Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hacked Off Seek EU Diktat to Force Through New Press Laws
Watson Backs Brussels Directive on Media Ownership

After Sajid Javid signalled that he wanted to put the issue of press regulation “to bed”, Hacked Off last night called for an EU directive to force through new laws and overrule the Culture Secretary. Evan Harris and Natalie Fenton, two of the group’s directors, endorsed a new campaign aiming to secure a petition of one million signatures and seek a diktat from Brussels to set limits on media ownership at a European level.

The campaign, which has the somewhat sinister name ‘Reclaim the Media’, is backed by the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the National Union of Journalists, the Trades Union Council and Labour’s Tom Watson, who was due to chair last night’s meeting but failed to attend after he was “unavoidably detained in his constituency”Evan Harris’ face told you everything you need to know about the prospects for Hacked Off’s latest doomed venture…

Click to enlarge.

MediaGuido was particularly interested by a series of graphs provided at the meeting. Reclaim the Media’s campaign for plurality focuses on the Murdoch and Rothermere titles, despite their own evidence showing that it is actually the BBC that enjoys unrivalled dominance in the news industry. Confused Labour MP John McDonnell suggested the motives were personal: “there are thousands of asylum seekers locked up because the government is pandering to the racism of the Daily Mail”, adding that MPs were “petrified by the bucket of sh*t that The Sun pours on you”. Yet according to their own evidence it isn’t the Mail or the Sun that threaten press plurality, it is the BBC…

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

News International Rebrands as News UK

It’s not just editorial changes at all the papers at Wapping, now News International itself is no more. This morning it became News UK, apparently so named to reflect Murdoch’s “ongoing commitment” to the UK.

Which will upset the haters…

Friday, February 8, 2013

EU Lefties Trying to Ban Murdoch, Axel Springer and Berlusconi

You would never have guessed the European Initiative for Media Pluralism was a nefarious group of press-hating leftist Leveson-lovers from their name, would you? The EU’s version of Hacked Off is trying to have a directive passed by the European Commission that would have a drastic impact on media moguls. They are demanding:

  1. Effective legislation to avoid concentration of ownership in the media and advertisement sectors;
  2. Guaranteed independence of supervisory bodies, with a politically and culturally balanced and socially diverse membership;
  3. Definition of conflict of interests with media ownership;
  4. Broadcast, print and online media should be required to submit to a national media authority sufficient ownership information to allow identification of the beneficial and ultimate owners of media outlets.

Of course Hugh Grant is involved, meeting here with Neelie Kroes, the European Commission’s ‘Big Sister':

Germany’s Axel Springer media group reaches 52% of the population via Bild alone, Berlusconi in Italy owns 3 out of 7 broadcast channels. Their real goal is betrayed in the ‘about’ section of their website: “Some, notably the UK, suffer from problems of excessive concentration leading to undue influence of certain economic groups, notably Murdoch’s media empire, over political processes”. Arguably Berlusconi’s media empire has more influence over political processes.  By coincidence all three media groups are, to varying degrees, right-of-centre and sceptical of Brussels…

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Murdoch Plans 7 Day Times

7-day-times

The editor of The Times, James Harding, resigned after becoming aware that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of Rupert Murdoch. John Witherow, the long-serving editor of The Sunday Times, is the front-runner to be appointed editor of The Times. News Corporation is reported to have taken legal advice on whether it could merge the two newspapers into a more economic seven-day operation. During the Harding era broadsheet newspaper circulations have collapsed:

circulation-falls

rupert-murdochWhen he bought the paper in 1981 Rupert Murdoch gave an undertaking “to preserve the separate identities of The Times and The Sunday Times.” Given that The Times is losing nearly a million pounds a week that is an undertaking that is no longer viable in the digital age. In the circumstances the government is unlikely to stand in the way of a rationalisation of the papers into a 7-day operation, like its tabloid sister The Sun…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Murdoch Backs Boris Mania

Boris Mania is in full flow today as a YouGov/Sun poll finds that the Tories would close Labour’s lead to just 1% if the London Mayor replaced Dave as leader. Cameron versus Miliband sees Labour take a six point lead, but if Boris were in charge Ed’s rating would fall and the Tories’ popularity would rocket up. No wonder Dave was so testy yesterday…

But could it all be the work of his sinister backer? The Mayor is hardly making hard work for conspiracy theorists. BoJo invited Uncle Rupe to the Olympic swimming finals and two days later he receives a very favourable poll in the Sun:

What was it Murdoch said about how to find out what he really thinks?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Murdoch Men Mystified By News Corp Split

Guido hears that Rupert Murdoch’s decision to separate News Corporation’s money-making arm from its publishing arm left senior employees completely in the dark as to what lies in store for the future of the company. Chatting to News Corp employees last night, Guido was told chaos is reaching such a stage that hacks are only half joking when they say they have had to establish shadow newsrooms where the ultimate scoop is finding out whether or not they will be keeping their jobs. Talk about rogue reporters…

Guido also put it to them that News Group, the UK newspaper wing of the business, doesn’t pay any tax. The denial was pretty damning:

Look, The Sun is the only paper that makes a profit, The Times loses money every day of the week. It’s pretty hard to pay any tax when you’re haemorrhaging money like that. The print media is on the way out, for sure.”

Did someone say dead tree press?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rupert Murdoch tells Fox News he’s given up on buying BSkyB…

“We’ve moved on from our thinking in that. That was billions and billions of dollars and if Britain doesn’t want them, we’ll find a place to put them here.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scrapbook Scooped by Boris Website

Labour are getting worked up over claims made by Political Scrapbook that Boris Johnson had secret dinner  in January 2011 with Rupert Murdoch just two days before the phone hacking investigation was launched. Their City Hall cronies have jumped on the bandwagon, insisting: “this is extremely serious, for the Mayor to not declare a meeting with Rupert Murdoch at the height of the phone-hacking crisis is truly scandalous”. Indeed, it would be scandalous and a great scoop, if it was actually the case. However, rather embarrassingly, a Boris spokesman points to the fact that the information has been on the Mayor’s website for nearly a year. Oh dear…

UPDATE: At the time of going to pixel the Indy are claiming they could not open the link provided to them by City Hall. Seems fine in the Guy Newsroom…

UPDATE II: The Beeb are covering this, but seem to have missed this quote from a Boris spokesman: “Details of the meetings have been published on Mayor’s website for the best part of a year.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mandelson Swears Brown Made War Call to Murdoch

Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch

If you have been watching BBC news or reading the Guardian you would think that Brown’s testimony was proven and Rupert Murdoch had made up the whole claim about Brown “declaring war”. At the Leveson Inquiry Lord Mandelson was questioned about the “war” call from Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch. It is worth revisiting what he said in his sworn testimony:

Jay Okay. You say in your book that Mr Brown was stunned by the news that the Sun had shifted allegiance, and that this grew greater, as it were, over the forthcoming weeks. Was it your assessment that Mr Brown was personally embittered by this?
Mandelson I think he was greatly upset by it. I don’t think he should have been surprised, but he took these things very personally. Look, different politicians will take these things in different ways, and he did feel stung by it. He thought that after all that he had done as Prime Minister, all that he had done to deliver our economy from the greatest post-war crisis that we had seen, during which he felt that in respect of the banks, for example, he had received a lot of encouragement from Rupert Murdoch and Irwin Stelzer and other informed commentators, that it was sort of unfair in a sense for them to turn on him now. He also felt wronged over Afghanistan, with good reason, and I was very sympathetic to him, but he shouldn’t have taken it so personally. You know, this is politics. …
Jay You might be able to throw direct light on that belief by a piece of evidence. We heard from Mr Murdoch — and he said it twice, sitting where you are — that there was a telephone call between him and Mr Brown when Mr Brown delivered what was tantamount to –
Mandelson  But the interesting thing about the phone call –
Jay  Can I –
Mandelson — is Mr Murdoch himself said that he did not agree with  the method and timing of what had been done.
Jay  Yes, but we don’t know yet from your evidence whether you know whether there was such a call, and that was the question.
Mandelson Oh, I’m sorry.
Jay The allegation is — or rather the evidence was from Mr Murdoch — that Mr Brown said or uttered the words “declare war on News International” or words to that effect. From your own knowledge, Lord Mandelson, can you assist us as to whether there was such a call? …
Mandelson  I assume that there was the call because I seem to remember the Prime Minister telling me that Rupert Murdoch was not at all happy with the method and timing of James and Rebekah’s action.
Jay What did the Prime Minister tell you, Lord Mandelson, about the call? Did he communicate to you that that’s what he told Mr Murdoch?
Mandelson  No, he didn’t say that. He told me what Mr Murdoch had said to him.
Jay So there was nothing about what Mr Brown said to Mr Murdoch? Is that your evidence?
Mandelson   Yes, it is. I cannot remember being told by Mr Brown what he said, and I have no way of knowing. But I — but I know what he said to me about Rupert Murdoch’s reaction, which was to say basically: “I don’t like how it’s been done and I think it’s a bad day to do it and I wouldn’t have done it this way myself, but that’s life and we have to get on with it.”
Jay  Mr Murdoch’s reaction to what, though, Lord Mandelson?
Mandelson   The decision of the Sun to switch support from New Labour to the Conservative Party, which he has said, if I recall correctly, was James and Rebekah’s decision. Not the editor’s, incidentally.
Jay  Can you at least assist us with the timing of this call? We know that there was a later call relating to the letter to the mother of the soldier who died in Afghanistan. We’re talking about an earlier conversation, if it took place.
Mandelson  There would have been a number of — I mean, Gordon did not hold back in talking to Rupert Murdoch. He did telephone him, he had every right to do so, and when he thought that he was being traduced, as he did, by the Sun, he wanted to give vent to his feelings about that. I mean, who can blame him in the circumstances? Personally, I think it is better to go to editors rather than proprietors, but he did have a good relationship with Rupert and he invoked that friendship.

Rupert Murdoch has just tweeted that he is not backing down:

Given that as well as denying making any such call, Gordon denied all knowledge of what Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan and Damian McBride did on his behalf, Guido knows who he believes...

See also: Cabinet Office Statement Does Not Clear Brown

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guto Spins Himself

Senior Tory sources seem very keen to disabuse any and all as to the demand for Guto Harri’s services. A “person in a position to know” called Guido to emphasise, vehemently, that Guto was never in the running for Downing Street, was never offered a job by Downing Street and was never the first choice ahead of Andy Coulson for the Downing Street job. Despite what you may have read elsewhere. Glad we have cleared that up.

Guto did however manage to convince the Guardian and the Telegraph’s Mandrake otherwise. Nevertheless he managed to spin himself a promotion and pay hike of over £100,000 extra, he is on £250,000 plus benefits at News International, nigh on doubling his pay at City Hall. If he can improve the perception of Murdoch over the next couple of years he will have earned every penny…

UPDATE: Guto has been in touch to insist that he never claimed to have been offered a Downing Street job and that it was merely speculation by journalists.


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Can Sell Euroscepticism to Europe | Peter Oborne
Treasury’s Laws There to Be Broken | Jill Kirby
Dave’s Pro-Free Markets Speech | ASI
Forget the Nimbys, Bring on the Bimbys | ConHome
Emily is No Snob | Islington Tribune
Cam’s Red Line | Sun
Politicians Must Examine Their Extincts | Laura K
Immigration Lies | Nigel Farage
Take That Mr Speaker | Quentin Letts
How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week


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UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn:

“I think Mail online comments are a telling indication of public opinion.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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