveal who told him to eavesdrop on the voice mails of six public figures; Reuters reports that News Corp. executives are preparing for what they would do if James Murdoch steps aside, perhaps temporarily.
Earlier: Staci Kramer says the Journal and its staff would have been better off if editorial had been spiked.