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Careful When Shooting the Messenger

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In May 2009, The Daily Telegraph set off a political storm in Britain when it detailed widespread expense-account abuse by members of Parliament. Among the claims: £1,645, or $2,547, for a floating duck house in one lawmaker’s garden.

The reports were based on a leak, in the form of a stolen computer disk that The Telegraph obtained from a disgruntled public-sector employee, reportedly in exchange for a fee.

At first, the British political establishment was nearly unanimous in its condemnation of the newspaper. There was talk of prosecuting The Telegraph, and government lawyers boned up on the Official Secrets Act.

From The New York Times
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