December 12th, 2011

Crisis Management, Guardian Style

What does the Guardian do when it gets a story wrong? Not just any story, but one so embellished that it forced the closure of a rival newspaper, yet has now unravelled completely. The detail that sealed the fate of the News of the World was that they had deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemails, leaving her family with false hope. Now the Guardian has conceded that fellow phone-hacker David Leigh’s allegations were way out — the voice-mails were deleted before the Screws, to their shame, went anywhere near the message inbox.

In October Rusbridger told Leveson: “We note with encouragement that, since the start of your inquiry, two other newspaper groups have decided to publish regular corrections and clarifications columns on page 2.” They quietly put their damning retreat out late on Friday night. On page ten…


  1. 1
    a non says:

    2 Rich and Mark cartoons?
    Is it the end of the world

  2. 2
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    Will they pay for the re-incarnation of the NoW?

  3. 3
    from Spain says:

    buenas Dias

  4. 4
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    In the Mail online today ….

    “Police face mounting evidence that they were responsible for inadvertently deleting voicemail messages left for Milly Dowler”.

  5. 5
    english spastic says:

    It is for me! Guido told me to buy bullion and beans and now thanks to the fat woman in Krautland saying nein, nein, nein to printing money, not like the good old British bank of England, me gold is going down faster than a tory mp sieg heiling in a french ski resort and me beans from Tesco have gone off in the tin. Thanks a bunch, guido!

  6. 6
    Sres says:

    Surely all those who lost their jobs at the NOTW should be able to sue the Guardian? Is there not a law that covers this?

  7. 7
    Bricktop says:

    What else would anyone expect from that lot ?

  8. 8
    MrAngry61 says:

    I’d like to see Tom Watson et al apologise, but it’s very unlikely.

  9. 9
    Peter Whale says:

    Guardian!! What do they ever guard. Answer, their own lies.

  10. 10
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    More from the Mail online ….

    But documents submitted as part of a civil case appear to show the defunct Sunday newspaper was not to blame. Instead the messages were probably deleted automatically by her mobile phone provider 72 hours after detectives listened to them.

  11. 11
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    More from the Mail online …

    But documents submitted as part of a civil case app&ar to show the defunct Sunday newspaper was not to blame. Instead the messages were probably deleted automatically by her mobile phone provider 72 hours after detectives listened to them.

    (those veggies again)

  12. 12
    Dick of the Yard says:

    Fuck me! next they’ll be saying they ‘inadvertently’ put seven bullets point blank into a sparky.

  13. 13
    Perse O'Nally says:

    Quite why anyone would read the Grauniad is beyond me.

  14. 14
    Kronos says:

    BBC said on the issue…………sorry we seems to be having some technical difficulties….be right back after this article on polar bears

  15. 15
    EdMiliband says:

    Dowler! Dowler! Dowler!

  16. 16

    Good point.

    They don’t have anyone really wonderful like Johann Hari, do they?

  17. 17
    Juvenal says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  18. 18
    Calamity Clegg says:

    Yooman Rights ?

  19. 19
    Guido the ex-City hotshot's shit economic punditry says:

    Precious Metals Plunge And India’s Industrial Production Crashes

    – not looking good for the mixed race hindu who bangs on about gold. How’s Tata doing? Jaguar sales through the floor. Firesale of Jag in the offing?

    ‘No XKs have been produced at Castle Bromwich for the last three Fridays while production is being cut at the plant in the week before the factory breaks up for Christmas on December 23.

    UK sales of Jaguar cars were down by a third in November to 924 while Land Rover sales were up by virtually the same level to 3,162.’

  20. 20
    The BBC says:

    UK isolated. Cuts. Recession. Strictly come dancing.

  21. 21
    PC Plod, armed response says:

    Sorry. Ran out of ammunition.

  22. 22
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    A guy is walking through town when he realises he desperately needs a shit, but he can’t find a public toilet or any other suitable place. Eventually he hails a taxi and asks the taxidriver to drive around the block a few times.

    By the time the taxidriver discovers the curled, steaming log on his back seat, the guy has paid his fare and disappeared. The taxidriver calls his lawyer and asks what he can do. The lawyer consults a few dusty legal tomes and says:

    “It’s a clear-cut case. If the owner doesn’t contact you within 3 days, it belongs to you.”

  23. 23
    Steve Miliband says:

    was it one rogue reporter?

  24. 24
    Socialists = Sociopaths says:

    Hypocrisy and mendacity – it’s in our D-N-A.

  25. 25
    BillyBob... says:

    The Grauniad is as diabolical as it’s readers…… :)

  26. 26
    Perse O'Nally says:

    Of course it was ‘inadvertent’. They meant to use 8.

  27. 27
    jgm2 says:

    So the Grauniad smears a rival which is forced to shut down due to public hostility.

    They’ll be laughing their tits off about this for a generation.

    It’s how Labour/BBC/Grauniad do business. Smearing the opposition.

    It’s what they do.

  28. 28
    BillyBob... says:

    As the Grauniad would print ‘yo man rites’.

  29. 29
    jgm2 says:

    Why would they apologise? They got exactly what they wanted. More in fact – I bet they can’t believe they got a rival newspaper shut down with their lies.

    It’ll be all the more sweet for them precisely because they got it shut down with lies. To show that being ‘right’ has nothing to do with it. They’ll fuck you up whether you’re in the right or not. You’re just not safe from Labour lies. That’s exactly the message they want to get out there to newspaper editors.

    Don’t you fucking dare question us – look what we did to the NoW.

    They’ll be utterly fucking delighted. The wicked and malicious c*unts.

  30. 30
    Loungelizard says:

    And self satisfied smugness continues to drip from this grubby little publication.

  31. 31
    The BBC says:

    We are giving the nasty Tories a very fair hearing over their disastrous decision to pull us out of the EU

  32. 32
    jgm2 says:

    From ‘Seen Elsewhere’

    It has already emerged that Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator responsible for phone-hacking on an industrial scale, was not commissioned until after March 2002. He has denied being responsible for deleting the messages.

    There are now legal discussions as to whether the fresh evidence should be admitted to the Leveson inquiry.

    I’m betting that the purity of the witch-hunt against News International is such that no fresh evidence that would in any way exonerate it will be permitted.

  33. 33
    Sres says:

    Why the *? :)

  34. 34
    Lord Lucan says:

    Gold is up 24% in the last 12 months you Mong. Bet you had your meagre savings in Greek bonds.

    Anyone who invests in Fiat paper is implicitly trusting the government NOT to scr*w them. Anyone who does that deserves what they get…

  35. 35
    jgm2 says:

    If only they had pulled us out of the EU. Refusing to hand them another 28bn quid a year so they can continue to pretend their fantasy currency works is hardly ‘pulling us out of the EU’.

  36. 36
    Young Person says:

    isolated? That’s a sort of iphone init?

  37. 37
    cheche says:

    Kinnock strangely silent.

    Clegg speaks up to protect his two pensions and wifes £500000 p.a
    Ashdown former High Representative protects his
    Leon Birttan
    Hosts of Libdem Meps

  38. 38
    Coiled Spring says:

    Manchester Evening News: Manchester motorist in foul-mouthed rant at policeman who stopped him on way home from anger management therapy.

    Judge fined the man £50 despite him having previous public order offences including one of attacking somebody. Good old British fucking justice!

  39. 39
    G Belgrano says:

    Buenos Aires

  40. 40
    Durr... says:

    I usually bloody hate Billy’s inane rantings but even I had to laugh at this one.

  41. 41
    Alan Douglas says:

    Being of the left means never having to say you’re sorry.

    Brilliant cartoon above and the R&M today !

    Alan Douglas

  42. 42
    DavidLeigh3 says:

    butbutbutbut this was good journalism.

  43. 43
    Politicians are CUNTS says:

    interesting to see David Laws fronting the government’s case on skynews today – all part of his rehabilitation no doubt – these people are vainglorious in their desire for power and lying and stealing our money …..

  44. 44
    Goddess, Empress, Dictator Frau Merkel says:

    You British will all gain money now because of the naughty Cameron poodle. It won’t be as much with my Cleggy hamster still in place but I will bankrupt you when my Karachi Miliband poodle gains power in 15 years time.

  45. 45
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    The only consolation is that the Guardian will be following the NotW down the crapper in the near future. It loses money hand over fist.

  46. 46
    jgm2 says:

    Saves a fortune on on-line moderation though. If you don’t whole-heartedly agree with whatever idiocy Polly prints then they ban you for good.

    A bit like the BBC in that respect.

    Funny that.

  47. 47
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    The point of reading the Guardian is two fold:

    1 Find out what ludicrous thoughts exist among fringe groups in our society – you know public school educated socialists like Milne or Toynbee or swivel eyed rad fems like Bidisha and Bindel.

    2. Laugh at the hand wringing that goes on every time public opinion makes its voice felt and one of their beloved lefty causes crashes and burns. The wailing over Cameron’s veto has been a joy to behold. I challenge anyone to read Will Hutton’s column yesterday without collapsing in gales of laughter.

  48. 48
    Anonymous says:

    David Leigh’s hypocrisy is beyond belief. He is proud that he cheated and stole stories recovered from dustbins and used them. He boasts that he was congratulated by Nick Davies for getting the information without paying for it.

    He then claims that he did not want to commission Pell (by paying him) and encourage Pell to recover more stories from dustbins, but asked Pell to give him sight of the information retrieved, just in case there was something important. He stole from the thief!

    He is no better than any of the NOTW journalists who at least did pay for the information.

  49. 49
    P. Doff says:

    Dos huevos!

  50. 50
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Mahzer Mahmood appearing at Leveson enquiry in camera. Why? There are loads of pictures of him on Google images. Am I missing something?

  51. 51
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Comment 10:51 re Leve son enquiry moderated. Oh dear what ever happened to free speech?

  52. 52
    Where's the kids? says:

  53. 53
    Get your own blog if you don't like it. says:

    Why would you expect free speech on someone elses blog?

  54. 54
    I don't need no doctor says:

    What have Ed Miliband and Tom Watson got to say? Miliband has the curse of Brown, everything he touches turns to manure.

  55. 55
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Because I do!

  56. 56
    Anonymous says:

    The part I don’t understand about this is that the NOTW must have known that they hadn’t deleted Milly’s voicemails so why weren’t they shouting it from the rooftops?

    By all means cop to hacking the phone but why keep schtum about the much worse crime in most people’s eyes – deleting her messages and giving her family false hope. A bad hand played badly – were they being advised by Cameron?

  57. 57
    BBC says:

    On reflection, we won’t be pursuing this line. We are far too busy covering Cameron’s deeply unpopular isolating move in Europe anyway.

  58. 58
    jgm2 says:

    She’s there at the same time as Alex Salmond.

    China’s (and Salmond’s) divide-and-conquer strategy continues apace.

  59. 59
    Anonymous Misogynist says:

    Buenos días,
    evidentemente, no entiendes lo masculino y lo femenino, pero no hay problema.

  60. 60
    Anon says:

    It’s a solar-powered cuddly toy.


    I’ll be off. Sorry.

  61. 61
    For King and Country says:

    Is it just me?

    Over the last 48 hours or so I have become aware of people saying we must put Europe first or other phrases that mean the same.

    No we must not.

    I can just about see why Clegg has a jaundiced view about Britain and Rose tinted dreams on Europe as he is not actually British. But no way should we sacrifice our country for the greater European good.

    The very thought of putting Europe before country makes me feel sick.

    Isn’t it about time the Queen said something on this subject?

  62. 62
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    Will barosso be sending out feelers to salmon, lapping him up and making him feel important (like they did with gordroon Mc Nasty) offering him ‘whatever’ it is he desires to get him to split, then sign up to euland?

    Thereby giving barosso and the other evil fucks in the eu ssr a back door (so to speak) to England.

  63. 63
    Polythesis says:

    The BBC gave the Dowler accusations full on prime time maximum exposure as they pimped off these smears without hesitation.

    The Leveson show trial also piled in with Twatson shouting it from the roof tops, heard nothing from the BBC so far, alls fair in love and war eh?

  64. 64
    Edward. says:

    Never let the truth get in the way of a [guardian] story.

  65. 65
    Observing says:

    Why do I have to come galloping along like the cavalry to save the better commenters on here like yourself.

    The NoW accessed the voice mail of this poor girl, they acted with no thought about the investigation. It now looks like there was no direct effect but it wasn’t for want of trying by these scum, was it?

    Look at their intent to get a money making story at any cost, their blatant disregard for Milly Dowler, and tell me why Glenn Mulcaire is not sharing a cell with Levi Bellfield now.

  66. 66
    Widescreen2010 says:

    This is just silly, and a bit feeble.
    It wasn’t the Grauniad that shut the NoTW.
    As if the Murdochs would run scared of (apparently unfounded) Guardian claims.
    They knew what they were doing when they shut the door and gave huge payoffs to the guilty.

  67. 67
    Passing Thought says:

    Make your way to the naughty step at once!

  68. 68
    Drop a daisy cutter on the BBC says:

    Friday night, I would have thought most Guardianistas would be out doing their weekend bumming and drug taking?

    Have you never seen Brighton on a Friday?

  69. 69
    Widescreen2010 says:


  70. 70
    License-fee dodger says:

    This is why some of us refuse to fund the dreadful organisation.

  71. 71
    rocknrolla says:

    Personally I won’t believe gold’s bubble is going to burst until I read in the newspaper that Gordon Brown has just invested his life savings in it – then expect a crash within 24 hours.

  72. 72
    Widescreen2010 says:

    I must admit that I don’t.
    But when I have looked inside, I found the Business section was better informed and more interesting than the now-feeble Torygraph or Times.
    I was amazed.

  73. 73
    a non says:


  74. 74
    Observing says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Cameron cutting the public sector careers ads from the Guardian yet though.

  75. 75
    rocknrolla says:

    So will Ed Miliband be jumping on this bandwagon with full BBC support?

    Or is he going to confine himself to arguing that we should have our budget set by the Germans?

  76. 76
    Hugh Janus says:


  77. 77
    Displaced Brummie says:

    So, Leigh, Rushbridger to resign? Or will Auto Trader/Guardian Media close down its discredited newspaper, just like News International did?

  78. 78
    jgm2 says:

    Because at that point Murdoch couldn’t trust anything he was being told by his editors or reporters. It was entirely possible, as far as he was concerned, that these allegations were true. After all, he’d no doubt been assured by Brookes in the past that this was the end of it.

    And Brookes probably couldn’t be sure they weren’t because of the possibility of being lied to, in her turn, by her reporters and they couldn’t be sure they weren’t true because, well, would you trust what these private detectives would tell you – knowing that if they did tell you the allegations were true it would be tantamount to asking for another few years in jail?

    They’d managed to get themselves into a position whereby they had no way of knowing whether it was true or not because they couldn’t trust anybody because they knew everybody would say whatever was necessary to stay out of jail.

  79. 79
    bent as a nine bob says:

    Bit harsh.

    I love David Laws and wish that we taxpayers had the chance to subsidise his bumboy.

    Is there any way that this can be arranged?

  80. 80
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Auto mod delays posts, it doesn’t stop them entirely, unless this is confirmed by the blog owner.

  81. 81
    jgm2 says:

    You’re quite right of course. The allegations of deleting voice-mails were just the icing on the cake. They had no business at all accessing the voice-mails of a missing teenager and would have been villified enough for that. And rightly so.

  82. 82
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Leigh is worse.

  83. 83
    Lord Jensen Interceptor says:

    Jags are expensive, automotive junk. If you buy one and it gets you to the end of your driveway before the water pump/front suspension/variable valve timing/seat carcass fail then it is because you are coasting with the engine switched off.

  84. 84
    jgm2 says:

    A public sector hiring freeze would have the same effect without overtly targeting a politically hostile newspaper. I thought we had a hiring freeze on.

    I guess we don’t.

  85. 85
    Lord Jensen Interceptor says:

    Dos cervezas.

  86. 86
    I didn't read it actually but, says:

    Indeed. The Murdochs now have complete justification for re-opening their vintage, venerable and best-selling ‘news’paper. Bring it on!!

  87. 87
    Hi sailors! says:

    Are these those naughty Spanish practices we keep hearing so much about?

  88. 88
    ex-Tory says:

    News International paid out £2m to the Dowlers and their nominated charities. They should now sue the Guardian. This might be the tipping point to push the champagne socialist rag into folding.

  89. 89
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    No, but it sounds like you enjoy yourself there.

  90. 90
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    I’m sure they’re arranging brown-nose envelopes for him even as we speak.

  91. 91
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Let’s get this straight: the copper was on the way home from anger management therapy and the motorist swore at him?

  92. 92
    Equal Opportunity Juvenal says:

    mens – and of course womens – sana in corpore sano

  93. 93
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Absolutely nothing about this on the BBC News so far, just as you would expect.

    Absolutely nothing on the BBC about Labour involvement in the RBS fiasco, just as you would expect.

  94. 94
    Teach says:

    Off the story, but Guardian associated, did anyone else see (paragraph 5) that the dumb fucks can’t even spell the name of one of the most famous landmarks in the country correctly?…I’d shut them down for that alone…

  95. 95
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    The BBC gave the story nationwide legitimacy and publicity. But will they be held to account in any way for what they did? You bet they won’t. There should be an inquiry into the BBC’s news department – our money paid for them to disseminate the Guardian’s lies as truth and kept the story going for weeks on end.

  96. 96
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    That is probably because most of them don’t even know what happened at Trafalgar or where it is. They don’t ‘do’ British triumphs, you know. They’re all part of our evil past.

  97. 97
    anonymous says:


  98. 98
    Jimmy says:

    So the Srcews can re-open then?

  99. 99
    Really? says:

    I challenge anyone to read Will Hutton’s column yesterday .

  100. 100
    Anony Mong says:

    I wonder if the Dowlers will return the money seeing that it was the Police that offended them… nah.. that would require integrity and it’s Christmas after all. Argos here we come!

  101. 101
    Divine Sarah says:

    Guardian’s alleged Milly Dowler mistake “forced the closure” of the NOW? See what you did there?

  102. 102
    Hi sailors! says:

    Can we close the borders so they can’t get back in again?

  103. 103
    I R Flunkey says:

    Like ‘More tea, dear”?

  104. 104
    THe real Fake Sheikh says:


  105. 105
    Comment is Moderated says:

    The Grauniad website has a dedicated Leveson page, with about 20 stories; not one of of them links to an apology to the NotW. If it’s there at all, it’s buried in a link from a link from a link.

  106. 106
    The real Fake Sheikh says:

    Healthy person, you problem is those veggies again. the word you seek is spelt “app*aring”.

    Try it next time and you will be succesful

  107. 107
    James Finn says:

    So the entire hacking case against NOTW was dependent on the deleted emails was it?

    Just hacking the voicemail of Millie Dowler (quite apart from the thousands of others) was enough to justify the paper’s closure. Given the widespread practice of hacking, it’s quite understandable to think that the NOTW was responsible for the deletion.

    There’s no way Murdoch would have closed NOTW if there was nothing to hide. Besides, he’ll just replace it with a Sun on Sunday when the time is right.

  108. 108
    Fake Blood says:

    Grauniad turn out to be inaccurate, agit-prop retailing lying shits? No surprise here.

  109. 109
    Anonymous says:

    same paper 2wks ago, Ex cop ,Bus driver beats up old man cyclist, but keeps job on buses because he would lose his home.

  110. 110

    Not only that, JGM2, but public disgust at the allegations, and the BBC/
    Guardian axis pushing those lies on every news bulletin, plus the gimp shyster Mark Lewis pushing this line on behalf of his paymaster Max Moseley at every opportunity, then whatever denials News International could have made would have made them look even more callous and shifty.

    The Millie Dowler phone hacking allegation hit a nerve with the public – as it was intended to – in order to blacken the Murdochs and their news empire. Let it not be forgotten that the proposed takeover of BSkyB was still in the pipeline at the time the initial allegation was made.

    Nothing the Murdochs could have done or said in mitigation would have worked for them. It probably made sense at the time that the allegations were so disgusting that their advisors probably told them take it on the chin and apologise, even though, as it now transpires, their staff were totally innocent of this specific charge.

  111. 111
    Alex says:

    No chance – their offshore investments and legitimate tax avoidance will ensure they live to fight another day.

  112. 112
    PC DILDO-TWAT says:

    S’not fair, there’s too many switches and stuff on me gun, i get confused.

  113. 113
    Rob says:

    Absolutely terrible. I’m incandescent with rage that such a beacon of truth and justice was brought down by horrible murky tactics.

  114. 114
    Anonymous says:

    Will the Dowlers now pay back the disgusting amount of money they took from the news of the world ?

  115. 115
    Anonymous says:

    what does she know about global health ? wasnt she in PR before she married Gordon.

  116. 116
    Anonymous says:

    I agree, accepting that money was a disgrace.

  117. 117
    Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t wipe my arse on that scummy commie rag

Media Reader

Page 3 and the Art of the Self-Pity Statement | Guardian
Here is What a 7 Way Debate Sounds Like | BBC
Poll: Sun Readers Want Page 3 to Stay | Business Insider
The Sun: An Apology | Press Gazette
More Women Prosecuted For Telly Tax | Mail
Je Suis Page 3 | Toby Young
Page 3 Website Enjoys Huge Surge in Traffic | Media Guardian
No One Was Ever Forced to Read Page 3 | Will Walter
Why is Roy Greenslade Doing Labour’s Dirty Work? | Peter Oborne
Today’s Actual Sun Page 3 | Media Guido
Has the Sun Scrapped Page 3? | Guardian

Find out more about PLMR AD-MS

IMF chief Christine Lagarde says Saudi King Abdullah was strong advocate of women “in a very discreet way”.

Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:


AddThis Feed Button

Guido Reads

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,715 other followers