Case: Rex vs Mister Beaver Hateman, Criminal Libel
Presiding Judge: Sir George Jeffreys
Counsel for the Prosecution: Godfrey Badger K.C.
Counsel for the Defence: Mister Hootman G.H.O.S.T
Judge Jeffreys: Mister Hootman, who is your next witness?
Mr Hootman: I would like to call Mister Hitmouse, m’lud.
Mr Hitmouse is sworn using a copy of Das Kapital.
Mr Hootman: You are Mister Hitmouse, Chief Reporter of the Badfort News?
Mr Hitmouse: Yep that’s me, intrepid, undercover, campaigning journalist – seeker of the truth.
Mr Hootman: Quite so, and on March the Fifth of this year you printed an expose of Uncle?
Mr Hitmouse: Yes, we printed the truth of the events that had taken place in Uncle’s Treasury – the attack upon my fellow comrades.
Mr Hootman: A carefully researched piece?
Mr Hitmouse: Mine is a noble calling. I am a valiant for truth untainted and undeflected by an otherwise corrupt society. The truth shall out – the people shall be told.
Mr Hootman: Indeed, now much has been made of the skewers found in the bucket at the Museum where the dressing gown is alleged to have been stolen. Do you own many skewers, Mister Hitmouse?
Mr Hitmouse: I have a few…I am a genial man, and I often like to host barbecues for my comrades….they are very fond of kebabs…
Mr Hootman: But you would never consider them as a weapon?
Mr Hitmouse: I am not a man of violence, Sir.
Mr Hootman, Thank you, Mister Hitmouse, no more questions.
Judge Jeffreys: Your witness, Mister Badger.
Mr Badger: (holds up Badfort News of March the Fifth) Powerful stuff. Or it might be it was true. In fact, none of the contents stand up to scrutiny. One of the basic rules of journalism is to get both sides of the story before running a report. Mister Hootman, Did you speak to Uncle or any of his followers before submitting this article?
Mr Hitmouse: Of course not, what would be the point? He runs a regime of the bourgeoisie and his followers cow-tow to him. You will not get the truth from them.
Mr Badger: I put it to you that unable to muster serious arguments, you resorted instead to distortions, amalgams and ad hominem attacks.
Mr Hitmouse: How dare you! The Badfort News is the voice of the people.
Mr Badger: The voice of you and your cronies you mean! Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury to call them an organization is perhaps giving them too much credit. I doubt they have enough people to fill a telephone booth. They’re a very small sectarian political outfit based Badfort.
Mr Hitmouse: We represent the underclass, fighting to overthrow a vicious…
Mr Badger: Mister Hitmouse, with this sensationalist piece you have managed to take journalism out of the gutter and into the sewer…
Mr Hitmouse: Why you…
(at this point Mister Hitmouse appeared to draw a long thin piece of metal from under his sackcloth robes)
Mr Badger: Nice weather for a barbecue, Mister Hitmouse?
Mister Hootman: If my learned friend has finished can Mister Hitmouse please leave the witness box?
(Mister Hootman, holding Mister Hitmouse very tightly, helped him from the witness box)
Judge Jeffrey: Yes, very well, is he alright?... he has gone very red.
Mister Hootman: Just the heat, M’lud…
Judge Jeffrey: I think that this would be an opportune time to adjourn for the day.