The imagination has been working overtime. I even dreamed that the Government was launching equally intensive inquiries into the working practices of lawyers, plumbers, accountants, football managers and agents, garages, public relations officers, company directors, estate agents and police officers ...
Lord Justice Leveson comes down heavily on the side of press freedom in a draft of his report seen by Salut!
"I will not be railroaded into making the excesses of a minority of journalists, mostly following practices existing before they began working for the publications concerned, an excuse for yet more restrictions," he says in a foreword to a 10 million page report on his inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press.
Among the key recommendations, Lord Leveson calls for the creation of new criminal offences of lying to or misleading the press.
Police, ministries, other central and local public authorities, companies and indeed any body or person to whom a journalist poses a question would, for the first time, be expected to answer truthfully.
There would be no public interest defence for lying.
However, a panel drawn equally from public bodies and the media, with a rotating chairmanship carrying powers to issue the casting vote in the case of a tie, would decide on claims of justification for the lesser offence of responding to questions in misleading rather than downright dishonest fashion.
Lord Leveson envisages severe penalties for those convicted on the more serious charge of lying. But even misleading journalists would bring the possibility of imprisonment in the worst cases. People would still have the right to refuse to comment when approached by the media but would, in such cases, have no recourse to the law if they objected to what was then published.
Police forces, government ministers, councils and a wide range of public figures, from film stars to business leaders, expressed anger and disbelief at the proposals.
''This strikes at the heart of our cherished traditions," said one top Scotland Yard commander.
"He cannot have thought through the consequences. Now, these irritating hacks will be able to ask all sorts of important - sorry, I meant impertinent - questions in the knowledge that we cannot respond as in the past."
Lord Leveson states that the panel formed to judge claims that reporters were misled for good reason should also rule on whether, in each case, sufficient time was given for a proper response. Every public body, registered business and publicist - including those working for pop stars, actors, sportsmen and others considered public figures - would be required to provide a new central media body with full, reliable contact details.
Courts will also be affected if the Government accepts the draft report's recommendations. Any document or image discussed in open criminal or civil proceedings would be available on demand to journalists present in court.
Any organisation, for example a theatre or football club, that withdrew press facilities from individuals or the media as a whole without good cause would also be liable to sanctions. Again, the panel would decide in the case of a dispute.
Aggrieved individuals and bodies would have statutory right of reply though the damages awarded in the event of successful legal proceedings for defamation would be strictly limited to proven losses. In another extraordinary break with custom, defendants in such cases would enjoy the same presumption of innocence accorded to the accused in criminal trials.
No member of the press would face sanctions for protecting confidential sources. Journalists would, however, continue to be accountable in law for phone-hacking, bribing public officials and other criminal offences, although - underlining Lord Leveson's pro-freedom approach - they would be permitted to advance public interest defences.
The Press Complaints Commission would be replaced by a body with greater powers, including the right to award compensation in cases where ordinary people suffered unjustifiable invasion of privacy. There would, however, be significant exemptions to ensure that news organisations were able to perform their duty to report major events properly, and selling a story to one publication or broadcaster would deprive public figures of the right to complain when others published comparable information.
Late last night, after Salut! had gone to press, the so-called draft report was revealed to have been an elaborate hoax.