"When 77% of the country can access the pictures online, we have a duty to those left out to allow them to take part in the national conversation," the Sun opined after printing intimate snaps of a royal in flagrante. Not the Duchess of Cambridge, obviously.
Watching her Sun rival Dominic Mohan's light basting at Leveson on Monday Daily Star editor Dawn Neesom must have strode into the Royal Courts of Justice filled with clicking-heeled confidence. Yet, unfortunately for her (if less so for us observers) Thursday was the day Robert Jay QC, the inquiry counsel, discovered he'd been driving with the handbrake on.
You can see the headline now: "Shocking sex secrets Europe doesn't want you to know." The Daily Mail snarling at "meddling Euro judges", The Sun claiming Max Mosley had left free speech "bound and gagged". But it was not to be. Armageddon had been avoided, or so we are led to believe.
It is an interesting quirk of the English legal system that you can't libel the dead. Very handy if you're a tabloid news editor, at say, the Sun, and you publish an article about 23-year-old Julian Brooker from Brighton becoming a "human fireball" after touching a railway line while crawling around pretending to be Gollum from Lord of the Rings.