The editor of the London Times is very, very sorry about one of his reporters hacking a detective's email; in fact, a lot of people took turns apologizing on Tuesday at the UK Leveson inquiry into media ethics.
First the police apologized for not telling people they might have been hacked, then a press regulator apologized for downplaying phone-hacking claims reported years ago by The Guardian. Then, as the BBC reports, it was James Harding's turn. The editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times said he "sorely regretted" one of his journalists hacking into the email account of a police officer to try to unmask Richard Horton, the detective as the anonymous, award-winning NightJack blog. Harding took responsibility for the hack, saying, "as editor of the paper I'm responsible for what it does and what its journalists do." But then he sort of shirked that responsibility, saying he didn't know about it because the writer worked with other editors on the story: "I would have said that the intrusion was not warranted in the public interest. But he didn't come to me." All the same though, Harding is very, very sorry. He's like a modern-day Edward the Penitent: