A tame establishment inquiry failed to tackle the daily poison emitted by the gutter press today.
Lord Justice Leveson produced a feeble report which let the press, politicians and police off the hook.
Tory MPs cheered Prime Minister David Cameron as he welcomed Leveson's finding that there was nothing resembling a deal whereby support for the government by Murdoch's News International was traded in exchange for favours.
They cheered again when Mr Cameron boasted that the inquiry could find "no credible evidence of actual bias" in favour of Murdoch by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The Leveson inquiry was set up amid the phone hacking scandal, tasked with investigating the culture, practices and ethics of the press alongside its relationships with politicians and the police.
Mr Leveson declared: "I have not seen any evidence to suggest that corruption by the press is a widespread problem in relation to the police."
He did find evidence that government and opposition political parties had "developed too close a relationship with the press."
But he added that "the overwhelming evidence is that relations on a day-to-day basis are in robust good health."
Mr Leveson was assisted by a panel of five carefully-selected Establishment figures, plus sixth member Shami Chakrabarti, the left-of-centre director of Liberty.
The central recommendation of his verbose 2,000-page report was to set up a new independent body to regulate the press, backed by parliamentary legislation.
The judge admitted that failures of existing self-regulation had "damaged the public interest, caused real hardship and on occasion wreaked havoc in the lives of ordinary people."
This new regulatory body should be "truly independent of industry leaders, and of government and politicians," he said.
A spat developed between coalition partners Mr Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg over how to replace the failed system of voluntary self-regulation via the Press Complaints Commission.
Mr Cameron warmly welcomed the report, but rejected the idea of imposing a new law.
This would "cross the Rubicon of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land," he argued.
But Mr Clegg stood up in Parliament to strongly support Leveson's proposal. And Labour leader Ed Miliband adopted a similar stance, declaring: "We should put our trust in Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations."
The three party leaders last night began cross-party talks.
Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths commented: "It is no surprise that a panel stuffed with Establishment figures misses the main point.
"Britain has a monopoly press. We need measures to ensure that the mass media reflect our society, with more diverse ownership and fair coverage of the trade unions and the political left."
Mr Cameron confirmed that a second part of the inquiry on the press and the police would commence once current criminal proceedings were completed. Among those facing charges of conspiracy are the Prime Minister's friend and neighbour Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International, and his former spin doctor Andy Coulson.
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