Mirror Chicken Fattened Up for Election Slaughter

As this remarkable weight grain shows, it’s been a tough first week for the Mirror‘s left-wing chicken. He appears to have gone to seed on the campaign trail. The now very flightless bird made the three-hour schlep out of London to Great Yarmouth in order to confront Theresa May. Unfortunately, she cancelled her visit at the last minute. A wizened Mirror hack tells Guido: “I think the chicken idea might be past its prime…” Guido disagrees: our very own Guido Squawks is limbering up for action:

Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today

Radio 4 sources are loudly and widely sharing concerns that Sarah Sands is planning big changes at the Today programme. They have been circulating a rumour – which has been repeated to Guido unprompted by blabbermouth non-BBC industry sources – that Sands wants Robert Peston to present the flagship programme. This does sound unlikely to Guido, he is on a hefty wedge at ITV and the prospect of his idiosyncratic style on the Radio 4 airwaves is not likely to be popular at Broadcasting House. It is not impossible that this is disinformation being spread by Beeb refuseniks trying to undermine Sands. World at One presenter Martha Kearney has also been linked to Today. What would that mean for Jim Naughtie…

Nuttall: Barricades Himself In, Won’t Say If He’s Standing

Paul Nuttall has done a Ken Livingstone – barricading himself inside a room in the Marriott County Hall to hide from the Lobby’s questions about whether he will stand in the election. There is no escape:

Here is Nuttall setting in for the long haul. This picture from inside the room:

Who will break first: the UKIP leader or Her Majesty’s press corps? And why won’t Nuttall say if he’s standing on June 8?

UPDATE: Nuttall escapes into a taxi:

He still won’t say if he’s standing…

Pics via the Lobby.

Caroline Wheeler to Sunday Times

Congratulations to Sunday Express political editor Caroline Wheeler, who MediaGuido hears will be the new deputy political editor at the Sunday Times from July. A smart hire, Caroline was one of the few journalists who reported definitively that there would be an early election. She has plenty of Sunday Lobby experience and will now enjoy a deserved wider audience. From one Brexit-backing paper to another…

Gangsta Segue Cracks Up Weather Girl

Drop the mic…

Barry Gardiner Loses It With Adam Boulton

A very squeaky and excitable Barry Gardiner reached for the Trump playbook and piled into Adam Boulton on Sky News this morning, accusing him of letting the Tories off the hook: “Why did you let him of the hook on immigration? If that had been a Labour minister… You’re supposed to be the tough guy on Sky News and you let him off!” Expect a lot more of this MSM-bashing over the next 49 days. Poor Adam is getting it from all sides at the moment… 

UPDATE: Top Corbynistas have dubbed Barry “The People’s Gardiner” after this morning’s outing on Sky.

ITV Threaten Losers’ Debate

ITV are threatening to hold a leaders’ debate without the leader of the country, with Theresa May ruling out appearing. Corbyn says he welcomes ITV’s decision to hold a debate, though Team Jez say they only want a head-to-head with the PM and are not keen on a losers’ debate with Farron, Sturgeon and Nuttal. No official word on whether Corbyn will turn up if May doesn’t. A straight May-Corbyn head-to-head would be open the broadcasters to a legal challenge on impartiality grounds. Farron on the other hand is up for debating anyone, anywhere, and wants ITV to empty chair the PM. As former Clegg SpAd Sean Kemp notes, there is no benefit for May in taking part in a debate with the other leaders, it only helps Farron.

Lynton Crosby, who May has hired to help run the Tory campaign, famously hates TV debates. It was once said of Lynton: “If David Cameron gets in a car to go to the debate, Lynton Crosby will stage a car crash.” No way he will allow May to boost Farron…

No, May Is Not Like Erdogan

Theresa May’s snap election has caused the Guardianista class to lose their minds. Martin Kettle writes that “Theresa May in Downing Street sounded like Turkey’s authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”. This is just bonkers. Erdogan is an Islamist autocrat who rules under a state of emergency, jailing political opponents, arresting journalists, controlling the airwaves, censoring social media and passing a law which could see him stay in power until 2029. Theresa May has called an election.

This tweet from Chuka Umunna is even more ridiculous. In the space of 20 words Chuka suggests May is behaving like a dictator because “she called an election”. Funny kind of dictator. It is just an election, chill out lefties…

Game of Thrones Power Battle at The Sun

Fleet Street elders are looking on with horror and glee as a slow motion Game of Thrones power battle is played out at The Sun. Anyone who thinks this saga is really about a provocative Kelvin Mackenzie column criticising an Everton footballer is naive. “The New King”, “Joffrey” Gallagher, is caught in the midst of all out war between “The Old King of the North” Kelvin and the fiery “Mother of Dragons”, Queen Rebekah.

The decision by News UK to suspend Old King Kelvin is being widely viewed through the prism of Queen Rebekah loathing him. It has been noted in other realms of the Baby Shard that the statement knifing Kelvin came from a News UK spokesman, not a Sun spokesman.

The emerging narrative is that Gallagher kicked back at the decision and, rightly, defended Kelvin, hence why the statement throwing him under the torrent of outrage did not come from The Sun. It came from News UK, where Queen Rebekah reigns. Last Thursday’s Popbitch reported that “Rebekah is aching to bin his £300,000 a year column, cutting costs and helping to detoxify the Sun’s brand in one easy move”. Kelvin’s column was published on Friday.

The New King Gallagher and The Old King Kelvin also go way back. Gallagher has always owed Kelvin after he helped him secure the Sun throne. Before that, at the Telegraph, Gallagher hired Kelvin as a columnist only to be forced to cancel his column when the Scouse hordes protested.

So far, the views of the One True Sun King of Antipodea remain unclear. Though anyone who has watched the hit HBO series (available through all BSkyB-approved outlets) knows this one is going to end in a bloody mess, with a twist or two along the way…

Tim Montgomerie Launching Unherd.com

Tim Montgomerie is back in new media, the founder of ConservativeHome.com is launching UnHerd.com and hiring a big team of writers for the start-up. He has got the financial backing of Paul Marshall, the founder of Marshall Wace – one of Europe’s largest hedge fund groups. Tim tells Guido he has secured a financial commitment for 4 years.

He says:

Launching within the next few months, UnHerd.com won’t chase the breaking news because the latest things are rarely the most important. Its journalists will be given the time and will possess the skills to dive deeply into their subject areas.  Together they will challenge out-of-date, incorrect and even dangerous thinking on economics, politics, technology, religion and the media. They will profile thinking and movements from around the world that do not receive the attention they deserve from the centres of political, economic and media power.

Marshall is pouring his millions into backing centrist political projects. Those of us who have followed Tim’s output over the years have detected his centre-right outlook becoming more centre and less right over the years. Nevertheless Guido wishes Tim the best of luck…

Allister Heath is New Sunday Telegraph Editor

Allister Heath has been appointed the new editor of The Sunday Telegraph. Heath is currently Deputy Director of Content and Deputy Editor at sister paper the Daily Telegraph. He replaces Ian MacGregor who becomes “Editor Emeritus” – which  means he will be “a bridge between editorial and commercial arms” of the paper. MacGregor will also run the graduate scheme. That “Editor Emeritus” title is causing some hilarity in the Telegraph newsroom…

New European’s Sneering at Skegness Plan to “Stir Up Controversy”

Remain-cheerleading newspaper The New European has accidentally released an internal marketing note detailing its plan to “stir up controversy” and inflame community tensions across Britain’s Brexit heartlands. Guido today unveils the newspaper’s shocking front cover image which will lampoon residents of the Lincolnshire town of Skegness. The staggering picture – set to be displayed on newsstands across Britain within hours – belittles Skegness’s iconic ‘jolly fisherman’, depicting him as a two-finger saluting, evil-clown-faced Leave voter wearing a “Go Away” sweater, accompanied by the headline “Skegness is SO Brexit” and the strapline “Anthony Clavane visits the seaside to see if they still love Leave”.

The sneering front page was emailed out this afternoon accompanied by a note revealing The New European‘s ploy to sow division in order to boost sales:

“The cover story – Skegness: The seaside town that Brexit could close down; this is unlikely to go down well, locally, and there is an opportunity to stir up some controversy locally – worth sending the cover and the story to local television and newspapers (as I don’t suppose we sell many copies there).”

The image is indeed “unlikely to go down well locally” . Lincolnshire recorded the highest vote (75%) for Brexit in Boston, a town just 40 minutes drive from Skegness. Never mind Skegness, does the paper sell many copies anywhere?

UPDATE: Embarrassed New European has sent out a new email recalling its first message:

Nasty stuff…

Victory for Melania Over Mail

Melania Trump today accepted an apology and damages from the Daily Mail and MailOnline over allegations about her work as a model. The figure is undisclosed. A retraction had already been published. The apology reads:

“The Mail Online website and the Daily Mail newspaper published an article on 20th August 2016 about Melania Trump which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling. The article included statements that Mrs. Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations, and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations. The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and “staged” their actual meeting as a “ruse.”

“We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologise to Mrs Trump for any distress that our publication caused her. To settle Mrs Trump’s two lawsuits against us, we have agreed to pay her damages and costs.”

The Mail has been Trumped!

UPDATE: Both CNN and Reuters reporting that the total payout – including costs – was around $3 million.

Labour Breaks Own Leveson Pledge

In a 2014 speech delivered to mark the second anniversary of the Leveson Inquiry, Labour media supremo Tom Watson said:

“We all – every party including my own – need to comply with the Leveson recommendations on the contacts we have with senior journalists, editors and proprietors. There is a lot of talk about the public’s right to know, well given the shabby history, the public has a clear right to know when their elected representatives are mixing with these people and why.

“All parties need to do what the judge asked on that point.”

The Tories have written to Jeremy Corbyn to raise the issue “that the Labour Party has not published any transparency data relating to meetings with proprietors, editors and senior media executives since the last general election.” Transparency details used to appear on the party’s website, listing contact between frontbenchers and the media. Today Guido cannot find any such information. Despite Max Mosley giving £500,000 to Tom Watson to get him to push the Leveson agenda, Labour has broken its very own Leveson pledge…

We do not now know which media moguls and senior editors Jeremy Corbyn has met. Morning Star’s editor will probably be on the list…

New York Times Thinks Sketch is Serious

The New York Times has interpreted a British newspaper sketch as if it were a serious news report. Patrick Kidd – parliamentary sketch writer for The Timeswrote of an Emmanuel Macron rally:

“My masters at school, I will be honest, had not properly prepared me for the task of following an hour-long speech in rapid French. Mr Macron did not ask for directions to la gare once, for example. Nor did he invite anyone in the audience to come to une boum chez lui ce week-end. He didn’t even say “zut” or “bof”. One wondered if he was French at all.”

But in a brilliant example of our ‘separation by a common language’, the gray lady missed the joke. In an online photo essay ominously titled ‘Will London Fall‘, Sarah Lyall wrote:

“He could not tell his readers exactly what Mr. Macron said, however, because, as he boasted in the article, he does not really speak French, although he studied it in school. But why should he make an effort, seemed to be the idea, when it is so easy to ridicule the French for being French, and when to be English is to feel superior to your neighbors?…

“Mr. Kidd’s hauteur isn’t surprising, given that Mr. Murdoch’s papers and the rest of the country’s right-leaning news media have spent decades nurturing an ancient anti-Europe narrative long reflected in the Conservative Party’s Euroskeptic wing. If London, or at least much of London, has welcomed or tolerated all the changes, many people around Britain, particularly from older generations, have lamented that they no longer recognize the country of their childhoods.”

To which Mr Kidd replies this morning:

God bless the “failing New York Times”…

H/T: Ned Donovan

EU Regulators to Approve 21st Century Fox Takeover of Sky

Reuters is reporting that EU anti-trust regulators are “expected to approve” the takeover of Sky by 21st Century Fox.

Who’s on Question Time Tonight?

Corbynistas Demand 30 Pages in New Statesman

Staggers pol-ed George Eaton appears to be stuggling to keep a straight face. What happened to “we are his media”?

Buzzfeed Go to Court to Demand Journalist Reveals Communications With Sources

Buzzfeed has gone to court in the US to attempt to force the editor of British media trade website Press Gazette to reveal his journalistic sources. A motion filed by Buzzfeed in a New York court seeks to compel Press Gazette’s editor, Dominic Ponsford, to provide material in relation to this article he published in April 2015, a report about a Buzzfeed investigation doing in one of its rivals. Buzzfeed’s court application seeks to force Ponsford to reveal:

  • The research and production of the the 24 April Press Gazette report
  • Communications prior and post publication of the article between Press Gazette and the alleged source

Ponsford says:

“Why is Buzzfeed interested in my emails and any other documents I may hold? As a journalistic organisation does it not understand the dangerous ethical territory it is entering here?”

Remarkable behaviour for a news organisation employing journalists. What are Buzzfeed thinking?

Momentum Demo Outside New Statesman

In a move straight out of the Chavista playbook Momentum supporters are organising a demo tonight to complain about the New Statesman’s anti-Corbyn coverage. The Facebook event says 80 people are planning to go. Guido understands that staff have been emailed and told to go home early…

Intimidating publications and journalists with demonstrations is a hallmark of Latin American leftists propping up failing regimes e.g.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Nick Robinson on BBC’s lack of Brexit balance…

“Enough! Leave it out. Remain calm, the referendum is over. The duty we broadcasters had to ‘broadly balance’ the views of the two sides is at an end. Why? Because there are no longer two sides, two campaigns, two rival sets of spokespeople reading out those focus-grouped slogans.

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