Blair Takes Down Mail, May Was Home Sec When Jihadi Compensation Agreed

Today’s Daily Mail lambasts Tony Blair for securing the release of Guantanamo detainee turned ISIS suicide bomber Jamal al-Harith, asking “Still Think He Wasn’t a Danger, Mr Blair?” A fair question, yet also one that could be asked of… the Daily Mail. As Blair himself points out in a delicious take down:

It is correct that Jamal al-Harith was released from Guantanamo Bay at the request of the British Government in 2004. This followed a Parliamentary and massive media campaign, led by the Daily Mail, the very paper that is now supposedly so outraged at his release and strongly supported by the then Conservative Opposition. The Mail headline shortly after he was released after months of their campaigning was “Freedom At Last for Guantanamo Britons”. They then quoted with approval various human rights activists saying “clearly by what‘s happened they’re not bad guys. they are entirely innocent’

Blair also notes it was the Tory government in 2010 which secured al-Harith’s £1 million compensation. The then Home Secretary? One Theresa May…

Sign Guido’s #Piegate Pietition Now

Guido today captains the team backing pie-munching hero roly-poly goalie Wayne Shaw. Sign Guido’s #piegate pietition – as featured in The Sun – now at: order-order.com/piegate

Milo Quits Breitbart, Watch Press Conference Live

He says he’ll publish his book anyway and give 10% of the royalties to child abuse charities…

Médecins Sans Frontières Objects to ‘Sans Frontières’ Name of Crisis PR Firm

Political publishers Dods Group last year made a small £800,000 profit after years of multi-million pound losses. This was achieved largely by Guy Cleaver halving the bloated sales and marketing headcount down from 119 to 57. Dods celebrated their new found profitability by moving out of their Mayfair offices and into the Shard. Inconveniently situated 20 minutes away from SW1 in SE1.

Dods is lending almost all of that last year’s profits in an unusual investment. It has subscribed for 40% of the issued share capital of Sans Frontieres Associates for a nominal sum and lent it £700,000 to provide initial working capital. Sans Frontieres Associates is chaired by Tim Bell and will do PR and comms work in war stricken hotspots.

Dods reckon that:

“Jonathan Lehrle, CEO and founder has a strong vision for his organisation and the objective to redefine the approach taken to international geopolitical and crisis communications consulting. His vision for his company’s core capabilities and international reach is in keeping with the trends and changing market requirements seen by the Board of Dods.”

The respected NGO Médecins Sans Frontières is less happy. Here’s their spokeswoman Polly Markandya:

“We’d be in the same corridors – us trying to negotiate for humanitarian access and them negotiating PR contracts. It’s too close for comfort. Surely, with their creative brains, they can think of another good name for their venture.”

Other people who wondering about the new comms agency are Dods’ own clients, the comms firms who subscribe to their monitoring services and read their Public Affairs News* magazine. Many may be less than keen on paying monthly subscriptions to their competitor…

*Strangely Guido can not find any mention in Public Affairs News of the launch of Sans Frontieres Associates or the involvement of PA luminaries like Tim Bell and Darren Murphy. Fancy that…

Team Corbyn Tweeting About Fake News Trump Style

Late last night this Mirror story triggered Seumas or someone else on the Labour leader’s media team. For the full Trump effect they really need to capitalise FAKE NEWS from the FAILING MIRROR. Guido gives ’em 5/10 for this effort…

Telegraph Vaz Bercow Story Disappears

Curious that this story published by the Telegraph earlier this afternoon has been taken down…

“Tory Cuts Killed 30,000” Report Author is Big Corbynista

Today’s Mirror splashes on the OTT claim that “Tory cuts killed 30,000“, casually accusing the government of mass murder. The story is based on a report co-authored by Oxford geography professor Danny Dorling. What the Mirror doesn’t mention is that Dorling a big Corbyn cheerleader with ties to Jez. In a blog post last May, Dorling fawned over Corbyn, showering the Labour leader with a litany of praise:

“Corbyn appears prepared to listen to everyone’s point of view, however much he disagrees with much of what they do or say…

“(Corbyn) appears prepared to listen to a wide range of experts and opinion rather than giving the air that he was born to rule, is all-knowing himself, and will tell us what is best for us…

“If voters look him up on Wikipedia they will learn that “Corbyn was revealed to have submitted the smallest amount in expenses of any British MP. In 2010 he claimed the lowest sum of all 650 MPs.” He also over pays his taxes…

“Famously Jeremy Corbyn had to be persuaded to stand in the leadership election. His election may have ushered in a new era in British politics where parties no longer look so keenly on the candidates who so obviously want the job and who initially appear most electable…

“Jeremy Corbyn does not appear motived (sic) by money…

“Corbyn has shown that he can be critical of his own party and its past record, even of himself, when, in retrospect, his party or he himself was clearly misguided…

“Jeremy Corbyn can take on the zealots and bigots who use migration to stir up fear and hatred…

“What Corbyn really represents is a set of beliefs whose time has finally come.

Corbyn himself has even rewarded Dorling’s obvious affection with a supportive tweets:

John McDonnell meanwhile has said he spent the last summer reading Dorling’s book. Sure Dorling is a wholly impartial observer – you might think the Mirror would have mentioned all this in their report…

Guido’s Guide to News, Fake & Otherwise

“Fake News” is the politico-media panic of the moment, blamed by Hillary supporters for the triumph of Trump. On social media the charge of “fake news” is levelled against any report the accuser disagrees with. That definition is useless and we need to better categorise political news terms. Below is Guido’s Guide to News…

Disinformation: false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organisation to a rival power or the media. Example: “Dossier reveals Saddam Hussein’s armoury of chemical weapons is on standby for use within 45 minutes.”

Propaganda / Spin: one sided information. Advertising is a form of propaganda, political communication is invariably propaganda. Example: “24 hours to save the NHS“, “24 hours to save the pound.”

White propaganda: for the most part, truthful with factual elements, although not always the whole truth. Example: The BBC World Service’s Russian TV channel.

Grey propaganda: propaganda that seems like it’s presenting legitimate arguments with no agenda behind them, but often ultimately untrue. Example: “IMF says Brexit uncertainty would trigger UK recession” analysis that turned out to be propaganda based on the worst case scenarios of economists.

Black propaganda: information put out by an opposing government or institution and made to look as though it came from a friendly source. Example: the Zinoviev letter was a front page splash in the Daily Mail 4 days before the 1924 election, British security services faked a letter from Soviet official Grigory Zinoviev which damaged the Labour Party.

Fake news: news that is produced to either generate clicks and advertising revenue or to either enhance or discredit or boost a politician, policy or organisation. Ranging from hoaxes to lies. The originator of “fake news” knowingly produces it with the objective in mind. Example: Russian state-backed Sputnik News.

Alternative facts: untruths. Example: Sean Spicer on Trump’s inauguration crowd size, The Canary’s Portland conspiracy theory.

News with views: news that mixes reporting of facts and events with an underlying slant, often ideological. Example: “Keith Vaz Is Not a Fit and Proper Person.”

Objective news: this is the legally required output of the BBC and broadcasters in the UK. Supposedly balanced with both sides of an argument being presented to the viewer. This obviously raises the question of how you balance truth and falsehood or the political extremes against the mainstream. Example: supporters of monarchal absolutism never get a fair break on the BBC, do they?

Subjective news: what broadcasters and broadsheets actually produce even if they claim to produce objective news. Example: BBC report in 2005 “Himalayan glaciers ‘melting fast’ says study“. A decade later it turned out they meant by 2350 not 2035.

Infotainment: most popular news about pop and soap stars, celebrities falls into this category. Politics is often described as showbiz for ugly people, which leads to infotainment reports. Largely harmless fun for readers. Example: Tory MP Shows His Cock to Kids.

There will be no technological solution to the age old issues of fake news and propaganda. Ed Snowden is right. Readers need to use their critical faculties, which by and large they do. “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Buzzfood: Quarter of Buzzfeed UK’s Most Read Stories Are About Food, None About Politics

This is what happens when algorithms decide your news agenda…

Daily Mail Reshuffle Makes Woman Pol-Ed Unlikely

Jockeying for the Mail political editor role will pick up pace again today after Derry Street carried out a reshuffle among its senior executives. Isabel Oakeshott has already resigned as “political editor at large”. Katherine Faulkner, who was the paper’s investigations editor and had been tipped as a possible for the pol ed job, has now been appointed executive features editor. She is replaced by her deputy Paul Bentley.

Guido is told that Sun deputy pol-ed Steve Hawkes fancies himself for the job and Mail insiders say that Tim Shipman’s return is not impossible, currently Sunday Times pol-ed. So add to the list:

  • Tim Shipman, Sunday Times: Was deputy at the Mail before he took the Sunday Times job. If he was ever to return to the daily Lobby grind, his old paper would be a good bet – and he was re-hired once before by Dacre. Expensive…
  • Steve Hawkes, The Sun: Currently deputy on a pro-Brexit paper. Strong business background and has done a lot of home affairs. Which means he’s well in with Number 10.

Although bookies not taking bets, Guido still reckons Jason Groves is favourite.

Vaz Sets Carter Ruck on Andrew Pierce

Keith Vaz is very unhappy with the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce over an article published last week in which Pierce reported Vaz had paid rent boys for their services. Vaz has instructed £500-an-hour Carter Ruck to insist he has “never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”.

We have been contacted by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Keith Vaz in connection with an article in the Daily Mail dated 8 February 2017, pages 6 and 7, headed “How the king of the freebies splashes your cash” and on Mail Online headed “Chauffeur-driven cars, taxpayer-funded suits and hospitality at the tennis and Arsenal matches: How the king of freebies John Bercow splashes your cash”

Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys’. They also say there was never a Police investigation in relation to this.

Vaz told the rent boys in the Sunday Mirror sting “Try and pick up some poppers” and asked “How will this work, do you want me to f*** him first or all together”. Reportedly talking about an encounter with another escort, Vaz said “He was OK. He forgot the condom though. I had to f*** him without a condom”. Yet “Carter-Ruck say their client has never ‘paid rent boys for sex’ and never had ‘sex’ with any ‘rent boys'”. What about Jim the washing machine salesman?

Telegraph’s Awkward Workplace Happiness Survey

MediaGuido is not sure why the Telegraph thought it would be a good idea to survey staff on their workplace happiness and then deliver the results in a town hall meeting. The anonymous questionnaire was sent to all staff – editorial and non-editorial – a few weeks back. The results were read out recently at a highly awkward all staff meeting. Just 40% said Telegraph Media Group “motivates me” – well below industry standards. There were bad numbers for the general management – only 47% said employee engagement was “favourable“. There were some positives for the Telegraph brand – 72% said they were proud to work at such a prestigious paper. Though there was little surprise when the organisation that carried out the survey informed the room that they were way below other media groups. The numbers for “promotion opportunities” were surprisingly dire given the number of jobs going, and a majority of staff are considering alternative employment. Though to be fair, that is often not their choice…

BuzzFood

Buzzfeed’s top trending stories feel a bit ‘samey’, formulaicly bland with a made-on-a-production line ‘taste’. These are from their UK top trending 20 at the time of going to pixel. Is it Guido or are they running out of ideas?

The headlines will no doubt have been run through a data driven algorithm and optimised to death for SEO and clickbait performance. Are they actually native advertising? (Buzzfeed has got into trouble for running unflagged adverts as editorial in the past.) Pizza, Nandos, Subway, McDonalds – Guido just put those words in the text to see if we too get a load of trash traffic. Does Chipotle even have a restaurant open in the UK?

UPDATE: Chipotle apparently does have restaurants in the UK and this just in at 5:

#TomorrowsPapersToday

This morning’s papers are full of stories that were Guido exclusives yesterday. If you want #TomorrowsPapersToday, get Guido for real news in real time. Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news…

Paul Mason: UKIP Voters are Bike-Stealing Toe-Rags

Sneering Corbyn cheerleader Paul Mason has branded UKIP voters “toe-rags” who would “nick your bike”. Talking specifically about the Stoke by-election, Mason, flanked by the Green Party’s Sian Berry and Guardian columnist Zoe Williams, offers this contemptuous analysis of first-time voters who consider backing UKIP:

They’re not working class Tories… most of the UKIP people are either people who haven’t voted or have flipped in a radical way from Labour.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Tank-Chasing Shiner Complains He’s Being Harassed

The disgraced lawyer who hounded and harassed innocent British troops is now claiming HE is the victim of harassment. Whining Phil Shiner has contacted the press regulator IPSO to moan that journalists have been trying to ask him questions:

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

IPSO has today been contacted by Phil Shiner.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Daily Mail Political Editor Runners and Riders

James Slack’s appointment as the PM’s official spokesman has set off the Lobby merry-go-round. Political editor jobs are going at both the Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Our Telegraph likely names are here. As for the Mail, as ever MediaGuido gives you your runners and riders…

  • Jason Groves, Daily Mail: The unflappable deputy pol ed has to be an early favourite.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

James Slack New PM’s Spokesman

Daily Mail political editor James Slack has been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson. You read it here first… […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Labour’s By-Election Candidates Dodging Media

Guido has noticed a recurring theme among Labour’s two by-election candidates: they both seem to be avoiding the press. By Guido’s count Gillian Troughton, Labour’s candidate in Copeland, has so far:

  • Declined an invitation to appear on the BBC alongside her rivals
  • Refused an interview with Channel 4 News
  • Sent a ‘representative’ to a local hustings
  • Dodged another public debate altogether

Gareth Snell, the candidate in Stoke-on-Trent Central has so far:

  • Blanked a PA reporter, refusing to answer questions while out and about with Jeremy Corbyn (Guido revealed Snell had previously called Corbyn an “IRA supporting friend of Hamas” – watch them run here)
  • On the same occasion refused to give an interview to ITV
  • Even refused to give an interview to the New Statesman

It’s certainly getting up the nose of Michael Crick, who has been wistfully tweeting about the degree of access he had during the 1997 Wirral South by-election.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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