Mail McDonnell Investigation Didn’t Have to Look Far

Today’s Daily Mail splashes on a story by its “Investigations Unit” apparently revealing that in 2013 John McDonnell called for “insurrection” and encouraged the overthrow of the government. At a speech at Goldsmiths university, McDonnell said:

“Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work for us. Elections don’t work for us… We used to call it insurrection. Now we’re polite and say it’s direct action. Let’s get back to calling it what it is. It’s insurrection.”

How far did the Mail’s fabled Investigations Unit have to look to find the scoop? Well, the exact same quote was reported by their colleagues at MailOnline only a few months ago during the election campaign. McDonnell was even forced to explain his comments at the time, saying:

“What I said was, in the old days we used to call it insurrection, now we call it direct action and demonstrations.”

In fact, “insurrection” is one of McDonnell’s favourite terms to rile up his comrades. As the Telegraph reported two years ago he used the word on the public record at least three times between 2010 and 2013. That’s a low estimate. We know papers are slower than their online rivals these days but this is pushing it a bit far…

French Plot to Wreck MailOnline

MailOnline is going French. The site is advertising for a French-speaking sub who can make “some of its showbiz and entertainment content available in French“. First job, translate Sunday’s splash. 

Who will speak for England?

Daily Mail Rips Into Guardian AND… MailOnline

The Daily Mail let rip in a truly epic full page leader by Tom Utley this morning, laying into the Guardian and distancing itself from its own Derry Street stablemate MailOnline. According to the Mail, MailOnline has “a very different worldview“:  

“Earlier this week, a Guardian writer attacked the Daily Mail for carrying comments by the controversialist Katie Hopkins. That was a lie. The Guardian and its writer know that Ms Hopkins has nothing to do with the Daily Mail, but works for Mail Online — a totally separate entity that has its own publisher, its own readership, different content and a very different world view.”

To be fair to the Mail, their leader is bang on about the Guardian and partly correct about MailOnline. The Mail and MailOnline have different audiences and a completely different flavour, and Katie Hopkins isn’t in the paper. But are they really “separate entities“? They may be in editorial structure and decision making, but they share a huge amount of content: a quick search shows at least 22 articles with Daily Mail bylines have appeared on MailOnline since midnight. The paper’s leader usually goes up on MailOnline, funnily enough it didn’t today…

Corbynistas Share Fake Mail Front Page

This photoshopped Daily Mail front page is so obviously a fake no self-respecting journalist could possibly fall for it, right? Wrong…

Wrong typeface, a photo the Mail have used on a splash before, a tone they would never use, and a message they would be very unlikely to endorse.

You’d expect Galloway to be dense enough to fall for it, Owen really should know better…

Maguire and Pierce: Spot the Difference

Turns out Andrew Pierce and Kevin Maguire’s comedy double-act extends well beyond their paper review appearances on Sky News. Those hectic media schedules mean they are now happy to share anecdotes for their columns. As you can compare and contrast above, Philip May is not the only thing that readers of the Mail (above left) and Mirror (right) will be doing a double take over. Seems Andy and Kev don’t disagree about everything…

Mail Goes Easy On May’s Red Toryism

Before the general election when Ed Miliband proposed fixing energy prices the Mail was scathing, branding it a return to the bad old days of 70s socialism from “Red Ed”. Today the Mail welcomes Theresa May’s return to the bad old days of price controls from the Red Tories…

Hat-tip: Matt Zarb

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.

Legs-It’s Not Bigotry, It’s Popular Journalism

Bigotry was once perceived to be refusing people a job on the basis of their skin colour, not allowing women to go to university and jailing individuals because of whom they loved. Now the social media addled snowflake generation thinks it is putting pictures of people on the front page and daring to comment on their appearance. If that is bigotry then everyone who comments on how someone looks is a bigot. Which somewhat devalues the charge.

Apart from Owen Jones – who judges his own legs – everybody in politics knows they are to some extent judged by voters on their appearance. Politicians know this, newspapers know this, any popular journalist worth their salt would have looked at that picture and thought “story”. The Daily Mail did it because they thought it would be of interest to their readers. That is why they ran it.

The Daily Mail not only has more female readers than male readers (52% to 48%), it has more female readers than any other British paper. The picture was not about the sexual objectification of women, it was a story about the body language and appearance of two powerful women, written to appeal to women readers. That some feminists seem to think that it was aimed at getting men to ogle two middle-aged women in conservative business attire explains a lot about those feminists.

In reality most people outside the politico-media echo chamber would think the Mail’s front page unremarkable. Now some idiot has reported the Daily Mail to IPSO. For commenting on a picture, which is clearly not a breach of the editor’s code. What a monumental waste of time.

New Telegraph and Mail Pol Eds

Two big Lobby moves which MediaGuido can announce. Gordon Rayner has been appointed political editor at the Telegraph, leaving his previous role as chief reporter to join the Lobby. An internal hire was inevitable. Would’ve taken silly money to convince a top hack from a rival to join the Tel…

Talking of which, Jason Groves is the new Daily Mail political editor, as tipped by MediaGudio a few weeks back. John Stevens has been promoted to deputy pol ed – he had been one of the favourites for the Sunday Times deputy job. The Mail will be pleased to have kept him out of their clutches.

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…

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?

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. Tipped for the Telegraph job as well, though they will have to throw money at him to steal him from Dacre. Some in the Lobby enviously believe Groves has the choice of the two jobs.
  • Jack Doyle, Daily Mail: The paper’s Senior Political Correspondent is hotly tipped. Also writing leaders, which shows how well-regarded he is. Well liked by Dacre, is he being groomed for the job?
  • Dan Martin, Daily Mail: Currently Chief Political Correspondent, Martin is a seasoned pro who knows Westminster inside and out. The paper would struggle without him.
  • Katherine Faulkner, Daily Mail: Regularly gets political scoops. Not of the Lobby, which is a bonus if they want to drive the agenda from Kensington. Surely time a woman was Daily Mail political editor…
  • Ian Drury, Daily Mail: Took over the home affairs brief when Slack moved to Westminster. Been at the Mail over a decade. Will know the Number 10 team well from May’s time at the Home Office. That helped Slack get the job last time round. 

In the unlikely event that Dacre was to consider an immigrant from another newspaper:

  • Steve Swinford, Telegraph: Guido cannot recall Dacre ever hiring outside of Derry Street. If he does Swinford is an option. With Groves he is one of the favourites for the Telegraph pol ed job. If Groves goes to the Tel, Swinford could jump to the Mail. Paper swap?
  • Matt Chorley, Times Red Box: Formerly the political editor of MailOnline, he was tapped up for doing a joint online/paper job last time round. Would be a return to the mothership. Could finally move on from those early starts at his Little Read Box, could he speak for England?
  • Michael Gove, The Times: Rising star of the Lobby. Good young scoop-getter. Has caught the eye of rivals. But does he have a good enough relationship with Downing Street?

Who will speak for England?

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… 

Cameron Tried to Oust Dacre

Craig Oliver’s Remain campaign learnt “what it was like to be Ed Miliband” when you have the massed ranks of the right-wing media against you. Emily Maitlis revealed last night that David Cameron encouraged Jonathan Harmsworth to have Paul Dacre, an implacable Eurosceptic, removed as editor of the Daily Mail, after failing to charm him into pulling his punches. Maitlis speculates that when Dacre discovered this he redoubled his front page enmity towards Cameron.

Elsewhere Downing Street knew that the Express proprietor Richard Desmond was backing UKIP and Brexit every day in his papers. Cameron knew that Rupert Murdoch was also a lost cause, though he hoped that Rebekah Brooks might be able to temper The Sun’s attitude. The now Ukippy Brexit-backing Barclays-owned Telegraph was pulling its punches to an extent that confused their own journalists – many believed the CEO Murdoch MacLennan had been squared. Harmsworth (and the not to be underestimated Viscountess) were more supportive of Dave yet unwilling to guide Dacre. For the record Cameron’s attitude to Guido’s proprietor / editor in 2015 was all charm, smiles and wisecracks. In 2016 as our editorial line hardened on the referendum he turned curtly negative, sarcastic and cold. Hardly surprising

Isabel Oakeshott Leaves Mail

Impress Regulators Seek to Financially Ruin Three Papers

The second instalment of MediaGuido’s Impress File reveals attempts by the state-endorsed press regulator to financially ruin three newspapers. Several senior figures at Impress support the so-called Stop Funding Hate (SFH) campaign to boycott advertising in the popular press. SFH’s stated aim is to “take on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express by persuading advertisers to pull their support”. It wants to prevent newspapers from “making money by publishing these headlines”. SFH is bullying advertisers to censor or bankrupt the three centre-right newspapers read by millions of Britons.

Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood is a vocal supporter and campaigner on behalf of SFH. He has promoted social media posts from SFH aggressively targeting Boots and HSBC into removing ads from MailOnline. He has a pinned tweet in support of an advertising boycott of the Mail. He has shared an SFH article summing up their approach to free speech: “Voltaire… never said I will defend to the death your right to get advertising revenue”.

Impress board member and chair of its code committee Marie Messenger Davies also regularly expresses support for the SFH campaign. Davies has repeatedly promoted posts calling for an advertising boycott of the Mail in particular. Emma Jones, a member of the Impress board and code committee, also regularly promotes SFH Impress actively campaigns to bankrupt three newspapers – how can it possibly be a fair and balanced regulator of the press?

The Daily Mail and MailOnline have a readership of 23 million a month, The Sun is the most-read newspaper in Britain. Latest figures show the Express is growing online by 16% year-on-year. Millions of free-thinking readers choose to read these publications every day, SFH is an cabal of so-called ‘liberals’ trying to shut down the right-of-centre popular press. This raises serious questions for the government: how can Impress possibly be a fair and even-handed regulator when key figures within Impress are campaigning to ruin several newspapers? Regulators would not be allowed to behave in this way in any other industry…

State-Backed Press Regulator Wants to Ban Daily Mail

Impress is the Max Mosley-funded, state-backed press regulator. Having secured official recognition in October, it now wants to force newspapers which do not join up to face legal penalties. Over the next few days MediaGuido will publish a series of findings showing that Impress regulators openly despise the newspapers they want to regulate, our dossier shows these individuals are totally unfit to be the watchdogs of a free press. This is The Impress File…

MediaGuido can reveal that Impress code committee member Gavin Phillipson, a law professor at Durham university who boasts of his commitment to “free speech” in his Twitter bio, wants to ban the Daily Mail. In response to an article by Quentin Letts, Phillipson wrote: “is such a shame we can’t just ban the Daily Mail – probably the worst aspect of contemporary British culture”. Impress wants powers to regulate the Mail, in truth its senior staff want to ban it…

MediaGuido has found that four senior Impress employees have endorsed loopy comparisons between the Daily Mail and the Nazis. Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood has shared multiple social media posts calling the Mail “fascists”, “a neo-fascist rag”, and a claim that it is “increasingly adopting fascist style politics”. Another post shared by Heawood compares the Mail to a newspaper from Nazi Germany.

Impress board member Marie Messenger Davies, the chair of its code committee no less, has shared social media posts calling the Mail “fascists” and accusing it of using “Nazi methods” to “attack its enemies”. Another Impress board member, Emma Jones, has shared social media posts accusing the Mail of “Nazi smears” and “Hitler adoration”. Gavin Phillipson has also promoted a social media post showing the Mail and a Nazi newspaper side by side.

How can a press regulator reasonably regulate an industry if it wants to ban newspapers? How can they come to fair and balanced judgments if its CEO believes they are “neo-fascists”? Impress is the press regulator that hates the press, it is a farce that the government is giving these people the time of day…

Mail Retracts “Escort” Story After Trump Hires Gawker-Bankrupting Lawyer

The Daily Mail has issued a lengthy, grovelling retraction after Melania Trump filed a lawsuit against them in a Maryland court for publishing claims she was once an escort. Trump’s attorney Charles Harder is suing them for $150 million:

“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $US150 million.”

Harder is the infamous lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful suit against US gossip blog Gawker. Hogan was awarded damages of $140 million, Gawker was bankrupted and shut down. Late last night the Mail published a long retraction expressing “regret“:

“To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail’s article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business,’ that she had a ‘composite or presentation card for the sex business,’ or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”

Calling a presidential candidate’s wife a hooker does seem a little high risk. Gawker went under for reporting the truth…

Jon Steafel Out at the Mail

steafel

Guido hears the Daily Mail’s long-serving Jon Steafel is leaving after decades at the paper. Steafel, who readers will remember rowing with Bad Al Campbell about Ed Miliband’s dad, was deputy editor for 11 years. Back in April Dacre shuffled his top team and pinched Gerard Greaves from the MoS, moving Steafel to the role of group managing editor.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Noel Gallagher on Brexit:

“In England, the Brexit thing, it’s like, I can’t believe there’s so much noise about it… It was put to the people as a vote, the people voted. That’s democracy. F***ing get over it.”

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