Yet Another Cadwalladr Correction

Here we go again… Hidden away on page 42 yesterday, The Observer had to publish yet another correction following Carole Cadwalladr’s wild claims about Vote Leave. They have admitted that their Orwell Prize winning super sleuth was wrong to say that Vote Leave’s COO Victoria Woodcock had deleted herself and others on a shared Google drive. Cadwalladr has argued that this was an attempt to hide evidence from the Electoral Commission and ICO, but the Observer admits that

‘we accept that Ms Woodcock did not try to destroy evidence and that allegations of trying to thwart official investigations or pervert the course of justice do not fairly arise against her from this reporting’

This ‘evidence’ was put forward by whistleblowers Shahmir Sanni and Chris Wylie, and reported by Carole as if it was gospel. The Observer has now been forced to admit that this was yet another false claim brought by Zoolander and Walter Mitty. Carole has also been made to delete all of her tweets in which she claimed that Ms Woodcock was trying to destroy evidence.This comes after the Observer had to publish two corrections against the Leave campaign, including accusations that Vote Leave, AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica were all working together. The Observer has agreed to pay Ms Woodcock’s legal fees. How much more will they have to fork out for Carole’s conspiracy theory reporting?

Meanwhile, this afternoon Carole tweeted that Piers Morgan “hacked a deal girl’s phone”, referring to Milly Dowler. That was a different paper…

Cadwalladr Forced to Delete Erroneous Attack on BBC Editor

Carole Codswallop has done it again. The top Observer sleuth has been forced to delete yet more error-strewn tweets after launching an unhinged attack on the BBC. During her meltdown last night about Isabel Oakeshott being invited onto Question Time, Codswallop launched a pile-on against the Beeb’s head of live political programmes, Rob Burley, demanding an explanation. Her tweet tagging Burley was retweeted more than a thousand times. For hours Burley was under attack from hundreds of tweets from Codswallop’s crazy legion of followers. Just one problem: Burley has nothing to do with Question Time, which is produced by the independent production company Mentorn.

12 hours later, Carole deleted the tweet and apologised.

She also tweeted claiming that, during her Marr appearance with Oakeshott, they didn’t ask her about her Observer story about Shahmir Sanni. They did. That has now been deleted. This is basic stuff…

Eco-Warrior: Bring Back Rationing

Sonia Sodha is the Observer’s chief leader writer, she has a plan to cut emissions. Stop people travelling, by rationing their air miles. In the new Avengers Marvel super hero movie the baddie – Thanos – is an eco-warrior who wants to save the planet by killing half the population. So in comparison Sonia is quite moderate.

Where to start, how can you stop people travelling in a free society? Bonkers idea. Guido (92 flights last year) has an alternative idea to cut emissions. Why not just stop the senseless waste of trees and energy involved in printing and distributing the Observer? After all it loses money and only produces hot air contributing to global warming…

Two More Cadwalladr Factual Errors

Just the two corrections for Carole Cadwalladr this week. First, she has deleted a tweet linking to her Observer article last weekend in which she claimed the Information Commissioner’s Office had launched “legal proceedings” against Leave.EU and Arron Banks. Carole has conceded that she was wrong to say any legal proceedings had been launched:

Second, Carole claimed in this all caps tweet that a payment from UKIP to Cambridge Analytica was “an EXPENSE” that was “not DECLARED”. “Right here is literally a year of my life”, said Carole.

Just one problem. The invoice is dated 14 December 2015. The EU referendum date wasn’t announced until 20 February 2016. The spending limit period didn’t begin until 15 April 2016. So it wasn’t an expense and it didn’t need to be declared. Her story, which she described as “literally a year of my life”, is literally wrong. Is there anyone left who buys this embarrassing nonsense?

Cadwalladr: My Story is More Important Than Salisbury Attack

Good to see Carole keeping everything in perspective…

Second Cadwalladr Correction in Two Weeks

Oh dear… The Observer has had to publish a Carole Cadwalladr correction for the second week running. Last Sunday they snuck out a page 50 correction admitting her central claim linking Vote Leave, Aggregate IQ and Cambridge Analytica was untrue. Today they have admitted her story about AIQ being paid to set up a website for Michael Gove but the website never going live was also completely wrong. The site did go live.

“We mistakenly said the website for Michael Gove’s bid for the Tory party leadership in July 2016 never went live. The website Gove2016 did go live.”

And guess what, they buried this correction at the bottom of page 50 as well:

This is pretty basic stuff. No wonder even most Remainers think Carole and the Observer have lost it…

Yesterday’s Cadwalladr Claims Untrue Too

Yesterday the Observer published a page 50 correction conceding that Carole Cadwalladr’s central charge linking Vote Leave, Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ is untrue. And it gets worse… 

The paper yesterday also ran a new article about AIQ’s work for Michael Gove’s leadership campaign. Gove told them that AIQ set up his campaign website, but Carole’s award-winning investigative work found that the site “never went live” and “failed to secure the domain”.

“When asked about the work AIQ did for Gove, a spokesman said: “The Gove 2016 campaign paid AIQ £2,720.46 in July to set up its website. The payment was authorised by the campaign manager and paid for from funds donated to the campaign. All campaign spending was fully declared to CCHQ as required under Conservative party leadership election rules.”

AIQ did not respond to inquiries about its work on the Gove 2016… Gove 2016 never went live – according to reports, the campaign failed to secure the domain”

This is just wrong. The domain was secured, the website did go live. An archived version is available here:

This could have been determined by the most basic of web archive searches, but Cadwalladr didn’t bother and the Observer has published another untruth as a result. And the conspiratorial insinuation that some Brexiteer trickery was involved once again falls apart. Will next Sunday’s Observer have to publish its second Cadwalladr correction in two weeks?

UPDATE: Carole confirms her story yesterday was wrong. She’s now admitted her reports have contained fundamental errors two weeks in a row…

Observer Admits Cadwalladr’s Cambridge Analytica / AIQ Conspiracy Theory is Wrong

A humiliating correction for Carole Cadwalladr in today’s Observer as her conspiracy theory that Cambridge Analytica, AggregateIQ and Vote Leave were all working together falls apart:

In two news articles last week (“Revealed: the ties that bound Canadian data firm to Leave campaign in referendum” and “Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team ‘may have broken law’”), we are happy to clarify that we did not intend to suggest that AggregateIQ is a direct part and/or the Canadian branch of Cambridge Analytica, or that it has been involved in the exploitation of Facebook data, or otherwise been involved in any of the alleged wrongdoing made against Cambridge Analytica. Further, we did not intend to suggest that AIQ secretly and unethically co-ordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU referendum. We are happy to make clear that AggregateIQ is and has always been 100% Canadian owned and operated.

This was one of the central pieces of the story published by Cadwalladr – who has won a British Journalism Award for her nonsense – and her source Chris Wylie. Even ultra-Remainers who Guido has spoken to over the last week think Cadwalladr has lost the plot. Seems her editors at the Observer are now catching up…

UPDATE: This is where the Observer buried its correction admitting Carole Cadwalladr’s central charge linking Vote Leave, Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ is untrue. Page 50.

Cadwalladr’s Sunday Scoop: Top Remainer Paid AIQ

Guido hears Carole Cadwalladr has another big scoop lined up for Sunday about money paid to the Canadian digital marketing firm AggregateIQ. Carole has emailed Michael Gove asking what AIQ did for his leadership campaign in the summer of 2016. Has she uncovered a new layer to the great Brexit conspiracy? It turns out AIQ was paid £2,720.46 in July 2016 to set up the campaign website. The payment was put through by campaign manager Nick Boles, a prominent Remainer and Stronger In campaigner. Which slightly throws a spanner in the works for Carole’s next sinister Brexiteer flow chart. Just how deep does the conspiracy go? 

Observer Whistleblower: I Am a “Smear Merchant”

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Here is Observer whistleblower Christopher Wylie in his own words in his school yearbook, describing his “probable destiny”:

“Politician. Well that, or just another dissociative smear merchant peddling backroom hackery in its purest Machiavellian form.”

Unfortunate…

Note that Wylie has described himself to the Observer as a high school dropout. Curious then that he’s in his school leavers yearbook. Another fact for Carole Cadwalladr to check…

Observer’s Whistleblower Personally Offered to Harvest Data For Vote Leave

The whistleblower who says social media data harvesting is “grossly unethical” personally wrote a pitch to Vote Leave offering to harvest data for them during the referendum campaign, Guido can reveal. Christopher Wylie, the pink-haired former Cambridge Analytica employee turned Observer whistleblower, has spent the last week talking up his opposition to data harvesting:

“It was a grossly unethical experiment because you are playing with an entire country, the psychology of an entire country without their consent or awareness… It’s like Nixon on steroids.”

Yet after Wylie left Cambridge Analytica, he sent a pitch to Vote Leave offering to harvest data for them during the referendum. In a pitch sent to Vote Leave’s Dominic Cummings in January 2016, Wylie wrote:

“We will trial social data harvesting for Vote Leave and use some of our own technology to target and acquire online data about UK voters.”

Wylie went on:

“Several online panels would be set up to target a cross section of voters… We would try to further increase the sample by accessing the social networks of the panel respondents. We would also harvest online and social data”

This is the email Wylie sent to Cummings personally offering to harvest data:

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This is Cummings’ reply rejecting Wylie’s offer:

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You can read Wylie’s rejected pitch to Vote Leave in full here. And you can read Cummings’ blog post responding to the latest Observer claims, and explaining how he thought Wylie was a “charlatan“, here.

The Observer and other Remainers seem determined to use Wylie’s claims about “unethical” data harvesting to somehow discredit the referendum result. What they haven’t mentioned is Wylie was himself offering to harvest data for Vote Leave after he left Cambridge Analytica. How does he explain that one?

Professor Greenslade Overlooks Guardian’s Double-Digit Decline

professor-greenslade

Media commentator Roy Greenslade reports that the Sun’s circulation was down to 1,842,284 copies a day in February, a fall of 6.89%. Professor Greenslade, writing in the Guardian, speculates as to if it is due to the suspension of the traditional Page 3 Girl from the print edition – though she can still be found in all her glory in the online edition.

Greenslade does a fairly balanced analysis of the situation over a thousand or so words. It is only when the determined Guardian reader reaches the fourth last sentence of the column that he learns that the Guardian itself actually had a worse drop in readership of 10.34%. The worst performance of any national daily newspaper in the country. Mind you the Sunday sister-paper, The Observer, lost 11.28% of its readers…

Tee Time for Toby & Tim Observer Pol Ed Helm's Shared Love of Yeo's Green

Guido bumped into his old friend Tim Yeo last night who had ‘absolutely no comment to make to you’ about his dying career. He did however confirm something rather interesting about last week’s Observer. Political Editor Toby Helm penned a vainglorious piece about Yeo’s deselection, claiming it was all part of a wider conspiracy to turn back the clocks on Tory modernisation and silence the green agenda:

“It is known that some local Tories in Suffolk dislike Yeo’s enthusiasm for green issues and his support for gay marriage. He is also less strongly Euro-sceptic than some in the party, and makes the argument that the UK’s best interests lie with remaining in the EU.”

The flaws in the piece were immediately obvious. As a former Major minister (of the back to basics variety) Yeo was hardly the poster boy of Dave’s new model army and he only really cares about green issues that feather his nest. Had Helm picked up the phone to anyone in the South Suffolk constituency he would have known the reasons behind the deselection were to do with Yeo’s absenteeism. So who did Toby Helm speak to?

Well Yeo confirmed to Guido last night that he ‘regularly’ plays golf with Toby Helm. How cosy!

Curiously Yeo was an accompanied by a young lady who he introduced to people as his ‘Special Adviser’. Which is an oddity for a backbench MP…

Where's Rawnsley?

Last week Guido published some pretty damning evidence that Andrew Rawnsley had lifted vast swathes of his column almost word for word from a previous edition of the Economist. He has been silent about it ever since despite the chance to comment or refute the allegations. […] Read the rest

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Rawnsley's Rehashed 'Research' Rumbled

Catching up with Andrew Rawnsley’s “award winning” column yesterday, Guido could not help think he had read the same points being made, with all the same examples and the same anecdotes, somewhere before. Rawnsley tackles the great North/South divide debate with a remarkable similarity to Jeremy Cliffe, the Economist’s UK politics correspondent, who wrote extensively on the issue in April.[…] Read the rest

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Another Underw-Helm-ing Week at the Observer

Another stunning scoop from Westminster’s finest political editor. Fresh from his “someone was mean to me on the internet” splash a few months back this journalist of unrivalled political acumen has revealed in the Observer that leaders of rival political parties are not welcome in the secure zones of their rival’s conferences.[…] Read the rest

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Andrew Wrongsley

Super-connected and popular sage Andrew Rawnsley told his dwindling Observer readers on Sunday that “the ministers who are resisting the chancellor most fiercely are nearly all concentrated on the bluest end of the Conservative party”. He highlighted Eric Pickles and Chris Grayling as some of the fiercest fighters refusing to give in to the Treasury.[…] Read the rest

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Toby Helm's Twitter Spat With Gove SpAds

Huge handbags on Twitter this week between the Observer’s Toby Helm and the CCHQ @ToryEducation Twitter account. The Tory tweeter told Helm “You’re like Baldwin and Campbell – an activist, not a professional hack”, provoking paroxysms of rage from the Labour Party press office’s favourite broadsheet channel.[…] Read the rest

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Have Cocks and Have Nots

This weekend played host to an almighty media bitch fight turned left-wing civil war between furious feminists and “bed-wetting” transsexuals. It all kicked off when Guardian and New Statesman columnist and heroine of the fairer sex Suzanne Moore stomped off Twitter after opining  in the Staggers last week: “[Women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.[…] Read the rest

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Another Sorry Chapter in the Cable Fable

When doorstepped this morning, Vince Cable ruled out resigning saying: “I’m just getting on with my job as I always do.” So he limps on to fight, and lose, another day, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been banging his steel mug against the bars of his cell this weekend. […] Read the rest

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Seen Elsewhere



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