"Amazing," senior reporters whispered to themselves. "Extraordinarily hilarious", Chris Bryant said afterwards. What started as a setpiece example of MPs' hostility had quickly descended, unexpectedly and absurdly, into farce.
Are the Metropolitan Police "evasive, dishonest or lethargic" - or perhaps all three? What surprised me during yesterday's Commons debate about phone hacking was how little faith the people who make our laws seem to have in the people who enforce them.