Ex-tabloid editor MacKenzie ruffles feathers

Former The Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie clashed with delegates at the Charity Communications '08 conference after arguing that one could never put a positive spin on a story involving a paedophile.

MacKenzie: bullish
MacKenzie: bullish

In his speech, the bullish MacKenzie advised delegates to judge coverage by volume, not content. He said: 'There is no such thing as bad publicity - ask Jeffrey Archer. Unless, of course, you're a paedophile. I think that's probably the area where publicity is not helpful.'

But during the question- and-answer session, a delegate told him that her charity worked with paedophiles. As the charity helped to protect children, was there not any opportunity to garner positive coverage?

'No. Next,' he said, before adding: 'Are you serious - there's a paedophile charity?'

A number of delegates were visibly infuriated as they tried to explain what the charity actually did, but MacKenzie stuck to his guns.

'There may be an argument, but I'm not going to progress it,' he said. 'Why don't you try The Independent - there are probably a few (positive stories) in there'.

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