Here’s to another ten years…
You would have thought a national newspaper columnist would know the difference between a Tory strategist and a former President of the United States, but then Owen Jones is a special case. According to Jones’ piece this morning CCHQ have recently hired one Lyndon Johnson as a spinner. Anyone would think that the Indy have sacked all their subs:
“While you’re saving your face, you’re losing your ass,” as LBJ once said…
Boris is getting a deserved kicking this afternoon over Ray Lewis’ £20,000 one day-a-week job. In addition to his unpaid position as Ambassador for Mentoring, Ray Lewis is being paid as the London Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Mentoring. Fishy.
Obviously the tin-foil Continuity-Ken brigade are frothing this afternoon, demanding that the Standard splash the story. Discussing the issue with their hack Pippa Crerar, LabourList’s Mark Ferguson, with a new found regard for taxpayer money, scored a spectacular own goal:
Heard the one about the paper covering up a story that they broke…
His face is a picture…
Last night Guido stood in solidarity with the shunned female journalists of the Lobby. After No.10 explained Dave and Nick only granted questions to men at yesterday’s mid-term review because none of the political editors in attendance were female, we named and shamed the chauvinist Mirror and New Statesman as having no female Lobby hacks between them. Guido’s feminist allies agreed:
The usual suspects were still stuck in their old ways however:
Vid via @liarpoliticians
Not many talking points from this afternoon’s snooze-fest mid-term review, though Dave and Nick’s failure to take a single question from a female journalist was noted by many. No. 10 told the BBC that “none of the TV or newspaper political editors there” were female as an explanation. To be fair to them the Lobby is hardly brimming with females. Some chauvinist media outlets are particularly guilty…
The Mirror’s all-male political team is made up of James Beattie, Tom McTague, James Lyons, Mark Ellis, Paul Routledge and Kevin Maguire, with the Sunday Mirror’s passholders made up of Vincent Moss and Nick Buckley. As for that bastion of feminism the New Statesman? Jason Cowley and Rafael Behr have Lobby passes, but there is a grand total of zero for the Staggers’ female staff. As an ardent feminist, Guido says shame on them…
UPDATE: Guido was not the only one to notice:
Over a hundred million pounds over budget, four years late and the subject of a National Audit Office investigation, the BBC’s revamp of Broadcasting House was a disaster from start to finish. The ten year renovation project, which was supposed to be completed in 2008, was still haemorrhaging money right up until the day it was completed last year.
Media Guido can reveal that as the project drew to a close in the first six months of last year, the BBC blew close to a further £6 million of licence-fee payers’ money on the ill-fated rebuild. The £5.765 million finishing touches figure includes £3.2 million forked out for furniture and some £26,000 on “graphics”, presumably those aesthetically-pleasing billboards Lord Patten proudly did his TV pieces in front of at the height of the Jimmy Savile scandal. The Beeb are refusing to reveal how much they spent on individual decorative items, citing the feeble excuse that disclosure would weaken their “commercial bargaining position”. Nothing to see here.
Almost £6 million of licence-fee payers’ cash spent on the finishing touches of a doomed revamp that spent over a hundred million more than budgeted. 2012: a year to be proud of for the BBC…
Hugh Grant’s lobbying group Hacked Off are trying very hard to pretend that they do not support statutory regulation of the press. Their draft bill, which would implement Leveson in full, is nicely dressed up as apparently defending “media freedom”, when in fact the opposite is true. They claim that ‘The Leveson Bill will enshrine press freedom in law. Political meddling will only debase it,” yet their “statutory underpinning” falls over almost immediately. In the third clause to be precise:
(3) Interference with the activities of the media by Ministers
of the Crown and public officials shall be unlawful
unless it is for a legitimate purpose and is necessary in a
democratic society, having full regard to the importance
of media freedom in a democracy.
So the government can’t intervene with the press unless it “for a legitimate purpose”. And who will be deciding what is and is not a “legitimate purpose”? Surely not the lawmakers? Back to the drawing board please, freedom haters.
In Guido’s Daily Star Sunday column:
- Jim Davidson in the Carlton Club
- Lembit the “bizarre” cloakroom attendant
- Andrew Mitchell and scowling cops
- Farage mocks Cameron
- Francis Urquhart goes to Washington with a Hollywood star
- “Common Purpose” in Parliament
- Is Chuka too grand and too vain?
Plus, no Prezza!
Over the last few weeks the police Operation Yewtree has questioned a number of celebrities over allegations of sex crimes. Each time the papers have known the names of those arrested or questioned, each time the first the public knew about it was when this blog broke the story.
We scooped the press on the arrests of Max Clifford and Jim Davidson. Today we can report that Rolf Harris has also been questioned under caution by police from Operation Yewtree. This has been an open secret in media circles for weeks, journalists and newspaper editors alike have known about the story – yet none has published the news. Why?
No judge has ordered reporting restrictions in relation to Rolf Harris, no super-injunctions prevent the reporting of news concerning him, instead his lawyers Harbottle and Lewis are citing the Leveson Inquiry’s report in letters to editors of newspapers – cowing them into silence. The Leveson effect is real and curtailing the freedom of the press through fear.
In the case of Max Clifford a popular media commentator was our source, with Jim Davidson an ex-copper tipped us off and a local journalist gave us confirmation. This blog is nimble and prepared to take risks, so we are beating all the other news organisations who post-Leveson prefer to await for official police confirmation. This blog is in the news business, we want to beat the competition, we want to be first, we’re proud of breaking stories. We want our readers to be the first to know what is going on.
When the Leveson Inquiry began Guido upset the judge by publishing Alistair Campbell’s evidence before he gave it. Leveson responded by placing a restriction order on this blog. Neatly illustrating by example that the Leveson Inquiry could bring in an era of judicial censorship. It is more subtle than that currently, the chilling effect is that editors fear the prospect of a law rather than any actual new law.
This blog likes being the first to report the news, we would also like to win in a fair fight. The press has its hands tied. A free press ensures that the police do not go about their business in secret. A secret police is a dangerous thing, reporting the arrest of suspects is an important safeguard in a free society – for them and us. We are in danger of losing that safeguard.
News arrives of some welcome Sunday competition:
Guido hears it’s a high five figure sum…
Guido thought that the Huffington Post UK editor Carla Buzasi might have had a new year resolution to clean up her site, especially given how much she complains about people writing about women and their bodies. Last year we saw her stoop as low as printing pictures of children in swimwear to try and harvest Google search engine traffic. And what does their Political Editor Mehdi Hasan, who has the audacity to attack other publications for failing to respect women’s “dignity”, have to say about it all?
Not very much it seems. No new leaf either, instead the HuffPoUK have hit the ground running this year with a classy post about a mother and daughter incest porn duo. Conveniently they managed to get all the key search words like “PICTURES” and “Mother & Daughter Porn Duo” into the headline so pervs typing that into Google will land at their post. There is the obligatory gallery of half naked snaps of the two as well, of course.
Is the desperate quest for traffic really worth peddling such filth?
Nice of the Guardian to give the Argies premium advertising space this morning for the annual sabre rattling about the Falklands and a new territorial claim to Queen Elizabeth Land in Antarctica.
It’s one thing simply publishing the rant in their letters page, however they have given Christina Fernandez de Kirchner nearly half a page as well as a follow up article bigging up “the populist president’s” “blistering” letter that “acidly” slams colonialism. They even excitedly report the element of surprise of the advert.
As if it was an invasion…
A 59-year-old man was arrested this morning by Operation Yewtree. According to local news agency INS, this afternoon police are gathering evidence outside 59-year-old TV presenter Jim Davidson’s house.
In October Davidson wrote on his blog:
“The Savile witch hunt is going a bit silly now. We all are starting to speculate and accuse … even in jest. So no, I don’t know who’s next. Well, if I was in the pub with the lads it would be a different story. Everyone has had the nod. Everyone is an expert. Just pick someone you don’t like and say it’s them.”
“I read a thing today where someone saw Jimmy Savile pinch some girl’s bum. Apparently, that’s sexual assault. Where will all this end? As odd as he was, Savile can’t defend himself. The bloke’s dead for God’s sake. Let’s move on.”
Davidson is rumoured to be going into the house for the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother, starting tomorrow evening…
UPDATE: Confirmed: Jim Davidson was arrested this afternoon at a West London police station.
Guido hears that the Standard’s political hack Peter Dominiczak is off to beef up the Telegraph’s political team. Dominiczak came to prominence during last year’s London Mayoral election.
The accomplished Ken-baiter starts his new gig on Monday…
Not a bad way to kick off 2013: a world exclusive followed up by papers at home and abroad. Le Figaro and Le Monde reported Guido’s story that French rock star Jean Michel Jarre was considering “exil fiscal”. Amusingly Guido even beat HuffPo France to the story. En retard!
2012 was very much the year Brian Leveson enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame, spending £5 million of taxpayers’ money to change, well, nothing, leaving nobody’s favourite Lord Justice free to jet off into the Australian sunset. Leveson couldn’t get enough of Guido in February, though it is fair to say both he and the Information Commissioner less than appreciated this blog exclusively publishing the Operation Motorman Blue Book later on in the spring. An establishment cover-up of hundreds of crimes committed by journalists was revealed, and Brian went bonkers…
The Leveson effect meant no British media outlet would run the naked photos of Prince Harry that emerged overnight from Vegas during the summer, fortunately for readers of this blog Guido didn’t care what Leveson thought. When Kate Middleton’s topless snaps found their way onto the internet Guido let the public decide whether or not to publish, you chose to spare the Duchess of Cambridge’s dignity. It didn’t hurt traffic though…
When it came down to it, Dave decided that Leveson’s demand for statutory regulation of the press was a step – to the seventeenth century – too far. There was a bashing for Piers though. As we enter 2013 Brian is gone yet not quite forgotten…
It was inevitable that sooner or later Americans would grow weary of Piers Morgan. It wasn’t so predictable that some 70,000 would actually go to the trouble of petitioning President Obama to have him deported.
On balance the only way Guido wants to see him back in Britain is to face charges, so he commends to you the counter Whitehouse petition, to keep Piers across the pond. He will of course be loving all the attention…
Hat-tip: Tim Worstall
This year, while you’re sitting warm around the fire, opening your presents or tucking into your Christmas dinner, spare a thought for the poor unpaid interns at the New Statesman. Guido has sent them a much-needed food package, after all they won’t be receiving any charity from their Scrooge-worthy proprietor Mr Danson (net worth, £310 million). […] Read the rest