When you've been untouchable and all powerful and have successfully fought off seven previous government attempts to put an end to press abuse, you don't give your power up lightly. So the announcement that three newspaper groups have "rejected" the Royal Charter, recently agreed by a united House of Commons, is not surprising.
The problem now for Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre and the Barclay brothers, who between them control most of the British press, is that the British public have got their number. Most people now know what's been going on and they don't like it. Until recently, Murdoch controlled the government and, disgracefully, sections of the police. At the same time, he and his UK employees repeatedly told us that phone hacking had involved only one rogue reporter. Newscorp, he said, had "zero tolerance" of wrongdoing. We now know that was untrue.