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…

Murdoch Requests Correction Over Guardian Fake News

Anyone with a Twitter account will at some point have seen one of the many memes quoting Rupert Murdoch on why he backs Brexit: “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice“. The quote was first attributed to him by Anthony Hilton in the Standard and repeated in the Guardian and Indy, as well has being shared thousands and thousands of times on social media by the usual Murdophobes. Today Rupert has written to the Guardian to demand a correction:

“There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words.”

Sure all those ‘press ethics’ campaigners will be posting prominent corrections on their Twitter accounts…

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…

Labour: Please Stop Leaking to The Sun

After the Sun got hold of Labour’s pre-Christmas grid, general secretary Iain McNicol has emailed staff threatening them with discplinary action for leaking to the press. Naturally his email has leaked:

Dear Colleague

Before we all escape the office for a well-deserved Xmas break, I wanted to email you all regarding recent leaks in the media which contain either sensitive or confidential Party information.

I am very clear; no member of staff should pass on information which they think will be used by our opponents to oppose and damage the Party and its reputation. This damages the organisation and relationships which we are all trying to build and maintain.

As laid down in our staff handbook; if a member of staff is found to have leaked confidential information either to a third party with the intent that this is passed on, or directly to a journalist, then disciplinary proceedings will be initiated.

l have discussed this matter with the Labour Party Staff JTUC and they are fully supportive. If you have any concerns about the contents of this email, or would like to talk it through, please contact either Emilie Oldknow or Holly Snyman in HR who can assist.

Kind regards,
lain

lain McNicol
General Secretary

A festive LOLabour…

Sun Journalist’s Conviction Quashed

Sun reporter Anthony France, the only journalist found guilty following the Met Police’s disastrous Operation Elveden, has had his conviction quashed. France’s ordeal lasted 1,379 days – he was convicted last May – yet today he was cleared by the Court of Appeal in a 30 second hearing. Operation Elveden, which targeted journalists and arrested over 20 Sun reporters, wasted the time of 60 police officers and cost the taxpayer £30 million, has now failed to convict a single journalist. It’s a scandal…

H/T Tom Wells

Mazher Mahmood Jailed and Sacked By The Sun

maz

“Following the sentencing of Mazher Mahmood today, News UK can confirm that his employment has been terminated.

Mazher was suspended after the Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapsed, pending an internal inquiry. That inquiry was superseded by the criminal process.

Mazher has led scores of successful investigations during his 25-year career with the company. His work has led to the exposure of criminality and wrongdoing. It is a source of great regret that his time with the company should end in this manner.

The previous criminal cases that have resulted from his investigations were tested by the courts or guilty pleas were entered. We are aware that the Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed some cases and understand that the Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at whether a small number of matters should be referred back to the Court of Appeal. We await their decisions.

We have noted the threats made after Mazher’s conviction of civil claims against this company in relation to his previous work. Should such claims be brought, they will be vigorously defended.”

Mazher Mahmood has been jailed for 15 months and sacked by the Sun…

Man on Yesterday’s Sun Front Page is NOT an Interpreter

sun

Yesterday a rumour went round Twitter virtue signallers that a man the Sun reported is a supposed child refugee is in fact a Home Office interpreter. It was too good for the tabloid-bashers to resist, soon hundreds of people had tweeted it without checking, as if it was fact. Including some very famous types like Gary Lineker, David Schneider and Caroline Criado Perez. Guido has asked the Home Office, who confirm the man in question is NOT an interpreter. They say they do not comment on minors, all but confirming he is a refugee claiming to be a child. As reported by the SunA lie will go halfway round the world while truth is pulling its boots on – will the Twitterati above be issuing corrections?

UPDATE: Tact Care, the charity which claimed he was an interpreter, say they “regret any concern caused”:

“With regard to a recent tweet by TACT questioning the status of an individual male in a photograph at Calais, our information was from a credible source.  However, if the male is indeed a migrant and not an interpreter, TACT regrets any concern caused.  The tweet has now been withdrawn as we do not want to cause any further distress to the individual depicted.”

Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

Sun Names Elton John

elton

The Sun won their four-month long legal battle to report on Elton John’s sexual harassment case settlement. I guess that’s why they call it the news…

Campaign Report: 9 Days to Go

beleave in britain

Leave message: Leave ministers commit to same level of EU funding post-Brexit.

Remain message: Corbyn: Stay, or the NHS gets it.

Cut through: The Sun comes out for Leave.

Leave social media count: 488,043 likes, 59,735 followers.

Remain social media count: 474,801 likes, 38,521 followers.

Odds: Remain 4/6, Leave 6/4

Latest poll: Remain 40% (-1), Leave 47% (+4) (TNS, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 49% (+1), Leave 51% (-1).

IPSO: Coke Probably Was Snorted at Momentum Party

Back in December the Sun sent a bearded undercover reporter to a People’s Momentum Christmas party in Brixton, armed with specialist detection wipes and a handful of swabs. The science didn’t lie – traces of gak were found in the loos and the story made its way into the paper. Well, someone from Momentum decided to complain to the press regulator IPSO. The judgement is in, and they’ve ruled a Momentum reveller probably did consult the member for Tooting…

“The committee acknowledged that the test used by the newspaper could not conclusively show that drugs were taken by an attendee at the party that night. However, the manager of the pub had said that the toilets had been cleaned before the party, the only attendees present in the venue that night were attending the Momentum event, and traces of drugs had been detected. This was a reasonable basis to infer that drugs had been used by an attendee. In these circumstances, the committee was satisfied that the newspaper had not failed to take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. There was no breach of Clause 1. The complaint was not upheld.”

Hipster socialists exploiting Colombian peasants…

Clegg’s “Smear Operation” Against Gove

Sun editor Tony Gallagher has come out swinging in defence of that splash about the Queen, accusing Clegg of changing his position and of smearing Michael Gove as the alleged source:

Peston: Much of the world believes your source to be the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, was it?

Gallagher: They can believe what they like. We would never reveal who our sources are. I think it’s interesting to note that there is clearly a smear operation underway at the moment and an attempt to identify Michael Gove. It wouldn’t take too much of a cynic to assume that part of the reason for that is the desire to remove him as a leading light in the Leave campaign. And I think it’s worth putting into the public domain that among those circulating the idea that it is Michael Gove are people close to Nick Clegg… I think Nick Clegg has questions to answer because he’s gone from being ‘I don’t recollect this event’ to ‘it’s nonsense’ to now being certain it’s Michael Gove. So which is it? I think he has to answer that.

Remember, it’s personal between Clegg, Gove and his former adviser Dom Cummings, who once called him a “self-obsessed, revolting character”…

Nb. Media watchers note the second camera on Peston, evidence of his so-called movie set.

Clegg Doesn’t Deny Queen Backs Brexit

Tomorrow’s Sun claims the Queen “spoke with venom and emotion” during a bust-up with Nick Clegg in which she apparently backed Brexit. This is Clegg’s very carefully worded response:

“I have absolutely no recollection of it. I don’t have a photographic memory. But I think I would have remembered something as stark or significant as you have made it out to be. No doubt you’ll speak to someone else and they’ll say, ‘I was there I heard it’. Fine. But I really can’t remember it at all. Anyway, without sounding pompous, I find it rather distasteful to reveal conversations with the Queen.”

Not an outright denial…

Sunday Service

sun-gf

After some 150 columns and articles co-conspirators will have noticed that there was no Guido Sun on Sunday column this week. After 3 years our tabloid toil has come to to an end…

We enjoyed the challenge of writing a very different product for a mass market tabloid audience, though we won’t miss the deadline stress of sweating over our column all day Friday. The discipline of having to write tight, straight-to-the-point copy is tough. It is a cliche that it would be easy for The Sun’s journalists to produce The Times, whereas the writers of the “Thunderers” would find it much harder to successfully do “Sun Says”. That is Guido’s view having written both…

Order-Order.com is expanding in terms of both output and staff numbers, as ever our efforts are focused on breaking more news on the site first. We also have a few surprises in store for readers. Our winning formula of Westminster tittle-tattle, gossip and hard news still means that: You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Guido in The Sun on Sunday

Read Guido’s column in the Sun on Sunday to discover the fate of Labour’s 20 discarded chicken suits. Don’t miss out on:

DOCTOR

  • Just what the junior doctor ordered… tax deductible Val d’Isere Doctors Winter Conference

UBER

  • Why UKIP are Uber flip-floppers

MAY

  • Theresa May swerves the opportunity to back Britain staying in the EU
  • The Labour MP who heckles Commons opponents by telling them they’ve been blocked on Twitter
  • Why the Tories are telling the LibDems to pack their bags all over again
  • Labour’s never-ending hypocrisy on zero hours contracts
  • Minister Sniffed Poppers at Cabinet Table

You can read it all today, for free, here

Alas SunNation, We Knew It Well

sunnation

Farewell SunNation, the Sun’s outside-the-paywall experiment with a blog format has now gone with the raison d’être of the paywall. This again brings into focus the future of tabloids now it has been established that in the age of social media paywalls for popular papers are counter-productive. As far as Guido knows no mass market tabloid in the world has successfully made the transition to a digital model.

Digital first sceptics point out that for all the traffic success of Mail Online and The Guardian, they don’t really make much profit. In the case of the digital Guardian they make no profit. That is because undifferentiated general traffic does not command a high premium from advertisers. Also free online versions inevitably cannibalise the print readers…

Digital first optimists argue that there is no choice other than to deliver content where people increasingly want it, to their phones and tablets. And deliver it fast and first if you want to succeed. 

How will we make any money ask the digital sceptics? If paid subscriptions don’t work for tabloids in the digital era will it be Buzzfeed style advertorial? Video ads? Product placement? The digital first optimists point out that tabloid print sales are collapsing and soon they won’t make money either…

TABLOIDS

The Mirror is contemplating a cut-price, slimmed down version of the paper along the lines of the i, The Independent’s successful cut-down version. The more successful print innovator is actually the London Evening Standard, London’s now free high-quality evening paper is brimming with advertising. Could a tabloid thrive on advertising revenue alone? Metro and City AM show that advertising-only supported papers can be viable. It is possible that a national could go free, double or triple circulation, and suck up more than enough advertising to make up for the lost cover-price revenue. Guido noticed that last weekend the Sun on Sunday was distributed free in some places in Ireland…

Guido in The Sun on Sunday

See Guido’s column in the Sun on Sunday for the BBC’s refusal to deny that they chauffeured Jihadi Sid to interviews so he could spout his pro-ISIS views on national television. Don’t miss out on:

PLOT

  • RED ON RED: Labour MPs say they are victims of a Corbynista revenge plot

MENACE

  • How George Osborne is menacing Tory ministers and MPs

RORY

  • Why armed police were called to a Tory minister’s office this week
  • BRUM BUNFIGHT: Radical left-winger Salma Yaqoob DID try to join Labour, decision now with NEC
  • Mark Reckless’ Dirty Secret

You can read it all today, for free, here

Guido in The Sun on Sunday

Read all about Keith Vaz and the Russian glamour models in Guido’s column in the Sun on SundayDon’t miss out on:

  • Security Shocker: Jeremy Corbyn in his own words, wants an “end to Nato”

radical

  • Despite complaining when Zac Goldsmith called him a “radical“, Sadiq Khan called himself radical 19 times

CAULI

  • Mystery of the Reshuffle Cauliflower Solved
  • Something of a fallout between Corbyn and McDonnell
  • High-Friers: Meet the Tory Two Who Worked Together at McDonald’s
  • “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, but you’re probably after my sister” – Awkward Eagle Reshuffle Moment

You can read it all today, for free, here

Guido’s 2015 Awards in The Sun on Sunday

2015

Guido sticks the knife – and Fawke – into the winners of 2015’s awards for Westminster’s top chancers, cheats and trumps. Click here to read our Surprise of Year, best gaffe, worst piggy, heroes and zeroes and laugh-out-loud moment. Happy New Year…

Indy Buries Front Page Cock-Up Confession

Gotcha!” exclaimed Tuesday’s Indy splash, exclusively revealing that the Sun had been “told” to put an “apology” for a story about Jeremy Corbyn on its front page. The top scoop revealed how “The Sun was ordered to publish a front page correction“.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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