Introducing himself and his organisation to the Leveson Inquiry:
"First of all, I employ an immensely diverse range of journalists. We invest, at Associated, in quality journalism. It's our philosophy."
Discussing why an increasing amount that journalism appears to be attributed to 'Daily Mail Reporter':
"That's a practice common to all newspapers...if a story ...came in from an agency ...the Daily Mail reporter might change some of it."
When asked whether the Mail preys upon its readers' "fears and prejudices":
""Anxieties" rather than "prejudices", is the word I'd use..."
On making corrections online...
"The beauty of the Mail Online is that it doesn't have to carry many apologies because it corrects things instantly. It gets the complaint and changes it immediately..."
At this point Dacre even clicked his fingers as if to emphasise the immediacy - despite some recent evidence to the contrary.
"I categorically dispute... that we adopt an irresponsible attitude to medical or science stories..."
When asked to detail his proposal for a "kite mark for ethical and proper journalism":
"The key would be to make the cards available only to members of print news-gathering organisations or magazines who have signed up to the new body and its code...
This obviously self-serving recommendation would effectively take out much of the Mail's competition:
"There would... be universal agreement that briefings and press conferences by government bodies, local authorities and the police, access to sporting, royal and celebrity events, material from the BBC and ITV, and information from medical and scientific bodies would only, only be given to accredited journalists."
But the moment many people were waiting for was when discussion moved to the Mail's controversial stable of columnists and Dacre was asked about the backlash against Jan Moir's now infamous Stephen Gately article and the huge number of complaints received:
"You keep using the phrase "a lot of people" complained about this. You realise that these are all online complaints and this is an example of how tweetering can create a firestorm within hours. A well-known celebrity, who admitted he hadn't read the article, said it was unpleasant. It was then tweeted to other people who retweeted and we had a viral storm. Most of those people conceded they hadn't read the piece. That's where the 25,000 comes from..."
Dacre's entirely unsupported claim that "most of those people conceded they hadn't read the piece" was no less remarkable than his allusion to a modus operandi the Mail has made its own in recent years. After all, in 2008, more than 38,000 people complained about Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's offensive phone call to Andrew Sachs but only once the Mail had successfully whipped up a storm more than a week after it was initially broadcast.
Dacre went on to claim:
"I'd die in a ditch to defend a columnist to have her views, and I can tell this Inquiry there isn't a homophobic bone in Jan Moir's body."
But when pressed further on Moir's article, Dacre did admit:
"...the piece could have benefited from judicious subbing."
And speaking of massive understatement, when suggested he might not be keen to return for further inquisition, Dacre rounded off a very awkward, uncomfortable performance with the words:
"That's the understatement of the year, your Honour."