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?


    • 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?


    • 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!!


      • 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.


    • 101
      Divine Sarah says:

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


    • 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.


  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. 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?


    • 18
      Calamity Clegg says:

      Yooman Rights ?


    • 28
      BillyBob... says:

      As the Grauniad would print ‘yo man rites’.


    • 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.


    • 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.


  6. 7
    Bricktop says:

    What else would anyone expect from that lot ?


  7. 8
    MrAngry61 says:

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


    • 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.


      • 33
        Sres says:

        Why the *? :)


      • 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
          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.


    • 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?


      • 69
        Widescreen2010 says:



      • 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.


        • 97
          anonymous says:



        • 110
          CYNICAL OLD MAN says:

          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.


  8. 9
    Peter Whale says:

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


  9. 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.


  10. 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)


  11. 13
    Perse O'Nally says:

    Quite why anyone would read the Grauniad is beyond me.


    • 16

      Good point.

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


    • 25
      BillyBob... says:

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


    • 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.


    • 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.


  12. 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


  13. 15
    EdMiliband says:

    Dowler! Dowler! Dowler!


  14. 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.”


  15. 23
    Steve Miliband says:

    was it one rogue reporter?


  16. 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.


    • 30
      Loungelizard says:

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


    • 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


      • 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’.


  17. 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.


    • 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.


      • 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.


  18. 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


  19. 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!


    • 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?


    • 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.


  20. 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


  21. 42
    DavidLeigh3 says:

    butbutbutbut this was good journalism.


  22. 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 …..


    • 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?


  23. 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.


  24. 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?


  25. 52
    Where's the kids? says:


  26. 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.


  27. 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?


  28. 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?


    • 70
      License-fee dodger says:

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


    • 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.


  29. 64
    Edward. says:

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


  30. 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?


  31. 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?


  32. 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.


    • 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!


    • 111
      Alex says:

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


  33. 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…


    • 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.


  34. 98
    Jimmy says:

    So the Srcews can re-open then?


  35. 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.


  36. 108
    Fake Blood says:

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


  37. 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.


  38. 117
    Anonymous says:

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


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