"I do not control the editorial approach of the tabloids, and sometimes stories run in ways that completely bemuse me and are certainly beyond any expectations." So blurts Chris Grayling Tory Employment Minister in Sunday's Observer.
And nor should politicians control the editorial approach of tabloids; just as newspaper barons should not control the policy of political parties.
But then, nobody is asking Grayling or Duncan-Smith to control or dictate the editorial running of newspapers. No, what we expect politicians to do is to protect the interests of all its citizens. In relation to newspapers, I expect politicians to counter untruths or distortions against groups within society.
There is a great difference between an MP or Minister in the know dispelling a piece of sensationalist journalism and interfering with the freedom of the press. They'd be quick to defend themselves against scurrilous and distorted reporting. Isn't it only right and proper that they also defend the people they're charged to govern with the same degree of self-interest!